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All booksYoung adultFrankly in Love
Frankly in Love by David Yoon
Young adult

Frankly in Love

Debut
We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, David Yoon, on your first book!

by David Yoon

Quick take

From the husband of Nicola Yoon, a soon-to-be movie about romance complicated by parents, race, and love itself.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SocialIssues

    Social issues

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_ForbiddenLove

    Forbidden love

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LOL

    LOL

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy

    Buzzy

Why I love it

Nicola Yoon
Author, The Sun Is Also a Star

Give me a fake-dating romance book and I’ll be happy. Give me a fake-dating book that’s also witty, philosophical, and big-hearted, and I’ll be thrilled. Give me a fake-dating book that’s witty, philosophical, big-hearted, and about big things—identity, and culture, and learning to accept your incredibly flawed family—and I will be over-the-moon ecstatic. Frankly in Love is that book, and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Frank Li falls in love with the girl of his dreams. The only problem is that she’s white and his parents want him to date someone Korean. Frank’s friend, Joy, is dating the boy of her dreams. The only problem is that he’s Chinese-American and her parents want her to date someone Korean. Dear reader, you can see where this is going. Frank and Joy solve their problems by fake-dating each other. Hilarity and hijinks ensue! Only this book is about so much more than fake-dating. It’s about making your own way against the expectations of the world, even the people that love you the most. It’s about finding your heart and then learning to follow it. It’s about being.

Reading this book is truly a joyous experience. In a lifetime, only a handful of books will worm their way into your heart and change you for the better. For me, Frankly in Love is one of those books.

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Synopsis

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo—his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance—“Date Korean”—which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful—and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love—or himself—at all.

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Preview

Check out a preview of Frankly in Love.

Member thoughts

All (662)
All (662)
Love (275)
Like (303)
Dislike (84)
684 ratings
  • 40% Love
  • 44% Like
  • 12% Dislike
  • San Diego, CA

    I loved how David Yoon so accurately portrayed the identity crisis of the children of Asian immigrant parents stuck in between their parents’ traditional expectations and the American way of living.

  • Norfolk, VA

    Frank is FUNNY. He’s honest and kind and when he feels, he FEELS. The cultural aspect is so relatable. Everything felt so real. Yoon’s writing is deeper than you'd expect. & The ending was amazing.

  • Brookfield, WI

    This book blurb leads us to believe this is all about a fake dating scheme but in reality that is such a small part of this book and the weakest section too. This book becomes so much more than that.

  • Baltimore, MD

    I related to this book so much and not at all at the same time. The ending made me cry and just hurt my heart. I really loved it. I love a good fake dating scheme. I wish Q would have gotten more!!

  • Boulder, CO

    This was a charming and poignant book that I wish had been available to me back in high school or middle school. It taught me a lot about other cultures and how this affects their school experience.

  • SANTA CLARA, CA

    It was great to read a character with an Asian American as the main character. I loved that being Asian American wasn't Frank's only defining characteristic and he was more than his culture/heritage.

  • Fairfield, CA

    Fully expected this to be a completely formulaic YA love story, but ended up being much more than that. I especially appreciated the nuance around being a 2nd-gen immigrant child & race in America.

  • Tonawanda , NY

    Yoon penned a wonderful novel for teens and young adults that centers on love and race. It’s a very quick read (I finished in less than two days) and funny. Frank is relatable and full of heart.

  • South Bend, IN

    Frankly in Love captures the challenges of interracial dating with heartfelt accuracy. David Yoon creates a world just as captivating as those built by his wife Nicola. Both hilarious and charming.

  • Munising, MI

    I LOVED this book. The characters were so funny and well-written. I felt the story was such a refreshing take on two topics: forbidden teenage romance and racism. Thoroughly recommend to anyone!

  • CASTRO VALLEY, CA

    This was an amazing coming of age #ownvoices story and hit me right in the heart. My whole teen years seemed to be portrayed on these pages which is so important because #representationmatters

  • Los Angeles, CA

    Well written book about first love, teen and family, racism and sexual/cultural identity. David Yoon perfectly captured how it feels to be a teen facing these issues. Excellent YA novel.

  • Medford , NJ

    This book was great. The characters were well developed and there was a lot of thought put into them, I couldn't stop reading! Definitely recommend this book for romance lovers!

  • Manhattan Beach, CA

    Breezy, joyful, heartbreaking, modern child-of-immigrant-coming-of-age-in-America story. A rare contemporary love story from a male point of view. Memorable characters.

  • Berea, KY

    So i LOVE K-Dramas and I picked this book in hopes that it would read like one. It was different than i thought it would be but I loved it! Had me crying at the end.

  • Pocatello, ID

    This book is the perfect teen read - it deals with love and friendship sure, but also racism and family pressure. The main character, Frank, is relatable and funny.

  • Chicago, IL

    At first the plot was like a lot of the other books out there. But towards the end thats when things started to get interesting. Cannot wait for the 2nd book.

  • Miami , FL

    This book was so cute, i really like how the relationship changed over the course of it. This book was not what i expected. But i enjoyed it none the less.

  • Spring, TX

    Humorous thought piece about race and being a first-generation American. Very predictable in some parts. Overall more character driven and slice of life.

  • Tustin, CA

    A perfect mix of light and heavy, addressing real issues faced by minority teens and second generation immigrants. I laughed a lot, and teared up too.

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