Frankly in Love

By: David Yoon

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.

ISBN: 9781984812209

JLG Release: Dec 2019


Sensitive Areas: Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Language: Strong Language, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use, Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur
Topics: Friendship , Dating (social customs) , Korean Americans , Racism , High schools , Family life , California

$16.85  Member Price


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Awards & Honors

2019 William C. Morris Award Finalist
2019 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee
SLJ Best Books - 2019
NPR’s Book Concierge - 2019
CPL Best Books - 2019
Entertainment Weekly Best YA Books - 2019
William C. Morris Award Honoree - 2020
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honoree - 2020

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly*, Kirkus Reviews*, Booklist*, School Library Journal*, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

Identity, family, secrets, sacrifice, first love, and transitions all come together in Yoon’s sparkling debut. Frank Li is one of the “Limbos,” a group of second-generation Korean-American children who are forced to hang out once a month when their parents organize dinners that are part support group, part competition. The Limbos are caught b Identity, family, secrets, sacrifice, first love, and transitions all come together in Yoon’s sparkling debut. Frank Li is one of the “Limbos,” a group of second-generation Korean-American children who are forced to hang out once a month when their parents organize dinners that are part support group, part competition. The Limbos are caught between two worlds, a sense Frank keenly feels as he begins dating his first girlfriend, who is white. After his sister is disowned for marrying a Black man, Frank decides to enter a fake relationship with Joy, another Limbo, so that they can both date the people they want without parental involvement. Frank’s romantic relationships change along with his relationship with his family, as he grapples with hard family news. This is an outstanding novel where the emotions are deeply felt but honestly earned. The characters are complex and nuanced, and all are on their own authentic journeys. The highlight of the book is Frank’s voice—he is a sharp observer who is funny, insecure, and deeply conflicted. Yoon’s writing is filled with highly specific descriptions that make Frank’s world feel fully realized, from the fruit-named phone chargers sold at his parents’ store, to his group of unique and nerdy friends, dubbed the “Apeys” for their Advanced Placement course load. This will be a hit with teens who like introspective realistic fiction, romance, and humor. Full of keen observations about love, family, and race with a winning narrator, this is a must-purchase (multiple copies!) for any teen-serving library.

Horn Book

High school senior Frank Li is the son of two first-generation Korean immigrant parents, and he knows that they have made sacrifices all their lives in order to give him opportunities. “Mom-n-Dad work at The Store every day, from morning to evening, on weekends, holidays, New Year’s Day, 365 days of every year without a single vacation for as l High school senior Frank Li is the son of two first-generation Korean immigrant parents, and he knows that they have made sacrifices all their lives in order to give him opportunities. “Mom-n-Dad work at The Store every day, from morning to evening, on weekends, holidays, New Year’s Day, 365 days of every year without a single vacation for as long as me and Hanna have been alive.” He appreciates this, all while chafing at the binds of their expectations: ace the SATs; get into The Harvard; marry a Korean American girl. The setup of the story is pure romantic comedy—in order to keep his parents from finding out about his romance with white classmate and fellow nerd Brit Means, he fake-dates Joy Song, a girl from his parents’ Korean circle of friends. An unexpected change in the Lis’ lives forces Frank to grapple with what it means to really know a person, whether it be Brit, Joy, his best friend Q, or his father. Yoon writes in a lightly funny, self-deprecating, accessible voice; one that sounds like a contemporary teen (“Fuckin’ parents, man”) and reveals a deep understanding of bicultural complexities. As the novel faces issues of race and racism, culture, friendship, relationships (“Can you truly, truly say you love someone who’s always been held at arm’s length?”), and family, Yoon encourages readers to delve into issues of what it means to belong—and who in the end we would like to belong to, and with.

Book Details

ISBN

9781984812209

First Release

December 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8" x 6"

Page Count

432

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.7; Points: 13;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

G.P. Putnam's Sons

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Language: Strong Language, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use, Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur

Topics

Friendship, Dating (social customs), Korean Americans, Racism, High schools, Family life, California,

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