TITLE : Frankly In Love (Frankly In Love #1)
AUTHOR : David Yoon
GENRE : Romance, Contemporary, YA
FBRC RATING : 5 stars
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.
FBRC REVIEW :
I saw only this book on most people’s channels, bookstagram, and blogs for a long time. There was so much hype about this book and let’s just say I was intrigued. It was a quick and adorable read. I loved all the cultural aspects of this book and how the author has painted the cultural problems and issues that are prevalent in an older generation who are part of different communities. The issues were familiar to me and I could see where Frank Li’s frustration was coming from and also how ignorance can lead even some of the nicest people to act stupidly.
The topic of race often comes in this book, where Frank’s parents refuse to talk about his sister because she married a black guy. The problem wasn’t them being racist and thus hurting their family, but also how their understanding of compatibility in terms of relationships and interactions lead them to believe that people from one’s own community are more favorable over others. The whole otherism mentality is about the comfort level and lack of openness to learning and uncertainty rather than hatefulness or maliciousness towards people of color. They genuinely believe in traditions and keeping them sacred and hence having someone who didn’t grow up in a cultural household will feel left out and sometimes ignoring things that they hold dear. I could relate to a lot of this mentality coming from India. We also have similar baggage and restrictions were people are concerned. The idea of arranged marriage is not shocking, but a normal event for us. I was able to relate to a lot of the cultural expectations the older generations have of their younger ones. The story highlights the issue of race and how various generations behave and the influence it has on their lives.
The fake-dating trope is one of my favorite tropes to read about and I liked how it was done here. I loved the progression of Frank and Joy’s relationship. The family gatherings reminded me of several gatherings we attended as kids and the unlikely group of friends you make. Most of the characters were really interesting and funny.
I adored Q and his family dynamics. I would have loved to see more of Q and Frank and their interactions were that of two awkward, goofy nerds. There was humor, some intense emotions, nerd talk, and some beautiful friendships.
I am curious about Evon and her role in the story and if there will be more of her in the next book. I am definitely curious about the second book and would love to know who will be in it. This book was adorable, super cute, funny and serious at the same time. I loved the story and would love to know more about them. I gave it 5 stars and I highly recommend checking it out if you love YA contemporary romance with fake-dating tropes with a heavy dose of reality splashed in.