FRANKLY IN LOVE BY DAVID YOON - BOOK REVIEW

So... this was one of the most thought-provoking and moving books I've read in a long time. Like, if you told me Yoon had written 10 other best-selling contemporary novels, I would have believed you, that's how good this debut was.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Frankly in Love by David Yoon. Thanks so much to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me an ARC of this book for an honest review, as always, all opinions are my own.

This book follows Frank Li, a high-school student and self-proclaimed Limbo - his term for Korean-American kids caught between their immigrant parent's expectations and their Southern Californian upbringing. Frank's parents have high expectations for him in all things, from school to friends to dating. In the latter regard, they have one rule: date Korean. But when Frank falls for Brit Means - who is decidedly not Korean - his life gets a lot more complicated. When his fellow Limbo Joy finds herself in a similar situation dating Wu, the two decide to fake date in order to actually date other people. It seems to be the perfect plan but how long can Frank and Joy fool their parents, their significant others, and themselves?

Going into this book I really didn't know a lot about what was going to happen (hmm, I feel like this is becoming a theme for me...). And really, the synopsis is only the tip of the 400-page iceberg that is this book. This book looks at the intricacies of race, family, social understandings of culture, romance, first loves, heartbreak, and so much more. While this book is largely marketed as a romance-centred novel, I think that there is so much more than the romance that is important and valuable in this book. I finished this book and thought to myself, I cannot believe how much Yoon managed to fit into 400 pages. This book feels longer than it actually is - in the best possible sense. It doesn't drag on but it feels well-round and full, if that makes any sense.

The characters in this book really shine through the events and circumstances that they find themselves in. Frank is a complex and interesting character who isn't without his faults but he is so compulsively relatable you can't help but connect with him. His friends are equally wonderful characters who also aren't perfect but round out the story beautifully. I thought they were all well fleshed out and I particularly enjoyed his relationship with his friend Q. It's been a minute since I've read a book with a really uplifting male friendship and I really enjoyed their dynamic.

Overall, I finished this book feeling a million emotions from grief to happiness to joy to the bittersweet resignation that the book was over. I truly believe that this is one of the best books I've read this year and cannot recommend it enough!