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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Two friends. One fake dating scheme. What could possibly go wrong? Frank Li has two names. There's Frank Li, his American name. Then there's Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California. Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl--which is a problem, since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. Brit, who is funny and nerdy just like him. Brit, who makes him laugh like no one else. Brit . . . who is white. As Frank falls in love for the very first time, he's forced to confront the fact that while his parents sacrificed everything to raise him in the land of opportunity, their traditional expectations don't leave a lot of room for him to be a regular American teen. Desperate to be with Brit without his parents finding out, Frank turns to family friend Joy Song, who is in a similar bind. Together, they come up with a p…

Frankly in Love

by David Yoon

Overall Book Review:

There are some books I would never pick up if it weren’t for review purposes, and Frankly in Love is one of them. I had heard of this book and seen it all over Goodreads, but for some reason it just didn’t seem like something I would like. Well, I was wrong. Within the first few pages of this book, I was all in. I think part of what was so engaging about this particular story is that it’s from the perspective of Frank Li, a teen who is navigating the world of high school, and also happens to be Korean-American. 

For Frank, life in America is all he has known. His parents however, came to America years ago but are still deeply rooted in their Korean culture. It’s obvious that Frank has his life together for the most part…until he’s faced with the problem of falling for a girl who isn’t Korean. Frank has an older sister who has pretty much been disowned by their parents because she chose to date a guy with different colored skin than hers, so it’s clear that Frank is in a tough situation–listen to his heart, or his parents? 

Things get even more complicated when Franks friends get involved with his love life and try to help him hide his relationship from his parents. And the more Frank hides from his parents, the harder it is to keep up appearances. With a few surprise plot twists to keep the story exciting, Frankly in Love is a really fun read that covers topics such as race and heritage and complicated family relationships. 

Although this book is a romance, I could definitely see my brother stealing this book from me after I was finished with it, back when we were in high school. Pssst…if you love this book and are sad to see it end, it looks like there may be a sequel in the works!

Review of an Advance Reader’s Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 21 religious profanities; 11 mild obscenities; 5 religious profanities; 4 derogatory names; 32 scatological words; 18 anatomical terms; 1 offensive hand gesture; 42 F-Word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  Breaking and entering occurs in one brief scene of teens opening car doors and taking things from inside; a brief scene mention of a computer game with violence occurs; a carjacking is mentioned, a charge of involuntary manslaughter occured after someone tried to steal a car and pushed the driver out of the moving vehicle; a man in a movie is mentioned to kill himself; a report of a man with a gun shooting store owners is given, several people are mentioned to have been shot and injured and among them are one of the main character’s father who has to go to the hospital because of being shot; a boy punches another boy who “stole” his girlfriend; a verbal threat is made in one brief scene; dead bodies are mentioned to be seen in a computer game, no detail. 

Sex/Nudity:  A girl is referred to as “smoking hot”; a pair of minors are mentioned to have kissed accidentaly during a dare; a brief scene occurs where minors are described as “making out”; a boy is mentioned to want to kiss a girl he likes; a teen boy and girl kiss and touch hands in one brief scene; sex is referred to; nudity is depicted in a non-sexual way on a pamphlet and is mentioned several times; teens joke about sex several times; a teen boy talks about wanting to have sex with a specific type of girl; jokes are made in one brief scene about objects that look like sexual organs; a teen girl hugs and kisses a teen boy she is dating in a dressing room; jokes involving sexual innuendo are made; a teen couple are mentioned to kiss in a car and the girl sits on the boys lap and then they take each others shirts off, sex is implied to have occurred; a teen boy brags to his friend that he “did it”; a boy kisses another boy he is attracted to; it is implied that a teen couple is sexually active.

Mature Subject Matter:

Racism; Disownment of a child; Cancer; Racial profiling; Sexuality.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Minor smokes in one brief scene; adults offer beer to minors in a safe environment; an adult is described to be drunk and sick after drinking too much at an event; wine is offered to minors by an adult, minors drink wine; pot mentioned; jokes are made about an adult offering a minor weed and beer; a minor mentions he’s tried alcoholic drinks.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.