Frankly in Love

‘Highly enjoyable read.’


Our main character Frank Li calls himself a Limbo, his term for all the Korean-American kids who feel trapped between their parents’ traditional expectations and their Southern California environment. This internal conflict can be found in this one rule Frank’s parents have made up: date a Korean. Which proves to be impossible when Frank Li falls for Brit Means, his beautiful and smart and white classmate. Fortunately, Joy Song – a fellow Limbo – struggles with the same, and the two of them come up with the perfect plan to cover their interracial romances: they fake-date. But then something unexpected happens that turns Frank’s world around, leaving him wondering if he ever even understood love in the first place.


{Disclaimer: this book has been gifted to me by Best of YA in exchange for an honest review. This has not changed my opinion whatsoever.}

I’m going to start this review off by saying I enjoyed this book, I really did. The pacing of the story was great and really kept me going. But there’s really only one thing I’d like to point out that made this story so awesome, and that is the amount of reality that has been woven into this fictional novel. Our main character spends a lot of time inside his head, pondering over what it means to be a Korean-American kid, and how he’d like to be known as. And for a while, I thought that was all we were going to get in this coming-of-age novel, but it turned out I was wrong. Racism toward Asians and African-Americans also entered the story over time, giving this story a whole new level of depth. I do feel like it could have been more inclusive than it ended up being, but this book already did a whole lot more than most other YA books.

Now I’d like to focus on something else: the way the teens in this story are being written. I couldn’t really sort out what it was that was bothering me while reading this book, but near the end, I finally figured it out: the way this teen – Frank Li – behaved, felt so stilted to me. I don’t even know why it bothered me so, because David Yoon surely isn’t the only adult writing from a perspective far younger than its own, but it still annoyed me, haha. That being said, I do feel the need to let you know that this book is a highly enjoyable read. I laughed out loud a lot, which is pretty rare to me.


I’d like to conclude by saying Frankly in Love is an enjoyable read that perfectly combines reality with fiction. I had a lot of fun reading this book about this confused teenage boy, and I’m sure a lot of you will also enjoy it. I’d recommend it to you if you are into contemporaries and a fan of the fake-dating trope.

Product information:
Written by: David Yoon
Pages: 432
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 1984812203
Interested? Buy the book here