Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Genre: Romance/Realistic Fiction

Number of Pages: 406

Frank Li is Korean American and his parents are very serious about him marrying a Korean girl someday. This was especially made apparent when they shunned his older sister simply for marrying a black man. When he begins to like a white girl in his math class he knows it would be a problem if his parents ever found out, but his Korean friend Joy is in a similar situation with her boyfriend so they decide to form a fake relationship so that both of their sets of parents can relax and be happy. As time goes on, however, Frank begins to realize that he does in fact like Joy and he thinks it’s possible he never noticed before because he felt pushed toward her by his parents. He does not want to be with a Korean girl simply because his parents think he should be, but he can’t deny the fact that he has some chemistry with Joy. Meanwhile, he is dealing with other issues such as what college he’s going to get into, how he can better help his parents with their store, and if there is any way to reunite his parents with his sister (whom he misses terribly). Can he make his parents proud without reaching all of the high expectations they have set for him? Can he make his own way in America without losing his Korean heritage? Can he be happy with a Korean girl?

This book cleverly depicts how many pressures are on teenagers from different cultural backgrounds. They are trying to make their way through adolescence while adults around them all seem to have different expectations for them. Frank is trying to balance his Korean heritage with his American upbringing. He knows his parents’ expectations are unfair and at times judgmental considering there aren’t that many Korean families in his community, but he still wants to make them proud, especially once he begins to suspect they are keeping some big news from him. We do not see a lot of books about Asian American culture, so this is a welcome addition to the library collection.

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