Review Blog

Oct 01 2019

Frankly in love by David Yoon

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Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9780241373439
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. This is David Yoon's first book and it marks him as an author to follow. The story of Frank Li explores racism, friendship, families and love in a sensitive and engaging page turner.
Frank belongs to the Limbos. Limbos are second-generation Korean-American young people walking the line between their involvement in American culture in school and their Korean culture at home.
David's writing is nuanced and witty as he describes Frank's journey in negotiating the perils of young love with the backdrop of high expectations. Frank's parents expect their children to marry Koreans and have already disowned Frank's older sister for dating an American. An elaborate scheme to 'fake date' leads to Frank growing in awareness as he becomes a conflicted and insightful observer of his parents and friends. Frank is able to see his parents as complex characters with unique experiences.
How easy it is to take it for granted that children will speak the same language as their parents. This story highlights the language and cultural barriers immigrant families negotiate on a daily basis. Frank wants to understand his father and mother - and is pressed to action by circumstances arising from a chance encounter.
The themes of racism and love are intelligently and sensitively explored in a way that has the reader laughing out loud, or aching with compassion, in response to the well-drawn authentic characters. David's clever writing invites the reader to consider that the adults can be just as compelled to 'fit in' as any teenager.
So frankly this book was a joy to read.
Linda Guthrie

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