Frankly in Love by David Yoon


photo via GoodReads under the creative commons license

David Yoon’s debut novel Frankly in Love is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a readers workshop book

Many of you are probably familiar with Nicola Yoon’s recent books that turned into movies:  Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star.  Who knew her husband was a young adult writer also?!?

David Yoon has rocked the young adult book scene with his debut novel Frankly in Love.  It is about a high school senior named Frank Li, who classifies himself as an Apey (an AP student) and a Limbo (a person stuck between two cultures).  He is struggling with his identity and with the big change that looms for every senior.

His mother and father are first-generation immigrants from Korea.  They have a tight-knit group of Korean friends and have very high Korean expectations of their son.  When Frank falls in love with a white Apey, you can probably see how that might cause family trouble and stress for Frank.  There is a surprise twist at the end, and it’s not a positive one. It’s one that I didn’t see coming but really changes Frank’s view on life.

This book is a really fast read.  It is easily understood and has a lot of real teenager vibes just like Nicola Yoon’s books.  What I love most though, is that it shines a very accurate and sometimes difficult to see light on aspects of being a person of color in America.  Even though the main characters in this book are Korean-American, it brings in characters that touch on issues that people who are LatinX and LGBTQ and Black also face.

But overall, this book is a love story and a coming of age story.  Frank changes throughout this novel, just like all of us do when we face hard things.  This is an excellent book and worth every minute you will spend reading it.

Here’s a cool interview NPR did with David Yoon.  You can buy this book at Target and Barnes & Noble.