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Frankly in Love
Cover of Frankly in Love
Frankly in Love
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An Instant New York Times Bestseller and #1 Indie Bestseller!A William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist An Asian Pacific American Librarians Association Honor Two friends. One fake dating scheme....
An Instant New York Times Bestseller and #1 Indie Bestseller!A William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist An Asian Pacific American Librarians Association Honor Two friends. One fake dating scheme....
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  • An Instant New York Times Bestseller and #1 Indie Bestseller!
    A William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist


    An Asian Pacific American Librarians Association Honor
    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 plan to help each other and keep their parents off their backs. Frank thinks he's found the solution to all his problems, but when life throws him a curveball, he's left wondering whether he ever really knew anything about love—or himself—at all.
    In this moving debut novel—featuring striking blue stained edges and beautiful original endpaper art by the author—David Yoon takes on the question of who am I? with a result that is humorous, heartfelt, and ultimately unforgettable.
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the cover Mom-n-Dad work at The Store every day, from morning to evening, on weekends, holidays, New Year's Day, 365 days out of every year without a single vacation for as long as me and Hanna have been alive.

    Mom-n-Dad inherited The Store from an older Korean couple of that first wave who came over in the sixties. No written contracts or anything. Just an introduction from a good friend, then tea, then dinners, and finally many deep bows, culminating in warm, two-handed handshakes. They wanted to make sure The Store was kept in good hands. Good, Korean hands.

    The Store is an hour-long drive from the dystopian perfection of my suburban home of Playa Mesa. It's in a poor, sun-crumbled part of Southern California largely populated by Mexican- and African-Americans. A world away.

    The poor customers give Mom-n-Dad food stamps, which become money, which becomes college tuition for me.

    It's the latest version of the American dream.

    I hope the next version of the American dream doesn't involve gouging people for food stamps.

    I'm at The Store now. I'm leaning against the counter. Its varnish is worn in the middle like a tree ring, showing the history of every transaction that's ever been slid across its surface: candy and beer and diapers and milk and beer and ice cream and beer and beer.

    "At the airport," I once explained to Q, "they hand out title deeds by ethnicity. So the Greeks get diners, the Chinese get laundromats, and the Koreans get liquor stores."

    "So that's how America works," said Q, taking a deeply ironic bite of his burrito.

    It's hot in The Store. I'm wearing a Hardfloor tee shirt perforated with moth holes in cool black, to match my cool-black utility shorts. Not all blacks are the same. There is warm black and brown black and purple black. My wristbands are a rainbow of blacks. All garments above the ankles must be black. Shoes can be anything, however. Like my caution-yellow sneakers.

    Dad refuses to turn on the air-conditioning, because the only things affected by the heat are the chocolate-based candies, and he's already stashed those in the walk-in cooler.

    Meanwhile, I'm sweating. I watch a trio of flies trace an endless series of right angles in midair with a nonstop zimzim sound. I snap a photo and post it with the caption: Flies are the only creature named after their main mode of mobility.

    It makes no sense that I'm helping Mom-n-Dad at The Store. My whole life they've never let me have a job.

    "Study hard, become doctor maybe," Dad would say.

    "Or a famous newscaster," Mom would say.

    I still don't get that last one.

    Anyway: I'm at The Store only one day a week, on Sundays, and only to work the register—no lifting, sorting, cleaning, tagging, or dealing with vendors. Mom's home resting from her morning shift, leaving me and Dad alone for his turn. I suspect all this is Mom's ploy to get me to bond with Dad in my last year before I head off to college. Spend father-n-son time. Engage in deep conversation.

    Dad straps on a weight belt and muscles a hand truck loaded with boxes of malt liquor. He looks a bit like a Hobbit, stocky and strong and thick legged, with a box cutter on his belt instead of a velvet sachet of precious coins. He has all his hair still, even in his late forties. To think, he earned a bachelor's degree in Seoul and wound up here. I wonder how many immigrants there are like him, working a blue-collar job while secretly owning a white-collar degree.

    He slams his way out of the dark howling maw of the walk-in cooler.

    "You eat," he says.

    ...

About the Author-

  • David Yoon grew up in Orange County, California, and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, novelist Nicola Yoon, and their daughter. He drew the illustrations for Nicola's #1 New York Times bestseller Everything, Everything. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Frankly in Love, which was a William C. Morris Award finalist and an Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature Honor book. You can visit him at davidyoon.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 24, 2019
    Caught in a brawl between romance and family expectations, Frank Li isn’t sure which one will knock him out first. His Korean immigrant parents have already disowned his sister for dating a non-Korean, so when Frank falls for a white classmate, he settles on a con. His partner in crime is fellow Korean-American Joy Song, and together they begin a for-their-parents’-eyes relationship that allows them to spend time with their real crushes—but might not be so fake after all. Yoon’s debut examines issues of identity through a significant but often-overlooked subset of the Korean diaspora in California: working-class immigrants and their first-generation children. Frank’s parents’ racism is overtly presented alongside classism, microaggressions, and prejudice that subtly touch all characters. Yoon never settles for stereotypes, instead giving his well-defined characters a diversity of experience, identity, sexuality, and ambition. Told in youthful-sounding prose, Frank’s journey reaches beyond Korean-American identity and touches on the common experiences of many children of immigrants, including negotiating language barriers, tradition, and other aspects of what it means to be a “hyphenated” American. Ages 14–up.

  • AudioFile Magazine Right from the start, narrator Raymond J. Lee fully inhabits funny, endearing, nerdy-and-proud-of-it California high school senior Frank Li. Frank is studying for the SATs, hanging out with his fellow AP classmates, falling in love, and thinking a lot about his identity as the son of Korean immigrants, all with the heightened feelings of a teenager experiencing these things for the first time. In one affecting passage, Frank overhears a seemingly fraught conversation in Korean between his father and a family friend. Because Frank doesn't know much Korean, he doesn't understand what they're saying, and unless the listener knows Korean, neither do we. Lee's emotionally and culturally authentic performance will have listeners rooting for Frank through many twists and turns, all the way to the audiobook's lovely conclusion. J.M.D. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

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