Frankly In Love Review

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Such a cute rom-com! I really liked it, but not as much as I expected too from all the hype though. Penguin teen said it was a book to look out for and I’m pretty sure a lot of other publishing people were super excited when it came out. I liked the story and the side characters, but the writing style didn’t really click with me.
Spoiler Warning
The reason I gave this book such a high rating even though I didn’t LOVE it, was the ending. There are so little romances where the main character is not blissfully happy with their significant other in the end and I actually really liked that about this book.
I wasn’t a super big fan of the main character; he just seemed flat and actually kind of boring to me (he did like D&D though, so that was a point in his favor). What I did like about the main character though, was his relationships with other people. I really liked observing Frank’s complicated feelings towards his parents and other friends.
Speaking of his parents, I really didn’t like them. I know by the end of the novel you end up feeling bad for them because of the cancer and all, but still! They were racist. I can’t even imagine having parents like that. It’s almost worse because if they some other flaw Frank could teach them how to improve, but you can’t teach people to be kind to others if they don’t already know how. His home situation just seemed super depressing and desperate, because no matter what Frank said there was no way his parents would change. I’ve never read a novel where the character’s parents are so obviously racist; I’ve seen evil and just downright villainous parents, but never racist. This book had a ton of new, not ever seen topics in YA, which I found really refreshing.
My favorite of Frank’s friends was Q. He was such a good guy and even though he had a lot going on in his own life, he was still there for Frank when he needed him. I also liked the reveal at the end. Originally, I thought that the person Q had a crush on was Joy, but I really like how it turned out to be Frank instead. That is another thing that hasn’t been attempted in a novel before, at least in my reading experience: someone gay, having a crush on the main character who is strait. Seriously, this book is like the most original novel I’ve read in a while!
I also liked how the plot was character driven and not just plot driven. It was actually really nice to follow Frank Li thru his last year of school and not end the book once a set spot in time was achieved (ie. the end of a quest or the capturing of a bad guy). In real life, you don’t stop living once you have fallen in love or completed a quest (well, not completed a quest, because it’s relatively hard to find one on planet earth :P) and this book pictured real life very well. Anyway, the book actually was super similar to a John Green novel, at least in setting and plot structure. Both authors write their books without plot or an overarching story thread, and I really like that.
One last thing I loved about the book was Frank’s Calculus class. I want his math teacher to be my math teacher! Donuts and Coffee??!! If anyone ever finds a teacher who is this knowledgeable of how we teenagers operate, please tell me and I will come enroll in his or her class! When Frank was first describing the class, I was totally like, ‘oh, he’s definitely going to say he hates math’, but once again David Yoon went against the trope. I like that!
Overall, I did like this book: it was just too hyped and my expectations were set too high for me to LOVE it. I still had a hard time putting the book down each night, even though it didn’t become one of my favorites. I was thinking about comparing Frankly in Love to Nicola Yoon’s books, but I decided against it because David Yoon is probably already having a hard time differentiating his books from his wive’s and there are probably a lot of people comparing the two. I don’t think it’s fair to compare one author’s books to another’s even if they are family, unless it is in a good way (as in commending an author’s books by saying they are as good as another author’s novel) so I won’t be saying what I liked about Frankly in Love while taking into account Nicola’s books.
In conclusion, I would love to see more books from this author and although I don’t know where else the Frank Li story could go. There is a sequel announced though and I will be reading it!

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