book review

Book Review: Frankly In Love by David Yoon

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.

I read the ebook version of this that I borrowed from Libby.

The selection that my home library chooses for Libby is impressive, the more I use it. I admit, for the longest time I felt annoyed because it seemed all the newer titles always had a huge waitlist but recently I have been doing a bit of a deep dive into older titles or less popular titles that are available right now. My last few picks have been absolute gems and this one was no exception. It was freakin’ amazing.

On the surface, this seems like a normal YA romance but in a guys perspective but there is just soo much going on and the romance aspect, though, important to the plot and a good chunk of the entire point of the novel but there is so much more about racisim (and not the typical type), classism, being first generation American and even some LGBTQ elements. Oh, and it’ll destroy you, so make sure you have tissues handy. It’s also pee your pants hilarious at times so there is definitely a balance.

Rating: Five stars! I cannot wait for the sequel.

“Humanity’s greatest strength – and also the reason for its ultimate downfall – is its ability to normalize even the bizarre.”

― David Yoon, Frankly in Love

book review

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.

But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.

Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face.

I read the ebook version via Libby.

I had never heard of this book before, but I saw it on Libby and it felt like it was the type of book that I should be reading. I am so glad that this was on Libby and it came across my radar as this was one of the best books I have read.

This was YA, but I thought this was one of those stories that would appeal to any age group. Jade was such a great character and I loved seeing how much she grew into herself throughout the book. Jade knew that what kind of person she wanted to be, and she knew where she wanted to go in her life but she didn’t quite know how she was going to get there, and this story explored how Jade grew within herself to understand herself, and the people around her.

This was a perfect read. Five stars.