cover image Frankly in Love

Frankly in Love

David Yoon. Putnam, $18.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-9848-1220-9

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. [em](Sept.) [/em]