Who is here for the fake dating trope!
Because I definitely see your raised hands. 😌🙌🏻Fake dating that goes wrong…which means it goes right (?!!?)…has been a bit of a beloved trope since To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, so I was pretty hyped to hear Frankly In Love would centre around it too! And the buzz for this one has been quite loud. 👀 It was in a 10-house publisher auction and already has a movie deal.
I definitely think it mixed “fluffy romcom” with “tackling heavy topics” quite well. Funny characters! Flawed characters! It had it all! While I ended the book with a few concerns, it’s a relatable story full of quirky voice and epic relationships.
Frank is (quite frankly) super easy to love
This felt like a nod back to the good ol’ John Green style of contemporary (which I personally love!) but with Korean-American characters and discussions on race and identity. Frank was a total DORK, in the best possible way. He’s compelling and while he seemed to have no talents to speak of 🤗 he definitely kept you hooked reading with his compelling voice.
#ownvoices Korean-American rep
Frank’s parents were born in Korean and immigrated to the USA, so he has a lot of diaspora about being Korean…but also he can’t speak the language, he doesn’t relate to his parents or their views, and he feels American. He can’t even properly communicate with his dad who doesn’t speak much English, while Frank doesn’t speak any Korean. And he’s angry at how racist his parents are (they literally cut off his older sister for marrying a black man) but kind of just….goes with the flow.
Hence the “fake dating” comes in: his parents want him with a nice Korean girl. Aka Joy. Frank is in love with Britt (white) from his calculus class. Joy and Frank agree to fake-date (they even make a very organised google calendar for it) so they can live their lives freeeee of parental expectation. Except turns out they have a lot in common and get on so well and and and–
tackling harder topics too
It’s not pure fluff. In fact, the ending really isn’t fluffy at all. I’ve heard some readers got a bit of whip-lash from the change, but I think it flowed. It’s just Frank made a lot of decisions that made me dislike him.
such dynamic relationships
Dude, I freaking LOVED the friendship between Frank and Q. They talk in such old fashion nonsense, they’re super nerds (even doing dungeon and dragon’s campaigns which I know zilch about except from watching Stranger Things lol), and just really tight. Their dialogue was my faaaavourite. And I loved Britt’s nerdiness as well as Joy’s hyper explosive personality. Frank is just an easy going pudding. So he meshes with whoever.
flawed characters or…erm, should they be called out?
And ok real talk: I think characters should be flawed, teens should make immature decisions and books should be full of emotional catastrophes. But 👀Yeah a few things went down here that made me uncomfortable. I’ll put them in spoiler tags as they are a bit spoilery. But you do you.
overall i’d recommend this to bookworms who love character driven contemporaries that tackle the fluff and the tough!
It was super compelling and easy to get absorbed in. Lots of dry humour, dialogue quirk, and Frank balancing his increasingly messy and complicated love life.
Thanks Penguin AUS for the ARC! Released Sept 17, 2019
Frank loves Joy. Joy loves Frank. At least, that’s what they tell their parents . . . a brilliant, funny, quirky YA romance.
Frank Li is a high school senior living in Southern California. Frank’s parents emigrated from Korea, and have pretty much one big rule for Frank – he must only date Korean girls. But he’s got strong feelings for a girl in his class, Brit – and she’s not Korean. His friend Joy Song is in the same boat and knows her parents will never accept her boyfriend, so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks fake-dating is the perfect plan, but it leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love – or himself – at all.
David Yoon’s debut novel is a quirky, authentic, heartbreaking romantic comedy and a refreshingly different take on race, immigrant communities, friendship and family.
| what do you think? |
have you read this one? what’s the last contemporary book you read? have you read many other fake-dating-trope books and do you like it???