Frankly in Love

Hey y’all! This has been in my TBR for the longest. I only have one book left to read on that list and I’m so ready to get to the last one. I went into Frankly in Love with really high hopes, but let’s just say, it didn’t live up to the hype.

Goodreads Synopsis

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all. 

Trigger warnings: panic attack, a shooting, parent with terminal illness, infidelity, microaggressions

The Good

The fact that Frank thought of Brit as exotic was so ironic, but in a funny way. It kind of reminded me of the “starving kids in America” moment from Crazy Rich Asians.

The second half actually got pretty interesting, especially when there was more about Frank’s Korean heritage. I liked how the story showed Frank’s struggle with his identity as a Korean-American. He was dealing with a lot when it came to his family and how he felt about his parent’s views.

The Not so Good

I really enjoyed the dorkiness of Frank and his friends at the beginning but it started to get a little annoying later into the story. It felt like the group was very stereotypically dorky. There wasn’t much nuance there.

This book has a trope I really can’t stand in it and I don’t want to give away any spoilers but it got me so mad. After that happened, I really couldn’t get into the story. I put the story on “really fast” speed so I could finish it sooner.

Frank was kind of a prick. He struck me as self-loathing at times, but not in a funny way. He also seemed to be romanticizing white culture during the first half of the story. It was kind of weird at times.

I wish we’d seen more of the supporting characters. Every time Hannah’s name was mentioned, I’d have to rack my brain to remember that she’s Frank’s sister. I think it would’ve been really interesting to have her as more involved in the story.

All in All

Definitely wasn’t for me. That one trope really ruined the story for me. I’m sure I probably would’ve liked this a whole lot more if it weren’t for that. Just because I wasn’t a fan, doesn’t mean you won’t be.

This sums up my feelings toward Frank:

2.5/5 Stars

Have you read Frankly in Love?

Do you have any tropes you hate?

What are you currently reading?

Let me know in the comments below, let’s chat!


Author: Rachelle Saint Louis

Rachelle Saint Louis is a Haitian-American writer, born and raised in South Florida. She received a 2018 Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for her poem “Red Blood Cell.” She is currently a Psychology and English double major at Florida Atlantic University. Her poetry has been published in Rigorous Magazine. Rachelle has been writing poetry since the 7th grade and you can often find her performing Spoken Word at local open mics.

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