Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Frankly In Love by David Yoon

3 Stars

Actual footage of me attempting to check this out from the YA room of the downtown library . . . . .

Frank Li is your regular meganerd who, when not studying in an attempt to score 1500 or better on the SATs in order to get into “The Harvard,” can usually be found with his buddy Q . . . .

Like most nerds, Q and I spend our time watching obscure movies, playing video games, deconstructing the various absurdities of reality, and so on. We hardly ever talk about girls, for lack of material. Neither of us has dated anyone.

Occasionally, however, they do to for a visit to what they have dubbed “Lake Girlfriend” (a/k/a a fountain in the middle of the Westchester Mall) where they chuck a coin and wish for their perfect mate. Q’s lips have always been sealed when it comes to his secret crush, but Frank isn’t particularly choosy . . . .

“Basically I guess she has to be kind, is most important.” Q raises his eyebrows. “So no meanies. Got it.” “And she should make me laugh,” I say. “Any other vital criteria?” says Q. I think. Anything else – hobbies, musical tastes, fashion sense – doesn’t seem to matter that much. So I just shake my head no. Q gives the fountain a shrug. “That’s super romantic, like in the most basic sense.” “Basically,” I say.

No one is more surprised than our boy Frank when it appears Brit Means may be taking a shine to him. There’s only one thing that could get in the way of his chance at love – his parents. You see, Mr. and Mrs. Li aren’t exactly what you would call open to interracial dating. In fact, they are pretty blatantly racist to anyone not Korean. Frank has been able to balance his two worlds pretty well up to this point – and so has the daughter of their parents’ friend group, Joy Song. When he two find themselves in the same predicament regarding the opposite sex the solution is simple . . . .

“Me and Joy have come to this agreement, whereupon the arising of certain occasions for socializing of a romantic nature between, say, myself and a certain member of the female population who might cause tension within a certain traditionally minded population of our shared ethnicity, uh.”

“We’re fake-dating,” says Joy.

I won’t say more in an attempt to not spoil everything. I will just say things get a bit complicated. And also, real life happens because doesn’t it always? And Frank grows up and eventually everyone learns to . . . .

“Go do you.”

“What the hell else is there, right?”

Take my 3 Stars with a grain of salt. Per the .gif above, I was obviously not the target demographic for this one. Sadly, I didn’t really like Frank enough to give him more than that and his behavior regarding the girls made the momma in me want to beat his ass. I also thought this was WAAAAAY too long and could have easily had 100 pages cut and still have managed to get the point across. Buuuuuuuut, all that being said, I would gladly read a book about Q and probably give that one all the starz because I just loved him. (Looks like there may be a chance too since this is marked “#1” – I just hope David Yoon finds a co-writer or an adviser if that’s the case because “Our Voices” works for everyone and Q’s voice is certainly not David Yoon’s.)

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