I am so excited to announce that we are a part of Libro.fm’s ALC program! This provides reviewers/influencers with the opportunity to listen to upcoming and new release audiobooks to review.
Thank you to Penguin Random House (Penguin Teen) and Libro.fm for the opportunity to listen and review this title early!
Title: Frankly in Love
Author: David Yoon
Series: Frankly in Love
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Fiction
Release Date: September 10, 2019
This book was a really enjoyable one to break up a bunch of fantasy reading. If you didn’t know, the author is Nicola Yoon’s husband–the author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star. That wasn’t one of my main reasons for picking up this book but it was a cool fact! This book follows the story of Frank, who is caught in between a rock and a hard place with dating. His parents have traditional Korean views and believe that he should ‘date Korean’, which proves to be an issue when he falls for a girl who is white. Frank and a fellow Korean girl named Joy make a pact to pretend date so that their parents are satisfied and they can date whomever they want. But, of course, no good romance story is that easily told and there are tons of emotions! Frank was a very likable main character. Hearing the story told through his eyes was intriguing and interesting and I just couldn’t stop listening. I found that the plot was a balance of tougher topics and lighter topics, which was also a plus for me. Korean culture is discussed at different lengths throughout this book and it was great to learn about another culture. The supporting characters in this book are quite strong. Britt and Joy are wonderfully different but wonderfully perfect for Frank in different ways. I found that I enjoyed seeing both of their relationships blossom over the course of the novel.
This isn’t a dislike, but more of an FYI: if you’re looking for a fluffy rom-com, this book isn’t it. I thought that was what it was going into it and quickly found that it wasn’t. It deals with fairly heavy topics including terminal illness and it is honestly heart-wrenching in places (in a good way). There were many parts where Korean was spoken but not translated and while this was a little confusing, it did work for the book as a whole, with strong cultural vibes. This isn’t a particular dislike either, but Frank’s parents are hard to love at times. They are a little controlling and stuck in their ways, which makes it frustrating as a millennial to listen to, but you have to understand that they are traditionally Korean cultured. I found towards the end of the book, I felt for the parents even more and ended up liking them.
The narrator of this book is named Raymond J. Lee and I thought he did a wonderful job! When listening to audiobooks, I usually judge based on the ease of pace, ability to listen on a speed higher than 1x, and overall emotion. For ease of pace, I think the narrator paced himself well and took his time reading the words. As for ability to listen on a higher speed, I was able to listen to this book on 2.25x speed with no issue of needing to go back and re-listen, etc. Overall emotion was the strongest suit of this narrator. I felt like he truly was Frank, going through all of the trials and tribulations. That really sold it for me as being a great audiobook!
I would recommend this to fans of contemporary titles as well as those who are looking for a romance that isn’t all lovey-dovey all of the time.