My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: September 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Family, Senior Year, Korean Culture
This novel was written by the husband of Nicola Yoon, the amazing writer of EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING and THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR so, of course, I absolutely needed to read this book ASAP.
I really liked the representation. I knew little about Korean social norms and cultural habits before going into this book so my brain was definitely awake and ready to learn. Without info-dumping us, the author clearly explained why Frank Li felt caught between two worlds and why he disagreed with some of his parents’ beliefs and traditions.
The writing is also great. I enjoyed reading Frank Li’s thoughts because he has quite an original way of expressing them. He is a little weird, yes, and that made me glad. Weird can be very interesting sometimes. But that doesn’t mean that I loved everything about Frank Li and approved of every one of his decisions.
Actually, I was sure I would give this book four solid stars when I started it. And I still am tempted to give it more than three because of the diverse themes David Yoon explored and how realistic the story felt. Alas, I have very mixed feelings about the romance. I’m confused about Frank Li’s feelings for Brit Means. Part of me lost a bit of respect for him because of the love mess. I can’t help it. There are some things I just can’t tolerate and cheathing is one of them.
I still recommend it because of the amazing representation and the narrator’s engaging voice, but I don’t recommend it highly if what you want is a swoon-worthy teen romance.
Follow me on: