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5 reasons why James chose Frankly in Love as his book club pick!


Hey there, fellow YA fans! It’s James from Penguin Teen. You may have seen that we’ve just launched the James & Joy Book Club! Watch our September Book Haul, featuring all the new books that we have on shelves this month:



As you know, I’ve selected Frankly in Love by David Yoon as my September Book Club Pick. If you’re curious about why I picked it, here’s a full rundown of why (to be quite frank) I’m in love with this book!


1. I never thought I’d see myself in a YA protagonist.

As an Asian American, I wish I’d had Frankly in Love when I was growing up. The book illustrates specific experiences from the Asian American community that so rarely receive mainstream representation in media and books, and I think the specificity of the story will resonate with readers from all backgrounds and ages.


2. It’s honest about what it’s like to be a teenager.

Frankly in Love bench

Whether you’re in high school right now or looking back to your high school years, Frankly in Love illustrates the reality of being a teenager—the good, the bad, and the in between.


3. It’s about love in all its forms.

The book’s protagonist, 17-year-old Frank Li, finds himself caught between his Korean parents’ expectations (who only want him to date a Korean girl) and his crush on his friend Brit Means, who is white. Frank loves his family, but he struggles as their expectations for him make it difficult for him to date the girl he wants to be with.

My all-time favorite quote from the book is, “We all just want to love who we want to love.” And really, at the end of the day, isn’t that something we all just want to do?

(Also, the above scene is from the epic trailer for the book, which you can watch HERE!)


4. It’s FUNNY!

Frankly multiple copies

Humor is an integral part of storytelling in any form, and Frankly in Love nails it so. forking. well. Frank channels his life through such a unique lens, which balances the gravity of the story with just the right amount of funny.


5. The author, David Yoon, is downright awesome (and I got to meet him when he visited our office).



Yes, I was grinning the whole time and trying (unsuccessfully) to hold in my emotions about his book.


P.S. Shout-out to the person who commented on our book haul video to say that “James’s voice is so soothing I could listen to him all day.” To me, my voice sounds nasally whenever I use it, so I’m glad someone feels differently about it! 😂


Frankly in Love is on shelves now! Want to meet David Yoon on his book tour? See if he’s coming to a city near you!


Have you read about Joy’s pick yet? She picked Rules for Vanishing, and here are her 5 reasons why!


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