Book Review on Frankly In Love By David Yoon
Small update: I haven't posted on here for a while after google plus closed for consumers. I was just bummed out by that because I was a part of a lot of groups on there. Since then, I've been hopping back and forth blogging platforms to try to find that perfect one again. Here I am again to give this another try. Hoping my audience is still hanging around here.
Frankly In Love by David Yoon is a book I picked up a while ago because the synopsis captivated and hit too close to home for me. I recently finished reading it and initial review is that this book is such a laid book and steady flow read for me. It was like reading an asian soap opera watching everything unfold at a nice pace. The book gives the reader a very accurate view on how asian culture and family is. Asians are a very close and tight knit race that stick together in a foreign land.
I love how Frank struggles with pleasing his parents so he doesn't follow his sister, Hanna's old road in life. Hanna was the perfect daughter, becoming a successful lawyer and the jewel in their parents' eyes until she chose to fall in love with an African american man. This is a big no no for a lot of old school asian families. You will face being disowned by your family and that's exactly what happens to Hanna. I know it's much more open minded now in reality but there is still a certain amount of distaste in the back of a lot of asian parents' mind when their children bring home significant others of a different race.
Another aspect I loved, was the foundation that was built among the older generation of how they would have these monthly gatherings at each others' houses to catch up on life, let their children hang out and continue the tradition hopefully. When asians immigrate to another country, they certainly do make it a goal to move to a town or city where there are other asians or try to locate other asians. In the book, seems like the few families mentioned were old school friends who landed in the same area in California. They are all well off whether it was starting their own laundromats, restaurants, and stores. And when asians get together they typically like to boast and show off what their wealth and success have gotten them. For example, expensive cars, giant houses, living in nice neighborhoods, and how smart and accomplished their children are. This rings very factual as whenever I go out with family the conversations always spiral to my son or daughter works there or did this so forth. It's normal and definitely was vert enjoyable to read about in the book.
When Frank's relationship with Brit goes down the drain, and he and Joy became official, I was leaping and squealing in joy. I had been cheering for them since they both appeared in the same scene in the book. Everything was fine and dandy until a joke goes wrong at a gathering and everything started going south for them too. I was screaming no after watching them go through everything with their previous significant others and Joy being there with Frank when his father got shot and learning his father was diagnosed with cancer. Thick and thin in other words.
This shows us how much influence parents hold over their children especially in asian families. In the book even Frank wonders how long do parents hold power over them and if it is only as long as we allow them. And then he believes they will hold power over them until they die and beyond. Typically it's the girl that usually crumbles under a parent's pressure to stop seeing someone and Joy does crumble before Frank. Frank only crumbled and let go when he sees that Joy has completely lost her footing in what he describes as love being a mutual belief and once one side starts doubting that's it. That section of the book broke my heart. Two people that loved each other but watching them slowly being forced to let go because their parents' are unable to put down their pride.
Pride is a major thing in asian families and something that they won't let go of even if it kills them which to me is stupid. I see how pride has torn families apart including my own. It's a trait we need and yet it will also destroy us. And even if differences are resolve, pride leaves a scar wedged between people forever. It's a cruel thing.
When Frank's dad condition starts getting worse, there is a show of sincere concern and closure when Joy and her family come back to visit Frank when he broke his ankle and Frank's dad condition is known to everyone. I wish that scene was elaborated a bit more between the two father's - some sort of resolve would have been nice to see but that's typical asians for you. What I did see was Joy and Frank still in love but unable to fight to break free from the power of parents.
The most touching part to me was when Hanna and Miles came back home to spend time with the family in their dad's last days of life and finally see acceptance. Frank states his parents were finally able to see how stupid their pride was, how ashamed and bad they felt for how they treated their daughter and her husband. Remorse is never too late. That was a very bittersweet moment for me to read.
Joy and Frank's final goodbye was heart wrenching to me. They will always love each other but because of their parents' pride - we don't get a direct answer on whether or not they will ever get back together.
Overall, this book was amazing. I loved it. The writing style, the backstory, the genre was just too close to home. This one is definitely in my top ten favorite reads of all times.