Frankly in Love quotes: 10 excerpts from David Yoon’s YA Contemporary

I absolutely adored Frankly in Love, a heartfelt and thoughtful contemporary from David Yoon. It’s not quite the book that the hype promises–Frankly in Love is being aggressively marketed as a lead title for Penguin Teen, and having read the book, I don’t think the spin is accurate.

That said, it is a wonderful story of heritage, family, and the many meanings of love, and you should definitely pick it up. You can read my five-star review here.

In honor of the book’s release this month, I picked up a finished copy and revisited 10 of my favorite quotes from Frankly in Love.

~Minimal spoilers: quotes used here will reference basic plot elements that you’d know from the jacket copy~

I loved the little prologue discussing Frank’s name (two names, really) and what it means for his relationship to his Korean heritage. It ends with this great button:

America, this is Korea. Korea, this is America.
Everyone good? Can I go do my thing now?

Yoon jumps into the humor right away. Frank remembers the halcyon days of junior year:

But the PSAT?
A mere trial, we juniors sand. What counts not for shit, your grace!

I loved Frank’s evolving understanding of the way his parents try (sometimes failing) at communicating love, including through the Korean concept of “Jeong.”

Jeong is kinda hard to pin down. I mean, I’m not exactly expert on all things Korean, but I guess the closest meaning would be something like bonding or affection. I mostly understand it as shutting the hell up and just being together.”

Mostly, Frank wishes he didn’t have to spend so much time and energy navigating different cultures and expectations.

There are too many worlds in my head–Palomino High School, The Store, the Gathering–all with their own confusing laws of nature, gravitational strengths, and speeds of light, and really all I want to do is reach escape velocity, bust out into space, and form my own planet tweaked just how I want it.
Planet Frank. Invitation only.”

This little paragraph pops up when things are going great between Frank and Brit, and sums up everything wonderful about him:

Let me tell you something. I live to make people laugh. Parents, siblings, friends, lovers, doesn’t matter. I just have to. If you for some reason don’t know how to make someone laugh, then learn. Study that shit like it’s the SAT. If you are so unfortunate as to have no one in your life who can make you laugh, drop everything and find someone. Cross the desert if you must. Because laughter isn’t just about the funny. Laughter is the music of the deep cosmos connecting all human beings that says all the things mere words cannot.”

I love this exchange, which sums up the premise nearly:

I take a breath and continue. “We made our parents think we’re dating, so that way I can go out as much as I want with Brit, and Joy with Wu.”
“Because Brit is–“
“And Wu is–“
“And your parents don’t–“

Shortly after, this quote just made me laugh:

It’s too pathetic to watch. So I face palm, but with the door frame. “I’m gonna pee.”
“Like, really pee?” says Ella, still holding her head. “Or just fake-pee?””

Frank reconsiders his prejudice against the Korean-American kids that appear so comfortable with their Korean identity… but only a little”

We hung out with the super-Koreans. They were really cool and friendly. They’re no different from us Limbos, except that they’re 100 percent fluent in both languages and can electric-slide effortlessly between cultures while being perfectly confident in identifying as Korean first, American second, and are basically better at everything than I could ever be, so fuck them.”

I’ve plucked this little line from a longer section about a relationship falling apart. It’s really the core of the story:

…love is a belief mutually held”

And finally, no context for this one, because it shows up towards the end and there would be spoilers. But Frank is admiring his own work (on a project related to a video monitor, if you’ve read the book and remember) and I loved how pleased he was to have gotten this one thing right.

I’m so proud of myself I could puke rainbows.”

Have you read the book? Let me know your favorite Frankly in Love quotes!

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