Frankly in Love by David Yoon – A Tearjerker on Family and Ethnic Identity

Title: Frankly In Love
Author: David Yoon
Publisher: Penguin Random House – Putnam
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Content Warning: Racism, Character Death, Grief

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“We doing okay, Frankie. You going college? Nice girl meeting? Make beautiful baby? That’s it. I die, oh Frankie-ya, you doing good, I smiling smiling. Final breath I taking before shuffle off this mortal coil.”

You know how people sometimes ask which books would you tell people to read if you want them to get to know you? If you want to get to know me, Frankly in Love is one of those books.

I buddy read this with Sandra from gotathingforthings, and I’m so glad I did because I would have DNF’d this at 100 pages if I hadn’t. I went into this book with the wrong mindset because it’s been marketed as a romcom when the romance isn’t really a huge part of the book. I thought I would be reading a story about a boy with strict Korean parents who falls in love with a girl outside his race and spends the whole story working around his parents. Eventually, the parents would see the error of their ways and everyone would live happily ever after…or something like that. But this is definitely not that, Frankly in Love is about family, ethnic identity, and finding your place in the world. Asian-Americans, you should definitely read this book!

It starts off with Frank Li, an incredibly book smart Korean-American senior in high school who’s studying for the SAT’S, an exam that will help determine which colleges he may get into. His parents are Korean immigrants who work at and own a grocery store, don’t speak English fluently, and have very traditional views. Because Frank was born and raised in America, he and his parents’ views often clash. Knowing this, and knowing his parents are racist against anyone who isn’t Korean, Frank becomes worried when he begins to date Brit, a white girl. As a result, he and his family and Korean friend, Joy, devise a plan to fake date in order to cover up their interracial relationships.

100 pages into this story, I wanted to DNF it. I felt the writing style was sporadic and full of way too many onomatopoeia that didn’t mesh well with me. Story wise, I could not stand Frank and his relationship with Brit. I am all for and have also been in an interracial relationship, but I didn’t like that Frank kept making excuses for Brit’s microaggressions because she was a “woke” white person and somethings she just “didn’t know about.” I also didn’t like that he had nothing good to say about his parents. It felt like Frank resented them for living in their own world and making it seem like everyone else had to fit in it. But luckily, Frank grows up.

As the story progresses Frank starts to see that though Brit may have educated herself, she is still on the outside looking in. Brit can empathize with being Asian-American, but it doesn’t shape her like it shapes Frank. He still doesn’t point this out to Brit, but at the very least he begins to ponder it. What really changes is how Frank views his parents. He starts to question why his parents work at a grocery store, what it was like for them to fall in love in Korea and move to America, and why they are so stubbornly Korean. They go from adults who provided for him but didn’t understand him, to people who struggled to create a better life for themselves and their family. Once Frank realizes this, he slowly starts to see the love in his parents’ work and actions.

This is another book I feel I can’t do justice. So many scenes and quotes are running through my mind and I keep walking away to think about them again. I am not Korean-American, but I am Filipino-American, and Frank’s relationship with his parents is spot on with my relationship with my parents. First, I know this doesn’t apply to everyone, but I have an amazing relationship with my parents. Growing up, my relationship with my parents was exactly like that of Frank and his parents: The parents provide so the kids can grow up better than they did. ‘Til this day, my parents take that “parents provide” thing seriously, and I have been spoiled rotten because of it. If my parents could give me the world, they would, and I love them so much for that.

But growing up, I didn’t see that that was what my parents were doing. I just saw that they weren’t affectionate with me like my friend’s parents were, and everything they did was wrong because everything everyone else did felt better. I pulled away from my parents and Filipino culture and became more “Americanized.” It took me years and a couple of pep talks from my parents to make me comfortable enough to wonder and care enough to ask my parents about who they are and what their life used to be like and why they are the way they are. And once I started asking those questions and getting some answers, my parents’ beliefs and mannerisms suddenly all made sense (That’s the less drama-filled version of how it went down anyways lol >.>). Again, I know this isn’t how it happens for everyone. I know a lot of Asian-Americans who choose to be or because of other circumstances are not connected with their parents or their roots, but this is how it was for me, and this is why I feel so connected to Frank’s story. His journey to becoming a balanced Korean-American is a lot like my experience trying to balance being Filipino and American. We both connected with our parents and then wanted to know more about our culture.

I did not expect to love this as much as I did. I even ranted about my complaints to my cousins and Sandra until about 200 pages in. But as I read on, Frank’s story resonated with me more and more, and I found myself crying at midnight because it hit so close to home. I highly recommend giving Frankly in Love a shot, and it’s a must read for Asian-Americans trying to connect with their parents and bicultural identity. It’s a new favorite of the year and possibly of all time for me!


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I received an ARC via the publisher at ALA in exchange for an honest review.Quotes were taken from an unfinished proof copy and may not be the same in the finished work. 


July Book Haul

Hey everyone!

Today I present to you my July book haul. 12 physical books doesn’t seem that much to me, but I found out working at a library auto approves you for some eARC’s and I went a little download happy… Hope you enjoy!

dividerTraditional Bookstores

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Heartstopper: Volume 2 by Alice Oseman
Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Jade War by Fonda Lee ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Use Bookstores

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Red Knight by Miles Cameron
The Fell Sword by Miles Cameron
The Dreadwyrm by Miles Cameron

Twitter Purchases

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

ARC Trades

Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger
Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart
War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker
Crochet Cute Critters by Sarah Zimmerman
Fortuna Sworn y K.J. Sutton
Unverified by Kristin Giese


Handle with Care by Helena Hunting
Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and More Prehistoric Amigurumi edited by Joke Vermeiren
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Shadow Frost by Coco Ma
A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price
The King’s Questioner by Nikki Katz
Rogue Princess by B.R. Myers
Diamond City by Francesca Flores
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
If You Only Knew by Prerna Pickett
Glitch Kingdom by Sheena Boekweg
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

dividerHave you read any of these? Did you love or hate it? Is there anything you think I should read ASAP? I’d love to hear from you!

Cya! ^^

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August TBR – The N.E.W.T.S.

The Magical Readathon is a Harry Potter themed readathon created and hosted by Book Roast. Check her fun fun channel out!

Hey everyone!

Today I’m going to be sharing with you all my TBR for the N.E.W.T.S. I failed last year, but this year I WILL become a healer! I need to read a total of 10 books, but I am determined!

Before I get into this post, most of what I list are ARC’s of books that haven’t been published yet. I am very fortunate to have parents who support my decision to pursue an MLIS and am privileged to work at a library and be able to attend full librarian conferences which allow me to obtain these ARC’s.

Now to my TBR!


Healer Requirements
E in Charms
E in Defense Against the Dark Arts
E in Herbology
E in Potions
E in Transfiguration

Healer Prompts

Charms A: Read a book that you think has a gorgeous cover
The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang

Charms E: Read a comic/graphic novel/manga (or book under 150 pages)
Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker

Defense Against the Dark Arts A: Book that’s black under the dust jacket
Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Defense Against the Dark Arts E: Gilderoy’s memory charm – (grab a pen! first book that you remembered just now from your TBR!)
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

 Herbology A: Mandrake! Quick, put your headphones on! Listen to an audiobook (if not – green cover)
Stormrise  by Jillian Boehme

Herbology E: Read a book between 350-390 pages
Beasts of the Frozen Sun by Jill Criswell

Potions A: Pollyjuice potion: read your friend’s favorite book!
Nevernight  by Jay Kristoff

Potions E: House ingredient: book with a cover in your Hogwarts house color
American Royals by Katharine McGee

Transfiguration A: Read a book with LQBTQA+ representation
There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

Transfiguration E: Read a book that’s not a first in the series
Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Extra TBR

Handle with Care by Helena Hunting
Heartstopper: Volume Two by Alice Oseman
Fortuna Sworn by K. J. Sutton
Unverified by Kristen Giese
Well Met by Jen DeLuca

dividerAre you joining the Magical Readathon? What books are you looking forward to reading this month? I’d love to hear from you!

Cya! ^^

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July Wrap-Up

It’s that time of the month! Let’s get straight to it!

dividerTotal Books Read: 7
Total Books From Planned TBR: 7/11

I’m actually really proud of that considering I’m a huge mood reader. For some reason I want to be able to stick to TBR’s more consistently. I just think it makes for more organized content for myself later on lol. Other than that, I’ve been trying to read 10 books a month, but Jade War took up a lot of time so I’m still going to call this a win! ^^


Books Read

 In Waves by AJ Dungo ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
»my review« Bittersweet and informative but ultimately too simple for me. Fun fact, though! I couldn’t figure out why the author’s name sounded so familiar, and then I realized I used to play Lineage 2 with one of him and a few of his friends about 15 years ago. I checked his Facebook page to confirm, and sure enough it was him and he talked about publishing this graphic novel! Small freaking world. o.o

 Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry (arc) ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Full review to come closer to publishing date, and I’m also still trying to process this. Orpheus Girl tells the story of two sapphic young women in conservative Texas who are caught together in a compromising position and are sent to conversion therapy camp. Major trigger warnings for homophobia, torture, depression, and suicide. Let’s just say, I am cishet, and this book physically hurt me. I gave this a 3 stars for the same reason I gave Fat Girl on a Plane 3 stars: it illustrates a cruel truth about the world yet still tells an important story.

 Stardust by Neil Gaiman ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Whenever I think of the word “whimsical” I will forever think of Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I listened to this as an audiobook because it’s narrated by Neil Gaiman and I was easily and eagerly sucked into the little town of Wall and the world beyond. The lyrical prose and Gaiman’s soft and comforting voice set the tone for a perfect fairy tale. I plan to do a mini review of this one as soon as I get to Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane.

 Jade War by Fonda Lee (arc) ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Review to come because I once again deleted it with no way to get it back. -.- This was awesome!! It expanded on the world and characters of Jade City, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book as carefully as I did this one (which is why it took forever). I have so many thoughts on this, and even though I gave it 5 stars, I don’t know if I can say it’s perfect. For now I’m settling with “clever but I’m salty” ehe…

 The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan by Sherry Thomas (arc) ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Review to come closer to publishing date! The Magnolia Sword is an #ownvoice Mulan retelling that is more historically accurate than Disney’s Mulan. I changed my rating from 5 stars to 4 stars because its length didn’t allow for chemistry to build between characters and information about the world was dumpy everywhere. However, for some reason I flew threw this in 2 days because I still thought it was an enjoyable read.

 Heartstopper by Alice Oseman ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This was really cute, but I need to read the next installment to have a real feel for the story. Essentially, this is about two boys who become friends over rugby. One is out as gay and the other is questioning his sexuality. I have a feeling I’m going to love the series as a whole, but for now I’m going to stick with a safe 3 stars. Mini review to come along with Heartstoppers Vol. 2!

 Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
RTC! o.o Um…holy shit?? I heard this was steamy but woaaaaa was this steamy! Imagine reading this several feet away from your mother (obvs. like me). I had to leave the living room because I was scared to make embarrassing faces in front of my family. Needless to say, there were much more sexy times than I’m used to, but there was also a lot of plot, too! I had so much fun reading this and would also love recommendations for books like it… but I think I might also need Jesus >.>


Book Reviews

 The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
 Wicked Fox by Kat Cho
 In Waves by AJ Dungo
 One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

dividerBlog Hop
Posts I loved by you! 

This pirate captain’s review of Gods of Jade and Shadow.
This adorable Pancake Book Tag and Mukbang from Elaine from Elaine Howlin
This interview with Rebecca Kuang that made me wonder how someone so young could be so talented from Petrick Leo of Novel Notions. 
This review of The Rage of Dragons that got my hype for this book from Hiu Gregg of The Fantasy Inn
This post on broken, awkward, incompetent, and mismatched heroes that made me nod in agreement over and over again from Kathy at Pages Below the Vaulted Sky
This review of Jade City that made me remember why I love the Green Bone Saga so much by Mr. Renzol

dividerWhew! Done! I’m hoping my allergies and migraines go away soon so I can get back into the swing of things, but overall, I had an enjoyable month! How was yours? Any new favorites or interesting discussion posts I should check out? Let me know!

Cya! ^^

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Top 10 Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently run by That Artsy Reader Girl. Hop on over to their page and show them some love!

Hey everyone! I’ve always wanted to join Top Ten Tuesday but didn’t think I would be able to come up with a list of 10 things for each prompt. This time around I’ve decided if that happens I’ll just have a shorter list than everyone lol.

This week’s prompt is auto-buy authors, and I somehow managed to come up with 10 of them. This wasn’t the easiest list because there are some authors who have some works I’ve adored but also have other titles I’m not interested in.  For example, Catherynne M. Valente and Leigh Bardugo have written some of my favorite books but, unfortunately, they didn’t make my list. 

But here are the authors who did.


N.K. Jemisin

Fonda Lee

Notable Works:
Jade City
Jade War

Marissa Meyer

Rin Chupeco

Brandon Sanderson

Christina Lauren

Angie Thomas

Claire Legrand

Laini Taylor

Alexandra Christo 


Have you read any of these authors’ works? Did you love them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments! Until next time!

Cya! ^^

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TBR Lows and Highs #1

TBR Lows and Highs was created by the lovely Destiny over at Howling Libraries. Destiny is super down to earth and always has the most fun content. Go check her out!

Hey everyone! I’ve wanted to join in on this meme since Destiny created it but stopped blogging before I got to it. Now I’m back, still (and will probably forever >.>) have a TBR problem, and am finally going to post my first TBR Lows and Highs.

Let’s get to it!



Link back to the original post at Howling Libraries
Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, ascending
Find 5 titles to purge from your TBR (the “lows”) OR find 5 titles that are at the BOTTOM of your TBR—books you want to read someday, just not right now!
Post those 5 books in the list, with a brief explanation
Next, sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, descending
List the last 5 (or more!) books you added to your TBR, with a synopsis or your brief summary of why you added it (the “highs”)



There’s no real reason why these made it onto my lows. I just don’t think I’ll ever get to them.

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
It by Stephen King
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah



Note: All synopses are taken from Goodreads.

Beyond the Shadowed Earth
by: Joanna Ruth Meyer

It has always been Eda’s dream to become empress, no matter the cost. Haunted by her ambition and selfishness, she’s convinced that the only way to achieve her goal is to barter with the gods. But all requests come with a price and Eda bargains away the soul of her best friend in exchange for the crown.

Years later, her hold on the empire begins to crumble and her best friend unexpectedly grows sick and dies. Gnawed by guilt and betrayal, Eda embarks on a harrowing journey to confront the very god who gave her the kingdom in the first place. However, she soon discovers that he’s trapped at the center of an otherworldly labyrinth and that her bargain with him is more complex than she ever could have imagined

The Tattered Banner
by: Duncan M. Hamilton

Unique talent always attracts attention.

In a world where magic is outlawed, ability with a sword is prized above all else. For Soren this means the chance to live out his dreams.

Plucked from a life of privation, he is given a coveted place at Ostenheim’s Academy of Swordsmanship, an opportunity beyond belief.

Opportunity is not always what it seems however, and gifts rarely come without conditions. Soren becomes an unwitting pawn in a game of intrigue and treachery that could cost him not just his dreams, but also his life.

House of Earth and Blood
by: Sarah J. Maas

Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. By day, she works for an antiquities dealer, selling barely legal magical artifacts, and by night, she parties with her friends, savouring every pleasure Lunathion—otherwise known as Crescent City— has to offer. But it all comes crumbling down when a ruthless murder shakes the very foundations of the city—and Bryce’s world.

Hunt Athalar, personal assassin for the Archangels, wants nothing to do with Bryce Quinlan, despite being ordered to protect her. She stands for everything he once rebelled against and seems more interested in partying than solving the murder, no matter how close to home it might hit. But Hunt soon realizes there’s far more to Bryce than meets the eye—and that he’s going to have to find a way to work with her if they want to solve this case.

Burning Chambers
by: Kate Mosse

France, 1562: Nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE.

But before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. For Piet has a dangerous mission of his own, and he will need Minou’s help if he is to stay alive.

As the religious divide deepens, and old friends become enemies, Minou and Piet both find themselves trapped in Toulouse, facing new dangers as tensions ignite across the city.

All the while, the shadowy mistress of Puivert Château—obsessed with uncovering the secrets of a long-hidden document—strengthens her power and waits for the perfect time to strike…

The Gilded King
by: Josie Jaffrey

In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.


Are there any interesting books you added to your TBR lately? Do you think I should keep any of the books on my lows? I’d love to know in the comments!

Cya! ^^

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July TBR

Hey everyone!

First things first, some of you may have already noticed, but I changed my blog name.  I wasn’t happy with Milkz’ Bookshelf when I first created this blog, but not having a blog name was preventing me from actually having a blog. Milkz is part of an old gamer name that I don’t even use anymore. I’ve finally settled on Justine Time, and I’m liking it a lot better. More on it in my ‘About’ section coming soon.

Moving on!

I used to never make TBR’s because I am a huge mood reader, but I’ve gotten used to completing them for Reading Rivalry. You can check it out here, but in short, each month people are put into 1 of 5 teams. The goal is for your team to read the most pages in a month. There are also 10 prompts and about 8 bonus challenges you can complete to gain even more points. I’ve been joining the Reading Rivalry challenge since it first started, so I thought I would finally mention it here.

Aside from Reading Rivalry, I’m also joining the Book Junkie Trials. GO TEAM MAGI!!! \o/

July TBR

Note: I’ve already read a couple of these before posting.

• Stardust by Neil Gaiman

• The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang (arc)

• Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry (arc)

• The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh (arc)

• The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

• Jade War by Fonda Lee

• In Waves by AJ Dungi

• Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

• The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan by Sherry Thomas (arc)

• Tarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor (arc)

• Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Have you read any of these? Are there any in particular that you’re excited to read? What are some books you’ll be reading this month? I’d love to know in the comments!

Cya! ^^


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