Thank you, Penguin Random House, for giving me an ARC of Frankly in Love and inspiring me to write about my nonexistent love life.
…You have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your neck. (Song of Solomon 4:9b)
Love is everywhere. You can experience it through various relationships. You can also feel it through the media that you consume, such as books, music, and TV shows. Today, romantic love is the key to many people’s Happily Ever After. Regardless of its prevalence, the idea of falling in love bemuses me. I’m already 25, but I’ve never been in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve never felt insecure about my single status. Still, I would like to reflect on its cause.
Sometimes, it’s hard to differentiate love and lust. In YA books, you’ll often encounter this phenomenon called love at first sight. #instalove never fails to annoy me because I can’t fathom how it can happen in real life. Doesn’t true love require a foundation of deep friendship or companionship besides mere physical attraction? Can blue eyes, sculpted jaws, and generous curves guarantee a lasting relationship? For me, having the hots for someone doesn’t mean that you’re in love. Your body might just be experiencing the effects of libido.
I had my first crush when I was 15 years old. I pray that she’ll never see this post. Haha. She had bright eyes, lush brown hair, and impressive legs. She was also interested in reading, so that was a plus. I did appreciate her delicate beauty, but I knew that I didn’t want to be her boyfriend. So when one of our popular Korean classmates started flirting with her, I wasn’t jealous or regretful. The first year after graduation, we kept in touch and sometimes watched movies with our mutual friends. Now, we don’t talk to each other at all.
My second crush came into my life when I was 20. Her hair was so much shorter than Girl #1, and her personality was less playful. She wasn’t very physically attractive, but I admired the way she interacted with others and conducted herself with grace. Even my parents enjoyed her company. Eventually, I felt the need to give her an I-like-you note. It wasn’t an actual confession letter because although I liked Girl #2, I wasn’t interested in starting a romantic relationship. I simply wanted to make her happy.
After much thought, I decided to give her something less personal: an album of one of her favorite singers. One day, one of my close friends told me that he liked her, too. And unlike me, his feelings were serious. Thank God I wasn’t in love. Otherwise, I would have been stuck in a stupid love triangle. My admiration for Girl #2 dwindled once I relocated to a different city. Whenever I visit my hometown and see her, I feel…nothing. I didn’t know that geographical distance could be such a crush killer.
Today, most of my crushes are Korean stars. LOL. The girl in the featured image is Arin, the cute maknae of Oh My Girl. I guess my standards changed ever since I became a fan of K-pop and K-dramas. I know that beauty isn’t always achieved through organic means in Korea. But some celebrities are naturally gorgeous. Their inner beauty is a different matter, though. You can’t be sure if the personas that they have on TV reflect their real identities. So I admire these women for their beautiful faces and vocals, but I don’t love them.
In light of my history with females, sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever fall in love. It’s funny because my mother has been praying for my future wife since I was a kid. She’s so confident that my brothers and I will meet God’s best and continue the Palma-Herrera-Lontoc legacy. Although Mama’s prayers about my future family life makes me want to roll my eyes, her faith amazes and inspires me. At the same time, I’m not sure if there’s a woman out there who meets all of Mama’s requirements. As the youngest son, I’ve enjoyed the privilege of learning vicariously from my big brothers’ mistakes. I’d rather avoid all those arguments about the implications of marriage.
Ultimately, my current lifestyle isn’t conducive to romantic love. I work eight hours a day, read books, write reviews, and play video games. During my spare time, I go on dates with my family. If I had a girlfriend now, I would gradually become miserable because I wouldn’t be able to do those things. I plan to keep my NGSB (no girlfriend since birth) status as long as the Lord tells me to do otherwise. In the meantime, I’ll honorably maximize my bachelorhood and enjoy other people’s love stories. Hopefully, Frankly in Love will be an epic one. 😀 If you’re also interested in this book, please check the summary and watch the book trailer below.
(Summary provided by PRH)
Two friends. One fake dating scheme. What could possibly go wrong?
Frank Li has two names. There’s Frank Li, his American name. Then there’s Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California.
Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl, which is a problem since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. Brit, who is funny and nerdy just like him. Brit, who makes him laugh like no one else. Brit . . . who is white.
As Frank falls in love for the very first time, he’s forced to confront the fact that while his parents sacrificed everything to raise him in the land of opportunity, their traditional expectations don’t leave a lot of room for him to be a regular American teen. Desperate to be with Brit without his parents finding out, Frank turns to family friend Joy Song, who is in a similar bind. Together, they come up with a plan to help each other and keep their parents off their backs. Frank thinks he’s found the solution to all his problems, but when life throws him a curveball, he’s left wondering whether he ever really knew anything about love—or himself—at all.
In this moving debut novel—featuring striking blue-stained edges and beautiful original endpaper art by the author—David Yoon takes on the question of “Who am I?” with a result that is humorous, heartfelt, and ultimately unforgettable.