I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative.
This book was so good! It’s a romance but it goes so much deeper than just that. At the core, it’s a story about first love, racism, identity, and family.
I absolutely loved that this book did not shy away from talking about racism, especially the racism of Koreans towards African Americans and other Asian communities. I haven’t really seen that in a book before.
I liked that this book explored the struggles of being Korean-American and having immigrant parents. Frank is often conflicted over his identity. At one point he states, “I call myself Korean-American, always leading first with Korean or Asian, then the silent hyphen, then ending with American. Never just American” (pg. 133).
I also loved the end of the book. It was a bit sad but still realistic.
My one critique is that the romances seemed a bit instalove-y, especially Frank’s romance with Brit. Frank fell in love with Brit so fast. It kind of came out of nowhere.
Lastly, as a Filipino American I’m always looking for representation and this book has a tiny bit of Filipino rep. One of Frank’s friends, Paul, is Filipino. His character doesn’t do much, but the book does incorporate Isang Bagsak. Isang Bagsak is a Filipino unity clap, whcich I never even heard of prior to reading this book.
Overall, I really enjoyed this #OwnVoices exploration of love and identity.