Penguin Random House (PRH) Children’s has acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights to Frankly in Love, the debut YA by David Yoon that was at the centre of a 10-strong publisher auction in the US.
The main character in Frankly in Love is Frank Li, a ‘Limbo’, which is his word for Korean-American kids who are caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their US upbringing. His parents want him to date Korean girls, which makes falling for Brit Means, who is white, problematic. Fellow 'Limbo' Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so Frank and Joy make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom.
Kelly Hurst, editorial director at PRH Children’s, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Charlotte Bodman at The Rights People on behalf of Alloy Entertainment, and will publish in November.
Rights have sold in 14 territories and a film is in development with Alloy Entertainment and Paramount Players.
Hurst said: “Frankly in Love is a gorgeous, heartfelt, compelling YA love story, and a refreshingly modern look at race, immigrant communities, friendship and family. David’s debut is completely absorbing and surprising, and I can’t wait to share it with the engaged and passionate YA readership.”
Frankly in Love is Yoon’s debut novel and will be published in the US by Penguin Young Readers, which acquired the manuscript in an "intense bidding war", according to Entertainment Weekly. Yoon is a writer and designer and created the illustrations for Everything, Everything, a novel by his wife, Nicola Yoon.