Super Fake Love Song

Putnam. Nov. 2020. 368p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781984812230.
Gr 7 Up–Most of the time, Sunny Dae is OK with being a nerd, despite the bullying and casual racism he experiences at school for being Korean American in a mostly white community. He has two close friends, and together they run a successful DIY cosplay video channel. But Sunny is jealous of his older brother, Gray, a musician living in Hollywood. When his parents’ colleagues bring their teenage daughter, Cirrus (also Korean American), to Sunny’s house, Sunny makes a split-second decision to pretend that Gray’s bedroom is his own and that he is the one in a rock band. And something amazing happens: Cirrus thinks Sunny is cool. For several weeks, Sunny carries the lie further by wearing Gray’s clothes and convincing his friends to actually form a band with him to play in an upcoming talent show. With his new persona, Sunny begins to experience what it’s like to feel cool for the first time in his life. Predictably, Sunny’s lies soon alienate those close to him, and eventually he must come clean and make a decision about who he truly wants to be. Readers will be drawn in by the sweet romance and Sunny’s hilarious narration. But in a novel filled with excellent writing, strong characterization, and abundant positive messages, perhaps the greatest strength of all is the emotional openness of the male characters.
VERDICT Yoon’s sophomore follow-up to 2019’s Frankly in Love is charming, witty, and inspirational. Highly recommended.

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