David Yoon emerged as last year's hottest new name in YA with the fake-dating debut Frankly in Love, a loving portrait of Korean-American identity and SoCal teen life that went on to become a critically-acclaimed instant No. 1 best-seller (with a film deal to boot). The wait for his follow-up, fortunately, is almost over.
EW has an exclusive first look at Super Fake Love Song, the next novel from Yoon, which finds the author returning to themes of identity, deception, and finding love in unexpected places. In this case, there's also a rather severe case of impersonation, a fake rock band, a pivotal high-school talent show, and more.
Below, you can see the cover for Super Fake Love Song, exclusive to EW, as well as an official excerpt. EW caught up with Yoon for a little set-up of what readers will encounter here. “Sunny, our profoundly insecure nerd hero, has just met the impossibly cool Cirrus, and is in the throes of his instacrush when she invites herself into his bedroom to hang out," he teases. "Only it’s not Sunny’s room — it’s that of his hipster rockstar older brother Gray, who is busy becoming a musical legend in Hollywood. Sunny has always wondered how it would feel to be as confident and charismatic as his brother, and in this scene he’s moments away from discovering it for himself."
Well there you have it. Read on below to see how this goes. Super Fake Love Song publishes Nov. 17 and is available for pre-order.
Excerpt from Super Fake Love Song, by David Yoon
Gray’s door was always open, because that’s how Gray liked things. The door to my room was always shut, because that’s how I liked things.
My door was blank and unadorned. My door could have led to anything—a linen closet, a brick wall, an alternate universe.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, Mom liked to say. It was characteristically shallow advice, but there was a truth to it that I only now realized.
I followed Cirrus, heading left into Gray’s room instead of right into mine.
Cirrus had already made herself at home in Gray’s salvaged steel swivel chair. She drummed her fingers on her thighs, as if eager to be introduced to the room’s history.
I started to say something, then stopped.
I started to say something else, then stopped.
I started to—
Cirrus eyed me with growing concern.
“So are you—” she said.
“These are guitars,” I said suddenly. I craned my neck back to look at them. I stretched, sniffed, did all the things amateurs do when gearing up for a big lie. “They’re my guitars.”
Cirrus brightened. “Wait. Are you in a band?”
“Phtphpthpt,” I said with a full-body spasm. “It’s just a little band, but yes: I am.”
Cirrus looked at the guitars again, as if they had changed. “Very cool.”
I heard none of this, because my lie was still busy pinging around the inside of my big empty head like a stray shot. Shocking, how easily the lie had slipped out.
“You’re more than cool,” continued Cirrus. “You’re brave. Most people barely have hobbies, if they bother to try anything at all. Most people let the dream starve and die in the kill-basement of their soul and only visit the rotting corpse when they themselves are finally on death’s door wondering, What was I so afraid of this whole time?”
“Jesus, you’re cynical,” I whispered.
Cirrus spotted something behind my guitars Gray’s guitars: the torn Mortals flyer. “Is that you?”
I cleared my throat, which was already clear. “That’s, uh, my old band,” I said. “We split up. I’m working on a new thing.”
“Cool-cool,” said Cirrus, nodding blankly.
Then she flashed me a look.
Not just any look.
I recognized the Look from when Gray was still at school. The Look was a particular type of glance Gray got often—a combination of burning curiosity barely masked by bogus nonchalance. Everyone badly wanted to know Gray; everyone pretended they didn’t.
The Look was the expression people gave to someone doing something well, and with passion. It was an instinctive attraction to creativity—the highest form of human endeavor—expressed by emitting little hearts out of our eyes. It was falling a little bit in love with people who were fashioning something new with their hands and their imaginations.
I had always wondered what it would feel like to get the Look, and now I realized I had just found out.
The Look was pure deadly sweet terror, and it felt incredible.
I instantly wanted another.