‘The Better Half’ by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans

The Better Half
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Better Half by Alli Frank and Asha Youmans is a rom-com book that is unafraid to tackle real-life issues. 

Nina Morgan Clarke has it all: a beloved daughter, a loving father, a bestie, Marisol, who is equal parts devoted and bossy, and a job she loves and worked hard to attain: head of school at the tony prep school Royal-Hawkins.

During a girls’ weekend with Marisol, Nina meets Leo, a white lawyer who wouldn’t be her type under normal circumstances. All bets are off several drinks later, especially as Leo gets more handsome with every sip. Nina will find herself doing the walk of shame from Leo’s room to her own the following day.

Nina returns home, and Leo heads off to Japan for work. Long-distance relationships are challenging enough without the added complications that ensue when Nina finds herself pregnant (this is not a spoiler; the book is broken into sections named “First Trimester,” “Second Trimester,” etc.).

The Better Half by the writing duo of Alli Frank and Asha Youmans would hold up as a comic novel if it only featured Leo and Nina as they fumble toward late-in-life parenthood.

There are so many more layers to this story—race, privilege, navigating middle age—that the result is a book that blends the humor and pacing of the perfect summer read with questions of real substance.

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What others are saying about The Better Half:

“The third book from comedy writing duo Alli Frank and Asha Youmans dazzled Mindy Kaling so much that she is publishing the book under her own imprint launched in 2022, Mindy’s Book Studio.” Entertainment Weekly “Best Books of Summer 2023”

“Charming, laugh-out-loud funny, and honest, The Better Half celebrates the absurdity and joy in life, and does so with an enviable grace and good heart.” ―Mindy Kaling

Here’s what Mindy Khaling has to say in the introduction:

“With every surprise thrown Nina’s way, I connected with her a little more. With every interaction between Nina and her BFF Marisol, I wished I could step into the pages and hang out with these two amazing ladies. Every gesture Leo made to win Nina’s heart, I melted just a little more.

Charming, hilarious, and honest, The Better Half celebrates the absurdity and joy in life and does so with heart. I’m so proud to bring Alli Frank and Asha Youman’s dynamic story to Mindy’s Book Studio and to share it with you all.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Mindy.

About the Authors – Alli Frank and Asha Youmans


Alli Frank has worked in education for more than twenty years. A graduate of Cornell and Stanford University, Alli lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters. With Asha Youmans, she is the coauthor of Tiny Imperfections and Never Meant to Meet You. She is also a contributing essayist in the anthology Moms Don’t Have Time To: A Quarantine Anthology.

Asha Youmans spent two decades teaching elementary school students. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Asha lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. With Alli Frank, she is the coauthor of Tiny Imperfections and Never Meant to Meet You.

For more information visit the authors at www.alliandasha.com or @alliandasha

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