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Hello, I Love You Author: Katie M. Stout
Published: June 9th 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Categories: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
External Links: Book DepositoryGoodreads

Summary:

A teen escapes to a boarding school abroad and falls for a Korean pop star in this fun and fresh romantic novel in the vein of Anna and the French Kiss.Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can’t stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can’t deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she’ll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

Review:

Honestly, as in all honesty the love interest can’t be of any Asian descent (or any nationality for that matter) and the story will remain intact. It doesn’t matter if Jason is Japanese, and instead of Hangul, Kanji is plastered everywhere: that’s how little the Korean culture affected the story. So if you’re one of those interested because it has some k-pop written in the summary and thinking perhaps you’ll get a glimpse of their music industry there then Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout isn’t all that. You better of watching Korean drama instead.

Grace has flown half around the world to escape her life full pressure from being the daughter of well-known music producer and the guilt her mother putting on her because of her brother’s death. Her destination (without a solid reason why) is South Korea. Little did she know she’ll thrust into the world of music again, now via her roommate’s famous k-pop artist brother, Jason. She has studies, adapting to new culture, maybe some language barrier and problems at home on her plate; so romantic relationship to some k-pop idol wasn’t on her plan as well.

Like I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t have to be Korea which made me a bit disappointed. I’m not the biggest k-pop fan—ok, so I have been on one of their concert. Sure, I did watch Korean dramas (and yes, it’s not like a soap opera!). And yes, I’m sorta obsessed with this one Idol group. But I don’t think I know enough to nit-pick the parts but the lack of Korean variety in this novel is very apparent. It mentioned of this and that but it did not make me feel like she’s in Korea that much. It could be actually anywhere as I said. Also, I watched few behind the camera footages/shows to see how strict their labels are to their talents. Yep, relationships are pretty much hush-hush in their business.

At the latter half, I gave up. It doesn’t matter anymore; I’ll just enjoy it sans Korean vibe. Grace was bit of moody but granted her life back home wasn’t appeasing—that I kinda understand. But those withstanding, she wasn’t charming or relatable at all. Jason, well, I found him quite generic. But I did like his goal to have music of his own. Something he does want for himself and not manufactured by his label. But seeing how the industry is there, that’s quite a struggle.

The summary is promising but story failed to deliver what I hoped. Romance wasn’t all too saccharine for my taste which is good as it somehow pacified my broken expectations. Needless to say, I managed enjoyed the little things out of my grand pre-reading beliefs. So yeah, it was just really ok.

Rating:
Format: Advance Reader’s Copy
Preview Quote: “I feel a sliver of freedom. I’m done hiding who I am, where I come. I’m ready to start again. To be me. ”

2015 / 05 / 06

8 Responses to Hello, I Love You

  1. That’s such a bummer you didn’t like this one. I’ve seen a few people mention being disappointed with the main character’s attitude toward Korea and Korean culture which is a huge bummer for me. I’ve been pretty excited for this one for a while and I’ll still read it when I get a copy, but it’s disappointing to see how many people didn’t enjoy it. Great review!

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Thanks Lacey! And they were right, she wasn’t opening herself to their culture which was kinda puzzling because she knew how different it will be.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Oh no!! I was so excited about this one because HELLO K-POP/K-DRAMA ALL THE TIME! Plus apparently the main live interest was based on Jung Yong-hwa who is my favourite of all time. I’m still planning on reading it, but I think I’ll be glad I didn’t preorder it.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Nope, I liked it enough but I don’t rec it to those who want some k-pop/Korean flavor to the story becasue it was hardly there. From CNBlue? No, nope…*thinks* no, no, no! I can’t see Yong-hwa in Jason. T^T

    • Elizabeth says:

      I think I’ve decided against reading it :-/ – too many people have said that the cultural stuff was handled really poorly. I’m actually really surprised because I follow the author on her blog and she’s really into K-pop and dramas. (I also feel really bad for her, because I don’t think I’ve seen a single good review for this, and there was a LOT of excitement being generated by it beforehand, so I feel like it makes it even worse when it’s a big disappointment that way)

    • Mitchii G. says:

      It was handle poorly, true. How can you like a character who so dismissive of the culture that you were expecting her to like; or even just to appreciate. She was overall disappointment.

  3. I wasn’t planning on reading this to begin with, but I definitely don’t want to now, lol. I think a lot of people were looking forward to the k-pop or Korean aspect of this book, so it’s a huge disappointment that there wasn’t much of that at all here! I haven’t read the book and already I feel kind of cheated. :(

    And meh, sorry to heart that the characters weren’t that great, either. I think it’s cool that the love interest is a person of color, but what’s the point when they’re not going to be properly developed and fleshed-out? At least both Grace and Jason weren’t unbearable; still, I would have appreciated it if they had been more original and memorable.

    I’m glad you were able to enjoy a little bit of it, but overall it sounds like a very mediocre book. I hope your next book is better, girl! ^_^

    • Mitchii G. says:

      I kinda feel cheated. I was so happy to read a book with Asian flavor to it, only to find out how minuscule it was. I want diversity in my stories but if it’s half-baked, I’d rather not. :(

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