Title: Hello, I Love You
Author: Katie M. Stout
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: June 9th 2015
Release Date: June 9th 2015
Source: ARC via giveaway
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.
I received an ARC through a giveaway held by the author. This does not affect my opinion whatsoever nor was I compensated in any way in exchange for this review.
Omygod this was adorable. It kind of felt like I was reading a kpop fanfiction about a kpop star I didn't particularly care about, but way better.
HELLO, I LOVE YOU is about Grace Wilde, the daughter of a famous producer in the States who decides to finish off high school at a boarding school in South Korea to get away from family drama. There, she meets Jason, the lead singer in a Kpop band named Eden. Though she finds him hot, he's cold towards her and they don't get along. Drama ensues as it always does and you'll see how it turns out when you read it.
For the most part, I like the way things were portrayed in this novel. I would probably have a different experience than Grace if I ever went to Korea, since I'm interested in the culture and the music there. Grace knows nothing about Korea and her trip there is a means of escape from the drama of her family life in Tennessee. Through Grace's eyes the reader is able to experience the Korean culture from a foreigner who knows nothing. It's done in a way that it's not overwhelming and really sort of eases you into it. I think perhaps something that would be more realistic is doing Kpop boy groups or girl groups because there aren't actually all that many kpop bands out there. Only three that I know of and they're under the same company.
I like Grace. She is fun and adventurous. She understands what Jason's going through as she's been in the fame circus herself due to her family. I liked watching her learn more about herself and trying to come to terms with deciding her future. God did I hate her mom. She treats her daughter like crap and also when she visits Korea, she treats pretty much everything like it's beneath her. UGH. Good thing Grace isn't like that.
Jason is probably the character I was more interested in than Grace. He's the lead singer in a Kpop band that he doesn't want to be in. He hates the music they're making and it's causing dysfunction within the group despite the fact that the three of them are friends. He also has a bunch of problems within his own family too.
I loved the scene where Grace tried, what I am assuming is hongeo, which is fermented sting ray. It's pretty known for its smell and I don't know if I'd have the guts to try it tbh. There's also a scene with "one of the most well known kpop solo singers" whose name is Storm. Pretty sure that's a reference to the real life Rain or Bi. I just wish there would have been a little more references, since the book has a lot of focus on the relationship between Grace and Sophie, Jason's twin sister, or between Grace and Jason.
Overall, I really like HELLO, I LOVE YOU. It's cute without being unrealistic and introduces newbies to the Korean culture without being overwhelming.