17 July 2015

REVIEW: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Publication: 09 June 2015
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Format: Hardcover from library

Overall: ★★★

goodreads | amazon | barnes & noble

Summary: 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 am quite the fanatic of K-Pop and K-Dramas. If you know me, you know that's not a secret. So when I heard about a book involving the two, I had to read it. Though, I won't lie... I was a little disappointed in that aspect.

I will start by saying the beginning reads like a K-Drama would play out--I was waiting for the back hug, or piggy back rides. Then it starts to go a little downhill for me. That being said, it was fun, quirky and just a simple read.

Grace was the kind of girl who was driven to form her own path, but was still lost in the naivety of her own mind. She inspired me when she would just go and do things, but in the same breath annoy me when she came close to a wall. It was like she would turn around and go back. Never trying to scale it, go around or even jump. Just Oh well, I at least got here.

I was hoping for a book that would pull me in and make me never want to put it down. I was waiting for as many Kpop references as possible. I was waiting for the fangirl/boy feels that most Kpoppers feel just by seeing their bias blink. But it felt a little dull on that end.

I'm not opposed to insta-love, but I am also not opposed to the feeling YUP! THESE TWO, TOGETHER. SHIPS HAVE SAILED!, ya know. . . something like that. And I didn't even get close to that. I didn't really feel much of a connection. I actually felt more for the second lead. Then again, I usually do. I don't know if it's the writers, or I'm always cheering for the underdog.

Grace's roommate Sophie was the fun in this book for me. I loved everything about her. And I felt like she and Grace's sister, Jane, were the only minuscule glimpses at what a fangirl is/can be. And it wasn't enough.

I hope Sophie gets her own story. I think it would be nice to see the way her mind works. Maybe a few years in the future. [ahem, Katie.]

When Grace pushed Jason away, we get why. She explains why... in her head. But when she'd decide to hang out with him, write songs, or whatever, she was fighting the urge to tackle him. And I'm not sure about Jason, but even I had whiplash.
And the fact that she was there for as long as she was, in school taking the KOREAN LANGUAGE class and not learning anything but "hello", "thank you" and "pretty"... SERIOUSLY!?
It was obvious at times when the author would talk about a famous Korean star and you'd know immediately who she meant. Storm... aka RAIN! Uh huh!

The ending was a bit too cutesy and curt for me. It felt like she was running out of ideas, time, paper...something and just ended it.

If you're looking for a cute book without too much character development or anything too deep and one cute Asian guy; this one is for you.
If you're looking for KPOP, KDRAMAS, good times with friends, exploring a new country and culture, romance, or just sexiness... this one isn't for you.
However, I hope this opens a new door for authors that take fads and make them into books that could be great. I know there are a lot of great fanfic works out there.... but I'm hoping for more about all new people.

Hello! I'm Katie, and I write Young Adult books. My debut is called Hello, I Love You, and it releases with St. Martin's Press on June 9, 2015!
I'm from Atlanta, Georgia, but I have a passion for travel, which has taken me all over the world. I've lived in Thailand and England, and I've visited five continents. I love Southern sweet tea and English sticky toffee pudding, and I work in social media and marketing for a Christian charity.
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