Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Title: Hello, I Love You
Author: Katie M. Stout
Length: 304 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Classification: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Source: e-galley via NetGalley (Thank you St. Martin's Griffin!)
Read: May 2015
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.
GoodReads || Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Books-a-Million

***I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Overall, I enjoyed reading some parts of Hello, I Love You. I did have a little bit of a hard time getting into the story, I started it three times. It didn't grab me right away. But after meeting some of the other characters, I did become more interested in the story and finding out what would happen.

Grace needs to run away. She needs change and a place for a fresh start. Grace decides to leave Nashville and attend a boarding school in Korea. There she meets Sophie, her roommate and Sophie's twin brother, Jason. Grace and Jason don't hit if off right away and things get a little harder once Grace finds out that Jason is a KPOP Superstar. Even though Grace hoped to escape music, she discovers that it is going to be hard to do, since her roommate's brother is around. The longer Grace hangs out with Jason, she starts to develop feelings for him. Grace has to decide what she wants to do with her life and her feelings.

I found Grace to be pretty frustrating for pretty much the entirety of the story. She decides to run away and go to boarding school in Korea, not because it was something that she really wanted to do but simply because it was the first boarding school that she found when searching on the internet. I was really hoping that she would show more interest in the place that she decided to move to, but it didn't seem like she did any research about the culture. But the biggest issue with Grace is that fact that she came off as being judgmental. Her comments (a lot of the time in her head) were really mean and judgmental. I'm not sure if it is just me, but it seemed like she didn't like a lot of the Korean culture that she did experience. And unfortunately she didn't really improve and become more understanding and less judgmental as the story continued.

Now I will admit, I don't know much about Korea. I also don't know a lot about KPOP or Kdrama. Though I feel like there wasn't a whole lot of KPOP and KDrama in Hello, I Love (other than Jason's Kpop band Eden) I am still interested in learning more about both of these. I wish I would have gotten more of an idea of different KPOP bands and KDrama from the story.

My liking of Grace fluctuated a little throughout the story. All the stuff going on with Grace's family broke my heart a bit. I did feel bad for her and everything she was going through. I could definitely understand why she needed to get away. And after learning more about her family issues, I did start to care about her a bit more as a character.

For the most part I liked the romance. I tend to like the romance where they start off on the wrong foot (and even dislike each other) and then start to develop feelings for one another. I did get a little frustrated by the flip-flopping that happened, I wanted more time with them dating or even being a couple. I was really hoping to fall in love with the romance, and I only found parts of it fun and cute. And those were all things that Jason did.

I liked Jason. I think that he was sweet and quiet. He didn't always come off as being super nice, but overall, he is. I found him to mostly keep to himself and be a bit broody. His character had a lot of development through the story. And I did really feel bad for him and the stuff that he was going through.

I do think the other characters were my favorite thing about Hello, I Love You. I liked Sophie, Tae Hwa, and Yoon Jae. I really liked the parts when they were all hanging out. Sophie is a really sweet girl. You can easily tell that she cares a lot about her family and friends. Tae Hwa is fun, though I feel like his character was the one that I knew the least about. I really liked his bond with Jason and Sophie. Yoon Jae was an interesting character. He seemed pretty nice and made me smile. I did feel bad for him a few times while reading.

My Recommendation:

I didn't hate Hello, I Love You, but I didn't fall in love with any of it either. I was disappointed that I didn't enjoy it more and because I didn't fall completely in love with the romance. The main character was hard for me to like and I found myself becoming frustrated with her often. I did enjoy the other characters though and they kept me interested in finding out what would happen. I do think that there will be other readers that will enjoy this story more than me, but if you are really wanting to read it but hesitant I would recommend checking it out from the library and giving it a try.

My Rating:

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read one shining review for this yet, which is too bad. I had a lot of hope when I first saw it. I loved the potential of the diversity and the setting. Thanks for your balanced review.


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog and leave a comment! I read every single one and they make my day! <3