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Love in Foreign Lands | Book Review: Hello, I Love You by Katie Stout

Hello I Love You is the South Korean Anna and the French Kiss!

Book Review: Hello, I Love You by Katie Stout

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hello i love you katie m stout book review

Title & Author: Hello, I Love You: A Novel by Katie Stout

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary

Release Date: June 9, 2015

Series: Standalone

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher

Description:

“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.”

Won’t You Tell Me Your Name?

There were a lot of things I enjoyed about Hello, I Love You:

  • Super cool setting of South Korea, near Seoul
  • Heavy and varied musical influences
  • POC as a main character
  • Themes of growth and finding out who you are

This book should definitely have a custom playlist if it doesn’t already. I really loved all the musical references, especially The Doors (for you youngins, Hello, I Love You is the title of one of their songs).

What was tough about the story for me was Grace and her adventures in South Korea. Although you don’t know what’s really going on with Grace (why she up and moves her senior year to a boarding school across the world) until the end of the book, I saw through the ruse right away.

Not to mention that Grace – despite being 100 percent submerged in a foreign country – makes little effort to learn the language or engage in the culture. This was a personal pet peeve, but I wished more of a true engagement of the South Korean way of life was shown during the story.

One of the biggest, most emotional reveals takes place during the last few chapters, and it’s a shame that deepest, most emotionally complex parts of the book is given very little attention.

Other than that, the main focus on the book is Grace adjusting to South Korea and having a half-hearted love triangle situation.

Despite the great setting, fun music and swoony romantic leads, I didn’t connect to this novel as much as I had hoped.

OVERALL:

With this book, I wished for more depth and an emotional connection, but I didn’t feel it. Hello I Love You is ideal for fans of Anna and the French Kiss – books with fun, unique settings that focuses mainly on a romance.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.