Monday, June 22, 2015

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

From Goodreads: 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? 

My Rating: 1.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: One of the reasons I requested Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout was because I know very little about Korea or K-pop. I was therefore hoping that this book would help me learn a bit more about both subjects. Sadly, if you’re looking for a book about a teen that embraces a move to a foreign country, Hello, I Love You isn’t it.  

A huge reason why I failed to connect with Hello, I Love You was because of its main character, Grace, who is majorly judgmental of everything Korean. In an effort to run away from her problems, Grace decides to Google foreign boarding schools. Since the first one on her search list happens to be in Korea – really? – she decides that’s where she’ll go. Oh, to be rich! Once in Korea, Grace makes little effort to learn more about the place she has moved to; instead, she's very condescending, and comes off as an extremely spoiled American. 

The secondary characters also failed to really show off Korean culture. Jason, the romantic interest who just so happens to be a K-pop star, for instance, hates the music that he writes (and of course, Grace is all too happy to help him write “better” music). Interestingly, after reading Hello, I Love You, I still have no clue about what Jason’s band’s music sounded like or what K-pop bands Stout would recommend as all the bands that Grace and Jason loved were either UK or American ones. 

The romance between Grace and Jason was no better. Grace’s initial attraction to Jason was because he was hot. Then, once they started hanging out, she became very jealous of other girls that Jason had to spend time with – even though she wasn’t his girlfriend! – and repeatedly questioned why he wasn’t introducing her to other people in the industry and whether he was embarrassed by her. Eventually, Grace comes to a very hasty realization that she doesn’t just have a crush on Jason, but is in love with him. *rolls eyes* 

A book that I’d recommend skipping, Hello, I Love You was released on June 9, 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin. 

Comments About the Cover: It’s a cute cover, but the male model isn’t dressed at all like Jason.  

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (St. Martin's Press) for free via NetGalley.


  1. I couldn't enjoy a book with a culturally insensitive MC either, there's simply no way. And why choose a setting you're unable to represent as you should? Insufficient research drives me nuts. I'll pass.

  2. Oy, that sounds frustrating! It's things like this that add to the bad name Americans already have in foreign countries.

  3. Hm. I think I would likely struggle with this one too Z. I hate when characters come across as spoiled and entitled, and add that to a romance with a hasty "I love him" realization and I'm going to take a pass on this book. Thanks for your thoughts:)

  4. Oh man, that would drive me crazy too! I can't stand judge-y characters. And it's also very strange to me that so very little of this one actually involves Kpop as the synopsis said it would. Hmm, definite pass for me. Thanks for the helpful review though!

  5. Ugh yeah, I'm a huge Kpop fan so Grace's insensitivity is gonna kill me :O And how on earth could a famous kpop star get away with spending so much time with certain girls, haha there are usually strict no-romance rules in kpop companies in order to avoid scandals. Staying far far away from this one. Great review!


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