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Monday, August 17, 2015

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Review: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout (Sophia is Not a Happy Asian)

Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Hello, I Love You
Katie M. Stout
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Reviewer: Sophia

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 listen to far too much kpop songs for my own good. When I heard that Hello, I Love You is a book about kpop, I just had to read the book.

I despise this. Katie Stout's debut novel isn't about kpop – that's just a small element. It's just about an American girl trying to run away from her past and ends up falling in love with a Korean superstar. Oh, and that Korean superstar is also running away from HIS past, so hooray! Past runners colliding.
It's obvious Grace didn't do much "research." She's tired of eating rice every day, and she wrinkles her nose in disgust at fish – does she realize that rice and seafood is quite literally associated with every part of Asian culture or what? How else do Koreans or Japanese survive when they're surrounded by ocean all around (the seafood part)?

Grace's research basically consisted of typing in "international boarding schools," clicking on the first result that seemed interesting and decided, "Why not? It's the way out." She doesn't even know why she chose Korea. It's all about running away from the past, and that was probably repeated multiple times in the book. I just want to throw a book at Grace and say, "Suck it up, buttercup."
I've kept a big distance from it because it reminds me too much of my past, too much of what I left behind.
Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
I suppose I can't blame her because the mom's worse – she's all, "Hi, Korea. I'm FARRR more superior than you." *sticks nose up and saunters away in ten inch heels* If Grace is so "language impaired," she could have considered England, Canada, Australia or New Zealand where English is the primary language, thank you very much. -_-
I'm not happy at all. I'm not even Korean. I'm Chinese and Vietnamese. I don't know if my Asian meter has been insulted or not. I suppose I'll applaud Stout for trying to write a book about kpop, but that's about as far as I'll go for Hello, I Love You.

2 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.