Saturday, June 20, 2015

Review and Excerpt for Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout (Giveaway!!)

Hello, I Love You
by Katie M. Stout
Standalone
304 Pages
Punlisher: St. Martin's Griffin

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.


This book was both good and bad at the same time. I don't think it was an amazing plot, but the setting was brilliant. It didn't have a revolutionary premise, but the cast of characters were enjoy able. It had a few very shining moments, and some that made me want to cringe. All that and more were wrapped up to create Hello, I Love You.

It wasn't even a very bad book. It just wasn't outstanding. I appreciated that the book wasn't set in America like so many books I have read are set in. That being said, the author could have taken the Korean setting and made a more authentic feel rather than it being so forced. I get that the author was trying to show culture shock, but I wish that Grace showed more cultural relativism rather than the cultural elitism that she showed throughout the book.

I really did like most of the characters, though. I felt that the members of Eden were not as flushed out as they could have been since the author focused on only Jason, and kinda pushed the other two members to the side. I really enjoyed the snippets of Jane that we got, and Sophie seemed like such a genuinely amazing best friend for Grace to have. Overall, there was such a diverse cast of characters that I really did not mind that they were mostly underdeveloped.

If I could change one thing about this book, it would be the music. I just want so much more from a book that centers around musicians. It mostly comes from me being in love with all things music, but PLEASE delve further into "hipster" music than "Bittersweet Symphony" and Bon Iver. LIKE COME ON. YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT. Also, the way that Grace viewed KPOP was awful. It was like she didn't even give it a chance to be good because it had the word "pop" in it.

The only one that feels this way is probably me, but I really did not love the relationship. It started out as a kinda love triangle, and then the other guy just kinda faded away. There was no big moment where the side guy tries to pull -its just that he just became not present in the story. Love triangle aside, I have no love for Grace and Jason's relationship. They are asses to each other who cannot communicate to save their lives, and I just got annoyed. Yes, it all seemed to work itself out in the end, but I want a real relationship not a BS famous people relationship.

I don't know if I would recommend this book to a lot of people, but if there is a KPOP-lover who enjoys cheesy romance, this is the book for you!!




The Rating:

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Excerpt:



I sneak a sideways glance at him, but he’s just staring out the window, shoulders rigid and jaw clenched. Sophie and the other two boys carry on a conversation in front of us, leaving Jason isolated. Because he thinks no one’s looking, he’s let down his guard, and in the pale light of the streetlamps we pass, I make out melancholy etched deep in his expression. And I’m reminded of my brother.
Again, I remember that there’s something deeper here, something he doesn’t want anyone to see. I suppress the jolt of dread that rockets through me, fear that he has some dark secret like Nathan. I don’t know Jason well enough to leap to such conclusions. But I can surmise that his isolating himself and keeping his feelings away from everyone else isn’t helping.
Shoving the memory of him snapping at me earlier to the back of my mind, I pull out one of the earbuds and reach across the darkness between us, offering it to him. He stares at it a second, then takes it from my fingers and places it in his ear. The cord pulls taut between our heads, and he has to scoot closer, our shoulders brushing. I smile and close my eyes, leaning my head back against the seat and getting lost in the relaxed melodies and soft, plucking guitar of Bon Iver.
Drowsiness settles on me as the subtle rocking of the van and the long day breaks down any fight in me to stay conscious. As I hover between sleep and wakefulness, I feel a soft touch on my fingers that rest on the seat between me and Jason.
“Grace?” Jason whispers.
But I don’t answer, eyes heavy and lips parted in half sleep. Another brush against my hand. A solid, warm pressure. My brain jolts awake when Jason threads his fingers through mine. I
swallow hard, and my breathing accelerates.
I risk a quick peek at Jason, my eyes squinted so I can shut them again at a moment’s notice. He peers out his window still, but instead of tension making the lines of his body sharp, he angles himself toward me, muscles relaxed. A soft smile plays at the edges of his lips, and his fingers twitch against mine, our palms pressed together.
Does he think I’m asleep? Should I tell him I’m awake? My mind races through possible motivations for him grabbing my hand, followed by what might happen if I revealed my not being asleep. He would probably say something mean, and we wouldn’t talk for the rest of the trip. So I just keep my mouth shut and let him hold my hand.

And enjoy it entirely too much.

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I know that this is the real part of the post that all you scoundrels have been waiting for: THE GIVEAWAY!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


XOXO,
Belle

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I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one.

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