I received this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for a review. THANK YOU SO MUCH St. Martin’s Press for this book. I write all my reviews honestly, and this is just how I felt about Hello, I Love You. As always, give the book a chance :)!
My biggest reason for YEARNING for Hello, I Love You? Korea. Most (OKAY, maybe like the majority!) of Young Adult books I know of are set in America (England is popular too…) Hello, I Love you had a very interesting, very unique setting. Grace (randomly) chose Korea as her destination to get away from home. Now, being a fan of Kpop (and Korean things in general I mean come on :D!) might make me a bit biased, but that scored huge points with this book. I loved how Katie M. Stout introduced us to a new country and their culture :)!
Katie M. Stout is a FABULOUS (YES FABULOUS) writer! I really enjoyed how she made the characters personalities change over time. She did a great job adding in Korean words and food making me wish more than ever, that I at least knew the pronunciation for each syllable… I mean I’m learning Japanese but Korean would be so cool.
Jason and Grace were definitely not a love at first sight couple. They HATED each other like crazy, so it was cute to watch them slowly fall for each other :D!
Reading through the book, it is hard for Grace’s bitter, cold personality to go unnoticed. She constantly has negative thoughts about the food, culture, people and general life in Korea. I would like to point out that her sass (yes sass! Grace is full of sass!) could be partially a side affect of homesickness and culture shock. When I went to Japan over the summer to experience life there, my culture shock made me a little negative/depressed at first (and a WHOLE lotta hungry) but after a while I began to become used to life in Japan. But I would also like to point out that she spent a whole school year in Korea, and was still bitter… So yes, Grace was rude, it made the book a bit hard to enjoy with her snide comments.
Another major downer for me was how little Grace cared for her friends and Korea in general. I guess this mainly goes with the point above, but some of her comments about Sophie were incredibly rude and put Grace (in my mind) as a bit judgmental.
While Hello, I Love You’s main character made the book a little (teensy bit) hard to enjoy, the idea, setting and other characters were all adorable. The plot was easy to love overall and pleaseeeee give it a chance :)! I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading any books so please check it out and support a new author.