Two Hardened Hearts Meet In Korea

Hello, I Love You: A Novel - Katie M. Stout

A romantic pop star fantasy with a heartbreaking splash of drama that just happens to happen in Korea.

How is it that a semi-celebrity country girl from Nashville ends up in South Korea, at a remote boarding school when she doesn’t have any real knowledge/interest of the country or it’s customs? Grace’s running away from the shadows of her family and South Korea was the first and farthest from home she could find. To say her family relationship is strained is an understatement.
Her adventure begins, she arrives meet her roommate a Korean girl named Sophie, who is thrilled to have her as friend. Sophie, introduces her to life at the school, Korea, and to her brother and his band. They are a very popular Korean boyband, which she has never heard of and she discounts them based her lack of knowledge. Grace, is socked when she meets the most gorgeous tall Korean boy he’s ever seen. Jason, he’s gorgeous but he’s also extremely aloof towards her and even some of his bandmates. Prickly, standoffish, cold and indifferent is the way he comes off and she has a big dislike for his personality.

They both have baggage, ugly, dirty, deep down black heart wrenching pain soaked secrets. Both of them are pretending to be alright in the world, but pretending only takes you so far till it starts eating away at the edges. When the edges start to crumble hearts will break, tears will flow and the secrets come pouring out.
I really enjoyed this authors way of weaving her story. She made the little things seem important. A brush of skin was a tingling moment, a lingering smell of cologne, hand holding made your heart soar, and a kiss that was so important, not the common like in many books written. It wasn’t all about the end game of sex it was the journey of living and finding your true self. Was there teen hormonal angst, yes, but it was handled well. They acted like teens breaking into adult skins, shedding the ugly feels of growing while tumbling, tripping and sometimes failing. The family situation was realistically handled, rich busy people broken by work, pressures and tragedies. I loved how the issues where handled but not fixed, there was not unrealistic magic wand waved and it all disappeared. Her portrayal of Grace as the princess from a sheltered celebrity family with her golden ticket life and her supercilious view of her family’s and American music, her expecting others to adore her for who she is related to all worked well for me. The horrible truths that finally were finally exposed fell into a natural place in the story never swaying from the world developed, and were heartbreaking.
I really enjoyed the story. I enjoyed the little things, the moments, the seaweed chips, mmmmm and the pacing.