Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book Tour & ARC Review: Hello, I Love You + Giveaway(U.S/CAN)!♥

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Book Tour hosted by St. Martins Griffin.


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  • Hello, I Love You
  • Katie M. Stout

  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (June 9, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250052599
  • Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles
    • Source: Review Copy was sent free of charge via St. Martin's Griffin. Thank you Michelle.
    • Synopsis: 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, Katie M. Stout's "Hello, I Love You "explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.
  • Grace Wilde decides to escape from her home, she finds refuge in a boarding school in Korea. She's hoping for a fresh start after her mother blames her for her brother's breakdown and depression. She does not want to be around her famous father who's a record producer, she's tired of the fame and spotlight and now she wants to hide. She wants to ignore everything about music, but her roommate Sophie has a twin brother name Jason who is the newest Korean pop star, apparently he also has an oversize ego according to Grace. The physical attraction towards Jason exists for Grace, but she refuses to acknowledge it. Now, they're forced to make an alliance. Jason will tutor Grace in Korean language, and Grace will help him develop his music more. Hello, I love You explores a coming of age story with first love.
  • Hello, I Love You is a coming of age debut novel. It reminded me about the book Anna and The French Kiss except I hated Anna's book, it was just a super cliche novel with the weirdest love triangle. I couldn't help but feel similar vibes but Hello, I Love You is a much better coming of age story. It is also about female friendships, Korea, first love, family and conflict. Ultimately. this is love story, but does have many themes going on around it. I had to finish this novel in one setting, the writing is just beautiful. I was smiling and laughing along with the characters. The writing is lovely and compelling.
  • Grace comes off rather immature and shallow as you first read about her. She's not a snob exactly, but her ego is huge. She speaks her mind, but she does seem rather nosy in other people's business. She's quite an honest person, but she can actually be brutal. She can be bitter, but I do feel it's because of her traumatic past. I winced at some of her ignorant comments about Korea, maybe it's cultural shock - At times, she's even a jerk to the hero just because he doesn't give her the time of the day. Someone's ego is bruising.. Grace does reach character growth halfway into the novel. She goes from a young girl into a mature woman. She's a flawed character, but she does change eventually. Ignorance can be annoying in a character, although, I can forgive it when the character matures and gains knowledge. It was adorable when she started defending Korean's and sticking up for them! Jason was a unique character to read about, well, hello to diversity in young adult. Jason is an Korean character and he comes across as dreamy and charming. He is the quiet, brooding type - not a bad boy at all. I thought he was actually a sweet male lead. I do wish he wasn't so handsome as emphasized in the book. I kept checking the model on the cover to see he matched the description of Jason. It would be nice to read about average looking characters once in a while. The romance was steamy, and swoon worthy, although I do wish there was less teenage angst. They had a love hate relationship which was adorable at times. The characters have their flaws, but they ultimately are likable.
  • The romance was enjoyable, but I preferred the family drama much more because that's what I was more interested in. I love the Kpop factor in the novel, for those who aren't aware it stands for Korean Pop music, I actually learned about it myself when I was reading the novel. The storyline was amazing though, the foreign setting and the friendships in the novel were lovely. I do wish there was more talk on Korea, it sounds like a beautiful place. This does have a good story and a couple of plot twists that completely threw me of.. in a good way. The secondary characters were intriguing as well, I really liked Sophie too. Nevertheless, Hello, I love You is a beautiful novel - it does have its flaws but the plot was fantastic. 
Recommended for fans of Anna and The French Kiss.

  • 1) Describe your book in three words.
  • KPOP. Romance. Forgiveness.
  • 2) There are not many Young Adult books out with diversity. How were you inspired to write a novel with a Korean male lead?
  • Well, I knew I wanted to write about Korean pop music, so it only made sense for my K-pop star to be Korean. It would be weird if he weren’t… ;-)
  • 3) Can you describe the heroine of your book, and is she relatable to young girls?
  • Grace is what could be described as an “unlikeable” heroine. She’s opinionated, judgmental, critical, and bitter. She’s also in a lot of pain and going through extreme culture shock. She’s gotten a lot of criticism from reviewers because they think she’s too critical and too judgmental, but that was intentional on my part. She’s dealt with a lot of bad stuff in her life, and she’s incredibly jaded. I think that’s realistic.
  • Also, culture shock is a very real, very hard thing. I know that first-hand. I had a legitimate panic attack when I moved to Thailand, terrified to leave my room when I first got there. When I moved to England, I hated everything about everything for months. But actually, that’s all normal. Your brain has to cope with such a huge upheaval. That’s something Grace goes through, and because the book is told from her first person POV, the reader hears all the messy, embarrassing, judgmental thoughts that 99.9% of people would be having in her position.
  • I think “unlikeable” heroines are relatable to girls because no one is perfect. We’re all mean sometimes. We’ve all been hurt by people and our pasts. But that doesn’t mean we can’t change. That doesn’t mean we can’t recognize our flaws and choose to get better. That’s what Grace’s journey is about, and I think a lot of young girls can relate to that.
  • 3) What are some of your favorite books?
  • I grew up reading the “classics,” so some of my favorites are The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Wuthering Heights, Sherlock Holmes, The Great Gatsby, and Peter Pan.
  • More contemporary books that I love are Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave series, the Percy Jackson books, and Holly Black’s Curse Workers series.
  • 5) Last question: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
  • Obviously, write a lot. But also, I think it’s important to live your life. Go have adventures. Books are great, but there’s also a big world out there for you to explore. Your best stories will come from your personal experiences. You can write about something you don’t know or haven’t experienced, but it’s easier (and often, more genuine) if you write about something you know.
The giveaway is hosted by St. Martin's Griffin.
The blogger is not responsible for shipping the book.
The more entries you enter for the giveaway, the better. 
However, they are not required though - there is a free entry for everyone. 
-The winner will be selected randomly by Rafflecopter! 
-Please enter only from one email. The giveaway ends on June 15 at 12 a.m
This giveaway is for US/Can only. Sorry!
-The winner has 24 hours to reply, before I randomly chose another winner. 
Best wishes :)



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Thank you for reading this! Have an amazing month of June - Leave your blog links in the comments & I'll be sure to check them out & drop by :) Stay in tuned pretty creatures..

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron 
femmmefatalee@gmail.com

75 comments:

  1. I read both this and Anna, and I actually have to disagree. This was the novel I just could not stand, while I did enjoy Anna. xD It's nice to see a different opinion though. I like the CONCEPT of having diverse characters in this book, but they did not FEEL diverse at all, if that makes any sense? Like if they didn't speak Korean, they just seemed like your regular Americans. I would've liked to see how the lifestyle was different in Korea. And being Asian, some of Grace's comments were really offensive for me. The romance was cute though, towards the end. :) Glad you liked this more, Benish! Awesome review.

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

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    1. The love triangle in Anna's book bothered me, how they tried to make the girlfriend look bad so they can get their happy ending. I didn't get any real exploration of Paris in the book, although in this book I feel the author did try a little. I can see your points though, some of Grace's comments were really offensive at times. I agree about that. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Aimee <3

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  2. <--- So excited. I discovered this book not to long ago and chose it for the ABEA giveaway for the it's inclusion of diversity. I look forward to reading it myself, not to mention that I need some more standalones in my life. Thank you for the great review.

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  3. I wasn't really as into this one but I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Thanj you for dropping by Jazmen ♥

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  4. no way! you hated anna and the french kiss? haha. i guess we have an opposite opinion on anna and hello, i love you. i disliked it bc of the author's insensitive description on korea. anyway, cool that you liked it! :)

    Yani @ www.paperboulevard.com

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    1. Haha yes we're opposites on this on indeed :)

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    2. Haha yes we're opposites on this on indeed :)

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  5. I really want to read this book because I don't know anything about Korean culture and I'm interested in knowing more!

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  6. I loved Anna and the French Kiss so I definitely want to read this as well!

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  7. I am glad this one appealed to you some more than Anna and the French Kiss did! It sounds like such a nice idea to me, and it focuses not only on the romance but also the music industry and fame -- which also seems like something that can be hard to handle. And a book set in Korea sounds so different and like the thing I would love. I am eager to try this one at some point. It seems like a more unique romance.

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    1. Yes, the romance was amazing. Interracial couples are the cutest, imagine their babies ♥

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  8. I'm a casual fan of KPOP and when I read some quotes from this book like Grace's comment where she says, "Pop is in the name of the genre. That never bodes well for the quality of the music. But I guess I’d hoped since they’re a big deal, they would be more than your average bubblegum band. After ten songs, my brain is ready to explode." My goodness that was so elitist, I just took a step back out of disgust.

    And then later, she goes all, "I’m guessing that if you guys are famous like Sophie said, it’s mostly based on pretty faces instead of actual quality of music." and I just wanted to bitchslap her. Maybe I these quotes are less harmful in the larger context of the story but I don't think I can bear with this kind of elitist protagonist! Maybe some people can bear with it but I have very low tolerance for shallow white girls insulting other people's music like their music was the only quality thing on the planet :/

    I can understand why you didn't like "Anna and The French Kiss" because some people really did get bogged down by the cliches heh. I don't know how but for me, the cliches just flew right past me because I was enjoying it too much~

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    1. Yes, I agree some of the things Grace says are offensive, her language was quite sad at times. I do feel that she didn't have anything against kpop though, she liked their voices but their wasn't harmony in their music, which she explains more in the book. Her comments about the music can be taken in a wrong way, but I do believe her intentions weren't bad. I can forgive ignorance if the person reaches maturity in the end.

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  9. It is nice that you liked the storyline more about the famly than the romance, that is refreshing. I also like that this has Korean influence. we don't get too many reads with those influences. I havent' seen this before, and I am now curious.

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    1. Yes, the family drama was my favorite theme of the book, it was quite strong ♥

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  10. I am really looking forward to this one. It sounds cute and it is good to hear there is character growth. I loved Anna and the French Kiss so I will definitely try this one - Great review!

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    1. Thank you Grace, hope you enjoy this read ♥

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  11. I was one of those who really enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss, mostly for the location though. I love strong character development in books, especially coming of age stories. I haven't heard of this one before, but it sounds like I'd really enjoy it too. Thanks for sharing Benish and fantastic review! <3

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    1. I hope you enjoy this novel as well, I actually prefer this more over Anna and The French Kiss ♥ Thank you Kelly!

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  12. This book sounds fascinating. I love that this story has diverse characters, and would love to learn more about Korea and K-Pop music. I love how the main character changes and grows in the story by losing her stereotypical way of thinking and defends Koreans. Plus, the romance sounds awesome, and I love a swoon-worthy story! Excellent Review Benish ;)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

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    1. The character Grace does grow on you afterwards, thank you for dropping by Lindy! ♥

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  13. The fresh start at a boarding school in Korea sounds like it would make for a fun plot! And what a coincidence that when she's running from her musical family she runs into another pop star in Korea. I like it when there is character growth in a novel, sounds like it was well done here! Great review!

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    1. Thank you Lola ♥ & I agree the boarding school aspect especially in a foreign country sounds amazing.

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  14. I actually didn't like Anna and the French Kiss much, but I think I may enjoy this more if you liked it! And boarding school in Korea! I actually attended boarding school, so I wonder if it is any different from the schools in the US!

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    1. Yes, I definitely liked this one much more than Anna's book ♥ I hope you enjoy it :)

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  15. I think I would be more interested in the family drama too than the romance, I like the outside factors a lot more in most books
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. I'm glad you could agree as well! ♥ The family drama was more strong than the romance.

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  16. I love the setting, and yes often times I prefer the family drama and other aspects of the story as well. I am a sucker for boarding school books :)

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    1. I agree family conflict & boarding school books are winners for me :)

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  17. I just got this book too, and I can't wait to read it! I can't wait to see this KPOP aspect. I'm a sucker for family drama too. I'm glad to see the main character has some character growth. Wonderful review!

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    1. I do hope you enjoy this one Rachel, it's still a beautiful read overall :) Thank you ♥

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  18. This sounds like it is quite the journey. Glad to see that Grace grew throughout the book. Glad to see that a different culture was entwined throughout the story too.

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

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    1. Yes, the character growth was what saved Grace's character for me.

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  19. I quite enjoyed Anna, so perhaps this book will be a hit for me as well. :)

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  20. EEP. I want to try this. I do. I loved Stephanie Perkins series, but I Just love it when books go out of the country because it's like OH GOODIE NEW EXPERIENCES!! *flails* I hadn't even heard of this one before so onto the enormous TBR it goes. *dashes for goodreadS*

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    1. haha you're so adorable Cait ♥ & I agree, experience in foreign countries is amazing! I hope you do end up liking this book.

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  21. sounds like a lovely read. I love books with beautiful writing && nicely developed characters - how they mature throughout the book :) I'll definitely read this when I get the chance. Great review, Benish! :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

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    1. I hope you enjoy this book overall, thank you Czai ♥

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  22. Ooo, I'm not familiar with this one! 3.5 stars isn't bad... I'm happy to see that the character development is good.

    Excellent review, Benish!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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  23. Wonderful review! Though I really enjoyed Anna I do understand where you are coming from. That happens. I think the setting really draws my interest; I loved to read a book in that setting!

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    1. Thank you Magen, & yes the boarding school aspect in a foreign country is fantastic ♥

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  24. I haven't heard many good things about this one, so nice to see a positive review. I did like Anna and the French Kiss (although, hated it in the beginning, but then couldn't help but be charmed by it, despite it being a little cheesy and cliché) I think Grace coming off as immature and shallow would annoy me, but along as there is character growth, I think I could deal. I much prefer family drama to romance drama (because I do enjoy good romance, so I can say it over that, haha). Sounds fun though!

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    1. Yes, I've been reading mixed reviews about this book as well. I think the negative reviews are mainly because of the character Grace, although she does get character growth later on. Thank you for dropping by Kristy ♥

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  25. I love beautiful writing. I feel like we don't see that as much these days. Sounds cute.

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  26. Hmm... I haven’t read ANNA so I can’t compare it to that but I didn’t really enjoy this one. The author was pretty insensitive, and inaccurate apparently (according to Kirkus’s review), when it came to Korean culture and since I’ve lived around Asia for my whole life that was a really big turn off for me. Oh well, maybe I will enjoy ANNA better? I’ll have to see :P Glad you enjoyed this one though! Great review :)

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    1. Yes, maybe you might like Anna's story better :) Thank you Rabiah ♥

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  27. I'm so excited to read this one! It sounds so adorable and just different enough. :) I'm excited to hear the writing is good, too, since I often think writing in cute contemporaries isn't pretty and more utilitarian--not a bad thing, but I love a little bit of floweryness. :) Great review!

    Rachel @ Paper Cuts

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    1. Yes, it is a cute contemporary but it also focuses on family as well ♥ Thank you Rachel!

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  28. I'm no KPOP fan so I'm not entirely sold on this. But I'm curious. :D Great review, Benish!

    Blessie @ Mischievous Reads

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    1. Thank you Blessie! I hope you enjoy this book since it's more cutesy ♥

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  29. This books sounds really good and adorable :) Keep In touch dear..
    Rampdiary/Beauty and fashion/ Art blog

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  30. I might just read this simply because it's in Korea and it's about K-pop! I'm a huge fan of K-pop, so HOPEFULLY I'll enjoy this (and then I'll recommend it to one of my friends and maybe book club).

    Fabulous review, Benish! :3

    ~Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

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    1. It's a cute book overall, I hope you enjoy it ♥

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  31. Aw coming of age and a first love? Sounds great.

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  32. This book keeps popping up everywhere so i've been determined to get my hands on it and see what the excitment is all about! Anything that involves a first love is definite 'yes' for me!

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  33. I love the sound of the Korean main character and the diversity, but she does sound really snobby! I've read so many reviews about this one that I've decided not to continue with reading it. Lovely review though hun!

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    1. Thank you Jeann, & yes, not many people like the sound of the character Grace but the author has made Grace bitter and ignorant because of Grace's past.

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  34. I love a great coming of age story -- especially with beautiful writing. Even with the flaws, I think I'll add this to my list. Thank you for the great review, interview, and giveaway :D

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts ♥& I'm glad you could enjoy the review!

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  35. I haven't heard of this book before now but it does sound like something I'd enjoy. I'm pleased to hear that Grace improved as a character for you, I am curious about the K-Pop aspect, I have never heard of this? the writing sounds beautiful.

    A lovely review Benish :-) Sharon – Obsession with Books

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    1. Yes, Grace does get character growth by halfway into the novel and the romance is adorable overall minus the angst ♥

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  36. After a few reviews I've read about this book on Goodreads I think I will pass on it. I have to admit the cover is very cute and alluring :)
    Agata @ Vanilla Reads

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  37. I love your writing style, it's almost poetic! I enjoy reading it very much, probably because you describe thoughts which I share with you :)
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  38. Dude, this is awesome! You have some legit skill! =D
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