Sometimes you think you know exactly what you’re going to get, and you got the entire book planned out in your head. ‘Hello, I Love You’ was nothing like that. From the moment I got on the plane to Korea with the main character Grace, I was just as lost as her and had to find my way.
‘Hello, I Love You’ shows us how love can be tricky and difficult and most of all, that sometimes it is worth fighting for, even if you’re scared.

by Natacha


‘Hello, I Love You’


Katie M. Stouthleen



Reading Level:

Advanced Beginner


June 9th 2015


St. Martin’s Griffin

Feelings Thermometer:

When Grace enters boarding School in Korea, she does it to get away from everyone at home. Grace comes from a family, where her brother is a country music star and her father is a huge record producer. Grace is tired of it all, and all she wants is to escape the music world, the world that was involved in her brothers accident, which caused her entire family to break.

She therefore travels to Korea to get away from it all, and as she gets there she meets her new roommate Sophie. They instantly become best friends, and Grace believes that she can finally be free of everything at home that has to do with music, right until she meets Sophie’s twin brother Jason. Jason is a famous K-pop artist in Korea, and even though Grace and Jason at first dislike each other, they can’t help but notice, that there is an attraction between them. Grace now has to decide, if she is willing to give up her promise about leaving music behind, or if her promise to herself is more important.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I’m sure everyone’s heard that before, but this time it’s actually true. When I first saw the cover of ‘Hello, I Love You’ , I thought I was getting an insta-love book where the characters would fall in love within the first 50 pages, and where everything would be neat and perfect. I had kinda said to myself, “that is what you are gonna get”, and my mind was therefore totally set on that.

As it turned out, that wasn’t at all what I got. The cover of the book has a picture of Jason and Grace sitting back to back, a lovely bright blue color, and clouds and hearts all over it. This is one of the reasons why I thought, that the book was an ‘everything is perfect, everyone is happy’ – kind of book. But that wasn’t the case. The book has a darker theme to it, than just love and hearts.

In the very first chapter, I found out that what destroyed Grace’s family has to do with her brother. She writes him letters, that I as a reader got to read throughout the book, and thereby I got to learn more about Grace and her motives to leave America for Korea. The insta-love story I thought I was gonna get in this book wasn’t there at all. But the rough, realistic and difficult love story I got was so much more authentic than any insta-love story. The book isn’t just romance love, it is also love to ones family and the unbreakable bond between family.

Two different stories in one?

It took a long time for Grace and Jason to get together, which at first really annoyed me. I felt like they were the whole idea of the book and they therefore had to get together sooner.

Then I figured out that the book has two different stories. The first is the love story between Jason and Grace. The other story is about Grace’s difficulties, that are somehow connected to her brother. This is where the story really kept me on the edge. I was dying to know what happened to her brother, and why she even moved to Korea in the first place.

Excerpt from ‘Hello, I Love You’

Big Brother,
I want you to know something: It wasn’t your fault, not any of it. And I’m so sorry. Sorry for ditching the family and for shipping off to the other side of the world.
But, mostly, I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you when it mattered. I should have told someone before it got bad. It’s just that you’re my big brother; you’ve always been the strong one. And I miss that.
You’re probably laughing hysterically right now, imagining me-the foreign language–challenged child–bumbling my way through the airport, a lonesome little white girl with a Southern accent and too much hair spray. Just know that with every step I take farther from home, the more I miss you.
Maybe this trip will give me time to figure things out. I certainly hope it does, anyway.
I could end this letter with “from Korea, with love” like that James Bond movie in Russia, but the plane hasn’t landed yet, so I’ll just leave you with…

Almost in Korea, with love,

A perfectly combined cocktail

If you combine love, mystery, problems and character developments, you got yourself a perfect cocktail known as ‘Hello, I Love You’.

The book is truly a love story, but so different from most love stories. It shows, that in order to love someone, you have to fight for it. It might not always be easy, but in the end it may be worth it.