Hello, I Love You by Katie M Stout: Book Review

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Commentary: When I first about this book, I immediately put in on my to be read list. I really love KPOP and I thought it was going to be super interesting!! Now, I had mixed feelings about the book before I got it. It could have been great or a train wreck. Well, this book was a bit of a train wreck for me. Grace Wilde, the main protagonist, was so annoying!! She made Americans look bad! She was quite nosy, she wanted to know everything personal about the secondary characters, it’s like she has never heard of privacy…and insensitive about Korean culture. First of all, she didn’t really want to go to South Korea. She chose the first school according to Google results. If she really wanted to get away from her family, she should have chosen a place where she wanted to go to…that’s one of my main problems with this book. She could have at least been a bit more enthusiastic about her stay there, but no. Also, I thought Jason Bae was going to be in a Korean pop group, but that wasn’t the case. He was in a band, and Grace was so suprised that Koreans play instruments like Westerners. Secondly, I don’t think this book is for any KPOP fan at all. There weren’t really any references to KPOP…The book mainly focused on the developing love-hate relationship between Jason and Grace. I was very disappointed because this book was really hyped up. I felt sorry for Jason since there was a lot of miscommunication between he and Grace. Grace was mostly angry and quite annoying, I don’t know how he and his band member fell for her.  She constantly got angry at Jason…and overreacted to so many situations…I don’t know how I even finished the book. I also felt that the second guy was a bit pointless. I feel that the author tried to create drama between the characters, but I believe that it didn’t work since Grace was too distracted by Jason and how hot he was. The secondary characters were fun. I really like Sophie, Jason’s twin. She was really nice and helpful to Grace. I would have loved if Grace’s sister, Jane, were the protagonist! It would have made this book a little more readable. In addition, the synopsis says that Grace wanted to get away from the music industry, but that’s a lie. She was willing to help out Jason out with his song. Whoever wrote the synopsis should rewrite because it fooled me! The book title is based off The Door’s song, Hello I Love You. Lastly, I really couldn’t stand Grace. She was snobby and wasn’t really willing to learn in her new environment. Was the book worth the price? No, I found it to be a tad expensive for a meh book. Would I recommend it for my fellow KPOP fans? Absolutely not. I would rather read KPOP fanfictions on Wattpad.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️ (1.5)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: Book Review

I kept seeing this book series whenever I was looking for a new series to start. The cover looked amazing and it convinced me to start the series. I knew it was going to be a Cinderella retelling, but I had no idea what it was going to be about. I just finished the book and it was great. This review will have a bit of spoilers so be warn!

Cover: I love the cover! 

Characters: My favorite character from the Lunar Chronicles so far is Cinder. I thought that she was amazing, the author developed her character. She was a cyborg who constantly felt like an outsider with her step family who did not love her (except for Peony, her stepsister). She was the girl with the mysterious backstory that had no recollections of her memories prior to her cyborg surgery. She’s sarcastic and very tomboyish mechanic who can’t blush or have tears due to her surgery. I can’t wait to read about her in the next book. Prince Kai, was very charming from the beginning of the novel. I enjoyed his scenes with Cinder, from their first meeting at the marketplace to their dance at the ball. It was interesting to see how he transitioned from being a prince to an emperor. He has many problems that he wants to resolve such tensions between the Lunar Kingdom and Earth. May I say, that I loved Queen Levana as the villain. I really thought she was a Queen Bee. Although I have not read the other books in the series (I will eventually get to them), I am excited for her story! 

Plot: This was more than a Cinderella retelling. The author really took time to create this world. It’s in the future and there’s conflict between the Moon and Earth. It really reminded me of Sailor Moon! (for example: Cinder kept saying that lunars have magical powers). The plot, I thought was really interesting. You have Cinder as an outsider cyborg who is in fact Princess Selene (this gets revealed till the very end). The main conflict that I found in the story is that Queen Levana does not want to sign any peace treaties with Earth and wants marry Prince Kai in order to become Empress and later dominate the entire world. Cinder is the one to let Kai know of what Queen Levana is plotting thanks to a mysterious lunar girl whose guardian is Sybil Mira (thaumaturge of the Lunar Kingdom).  There are two other subplots that I can think of such as Prince Kai’s determination to find Princess Selene and marry her instead of Queen Levana, and secondly, Cinder being immune to lemutosis. 

Sad Moments: I was sad to see Peony die. I had hope for her to survive since Cinder was given the antidote for lemutosis. I did shed a tear when Cinder was removing her id chip. Then there’s the part with Cinder discovering Iko’s personality chip in her room. Lastly when Prince Kai told Cinder “Was it all in my head? A Lunar trick…You’re even more painful to look at than she is” (Kai realizing that Cinder is both Lunar and cyborg. 

Shock Factor: I was not as shocked to learn that Cinder was Princess Selene, but I did find it shocking that Lunars were immune to lemutosis. 

Would I recommend this book? Yes. If you’re a fan of the fairy tale retellings, this book is perfect for you. I am really excited to continue reading the Lunar Chronicles 

My rating is a 4 out of 5 🙂

Jackaby by William Ritter: Book Review

“I have a gift that is, as far as I have found, unique to me. It allows me to see truth where others see illusion – and there are many illusions, so many masks and facades. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”  – Jackaby

I won an advanced reader’s copy of the novel through a goodreads giveaway. For anyone interested in buying the book, it goes on sale September 16, 2014. Winning a free book did not influence my opinions. The Cover: Did anyone feel the cover? It’s so soft and it feels very different from your typical paperback. I loved the cover of the novel, it was quite beautiful. I loved the  details of the cover such as the woman in red. It is one of my favorite covers of 2014. The Plot: Abigail Rook is not your typical Victorian socialite, she seeks adventure and travel,  and would rather get her hands dirty be seeking a husband to maintain her. She arrives to New England after having a disappointing experience excavating dinosaurs.  Abigail seeks a employment right away because she is in need of money and meets Jackaby, her future employer who is a detective. The people of New Fiddleham view Mr. R.F. Jackaby as a maniac since he deals with the supernatural. Naturally, he is talented in his work, he is compassionate and kind to supernatural creatures. The duo works together in order to solve the mysterious murders in New Fiddleham with some help from the police force. The Characters: Abigail definitely proved that she was not your stereotypical girl, she worked hard for her job. Jackaby, I had no complaints about his character. For some reason, I kept imagining Matt Smith as Jackaby because he reminded me of the eleventh doctor. At the same time, Jackaby really reminded me of Sherlock since he sees what others can’t see.  Then there is Charlie Cane, who I thought was adorable, I thought he was human until the middle of the book. The side characters were great, I would have loved it if Jenny the ghost had a bigger backstory, the same going for Douglas the duck. The Villian: I knew it! I loved how he was a creature rather than a person! The Romance: Thank the heavens that there was no love triangle in this novel. It would have ruined the novel for me that is. I didn’t not like how some of the characters in the novel tried to ship Jackaby and Abigail, I did roll my eyes during those parts. Jackaby and Abigail make an awesome team, I loved their friendship. The only two characters that developed some feelings for each other were Abigail and Charlie Cane. I did want to them together, but it’s okay that they did not become a couple. I would like to see the author wrote more stories about Jackaby. The novel is relatively easy to read and it is only 299 pages long. I would recommend this novel for anyone wanting to read a short mystery book with a hint of fantasy. For a standalone novel, I thought it was really good and I would really love more of Jackaby’s adventures. My rating is a 4 out of 5 😀