Katie M. Stout’s debut HELLO, I LOVE YOU is on sale and ready to be tucked into your beach bags. This book is about a girl who leaves her home in Nashville to escape her family troubles and ends up at a South Korean boarding school. Grace is a fish out of water at her new school, but her new roommate Sophie helps to ease the transition- and introduces her to her brother Jason, a local pop star. Drama ensues! I was really interested to read this to learn more about Korean culture and the music scene. The setting was a big sell for me, and I loved the friendship between Sophie and Grace, and the romance was a fun bonus. Read on to find out more about the book, read an author Q&A and enter to win a copy for yourself.
About the Book:
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.
Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout
On Sale Now
St. Martin’s Griffin
Hardcover, 304 pages
Music is one of the themes of Hello, I Love You and the author created a Spotify playlist for readers that want to dig a little deeper into K-Pop:
Please welcome author Katie M. Stout who kindly answered my questions about Hello, I Love You, K-dramas, and favorite books.
In your book, Grace leaves Nashville to attend boarding school in Korea. I read that you’ve spent some time in Korea yourself. Do any of Grace’s experiences mirror your own?
While I’d love to tell you that I had a whirlwind love affair with a pop star, I’m sad to say that Grace’s experiences in Korea are really nothing like my own. 😉
I did, however, have a lovely time visiting some great destinations and eating some great food! Seoul is an amazing place.
What was your favorite scene or most difficult scene to write?
The most difficult scene to write was definitely the last one, but that’s always the hardest for me. I remember when I was working on the rough draft, I had to take so many breaks because I was convinced it was terrible and I would never get it the way I wanted. I literally laid on the floor in my room, stared at the ceiling fan, and texted my bestie Kristin Rae (author of Wish You Were Italian) about how much of a terrible writer I was. LOL!
Since your protagonist falls for a K-Pop star I’ve gotta know- who are your favorite K-Pop bands, and/or do you have any Korean dramas to recommend?
Oh, I’ve got K-dramas to recommend. For sure. There are a ton of amazing ones, but I think my favorites are:
1. City Hunter
2. Answer Me 1997
3. My Love from Another Star
5. The Master’s Sun
If your book had a theme song, what would it be?
I never thought of this song while I was writing, but I recently realized that “Stereo Hearts,” by Gym Class Heroes and Adam Levine perfectly fits the book. But the K-pop song that was constantly in my head while writing was CN Blue’s “Love Girl.”
What are your favorite books with international settings, and/or what diverse books do you recommend?
My favorite YA that’s centered around travel is definitely Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard; I’ve never read another YA that so perfectly encompasses the young backpacking culture and what it’s like to have your eyes opened by travel.
In terms of “diverse” books, I loved Renée Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn. I also love Marie Lu’s Legend series, and Stacey Lee’s Under a Painted Sky is one of the best YA historicals I’ve read in a long time.
Thank you for stopping by to chat about Hello, I Love You, Katie!
About the Author:
Katie M. Stout is from Atlanta, Georgia, and works for an international charity that sends her to fun places like Spain and Singapore. When she’s not writing, you can find her drinking an unhealthy amount of chai tea and listening to Girls’ Generation, Teen Top, and all her other favorite K-pop tunes.
Enter to win a copy of Hello, I Love You, courtesy of my friends at St. Martin’s Griffin. Giveaway is open to entrants with US/Canada addresses, age 13 and up. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter below: