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Friday, June 12, 2015

Travel Log: Korea (Guest Post + Contest from Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout)

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post, Travel Log7 Comments

Hello, I Love You 

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.

Amazon // B&N // Books-A-Million // IndieBound // iBooks

Guest Post

Why South Korea?

Ive always loved books with non-American settings. I love travel in generalexperiencing new things, tasting new foods, and seeing the world with fresh eyes. I love how books can transport you to places youve never been or bring back memories of those you have. I can pick up Stephanie Perkinss Anna & the French Kiss and go back to my own visit to Paris or Kirsten Hubbards Wanderlove and dream about going to Guatemala.

When I started writing Hello, I Love You, the question wasnt Why South Korea?It was Why not South Korea?

I was writing a book about Korean pop music. I had been inspired by Korean dramas. It made sense to set it in Korea.

Travel is different for different people. We all see the world in unique ways, because were unique people. And I think booksand book settingsare the same. I knew from the beginning that I didnt want to write about a Korean living in Korea. I wanted to write what I knew: a foreigner stepping into a new culture and being completely overwhelmed and ultimately learning to appreciate something unfamiliar.

Ive lived in three different countries, including one in Asia. It was one of the most difficultand also excitingtimes of my life, going through extreme culture shock, having my worldview completely blown open, and realizing that I can be incredibly judgmental.

And in my book, I wanted to explore that terrifying, exhilarating ex-pat lifestyle.

When I wrote Hello, I Love You, I had never visited South Korea. Research was tough. Ive never looked at so many Google maps or read so many blogs about street food. But I was actually lucky enough to get to make a trip to Seoul right when I received an offer of representation from my agent. (Like, literally, the same week.) It was so fun to visit the places Id written about and take part in a culture I had only experienced through research and my Korean friends.

The Korea in my book isnt an insiders viewof the country and culture. Its a view from the outside looking in, from the perspective of a girl who literally hates the world and everyone in ita girl who has to be broken before she can see the wonderful thing thats right in front of her face. And its my tribute to every ex-pat out there who has ever gotten frustrated by language barriers, cried from homesickness, and eventually learned to love their new home and culture.

Places Visited in Hello, I Love You

Ganghwa Island

Bupyeong Underground Shopping Mall, Incheon

N Seoul Tower, Seoul

Myeongdong shopping district, Seoul

Gwangjang Market, Seoul

Insadong neighborhood, Seoul

Cheonggyecheon Canal, Seoul

My Favorite Contemporary YA Novels with Non-American Settings

Wanderlove, by Kirsten Hubbard

Hostage Three, by Nick Lake

When You Were Here, by Daisy Whitney

Just One Day, by Gayle Forman

Lock & Mori, by Heather Petty

Wish You Were Italian, by Kristin Rae

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.

Goodreads // Website // Twitter // Tumblr // Pinterest // Hello, I Love You Playlist 

 

Contest

 

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7 Responses to “Travel Log: Korea (Guest Post + Contest from Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout)”

  1. Valerie Pennington

    I’ve heard such fun things about this book! I’m excited to read it!

  2. Emma S.

    This book sounds so cute! It also has a different setting than most YA contemporaries which is exciting!

  3. Summer

    I’ve never read anything set in South Korea, plus it just sounds like a cute summer book, so I’m eager to try this one.

  4. Haley Scully

    This sounds like a great book;it seems very unique and interesting. I can’t wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂