Cover Image: Seoulmates

Seoulmates

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Member Reviews

DNF at 15%. The characters were incredibly unlikable and the writing was extremely juvenile for the target age range.
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I was given an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. 

I have always loved these second-chance type of books. This one is no different. A great story with well developed characters.
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Seoulmates is a cute story about childhood friends reconnecting later in life.

I love the idea of childhood friends reconnecting. It’s always interesting in YA because realistically you only have so much of a time gap that’s available to play with. In Seoulmates Hannah and Jacob have been separated for three years. So a good amount of time to have had a very solid friendship and amount of time apart to be significant.

I think I felt even more endeared to Hannah because of the Author Note in the beginning of the book and you could really understand how she might feel out of place. Where do you fit in culturally? I think books are such a good window into worlds we might not understand first hand. I was team Hannah all the way. She also has some abandonment issues to work out and I thought it was good to see her kind of come to an understanding with it. My dad actually traveled a lot for work and I have three older brothers. I think all our perceptions on what it was like for our dad to be gone are different.

Jacob has his own things to work through. You went into acting for one reason but then needs to figure out if it’s really what he wants to do. I think he’s just working things out after what happened to his family and finding himself with more choices now. What is it that he really wants to do?

The story is just cute and uplifting. From when Hannah is totally avoiding Jacob to when they finally start hanging out. It’s kind of like an enemy to lovers…sort of…ha ha. Friendships fading and coming back together are just a part of life. I remember one of my best friends and I having a falling out over something totally stupid and when we got older we were finally like, we just want to be friends that was stupid. I liked seeing them figure out that some parts of what happened were misunderstandings on both side. 

Also all the other characters from the moms, to the sister and even Nate. He’s not the worst I guess. They all create a lot of cute interactions that I just loved. 

Again back to Author Notes/Acknowledgements, I see your shout out to Army’s Susan Lee. Love it. Borahae!
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WHERE ARE MY KDRAMA, ROMANCE, YA, AND KPOP FANS AT?

I was such a huge fan of Susan from before I even knew she had a book deal. She’s honest, tells it to you straight, and is as much of a go-getter as she is a champion for others. Her heart for stories and the authors behind them brings me so many warm fuzzies and honestly, I’ve learned so much from her and just am in awe basically.

I read her debut, SEOULMATES, in one day and when I tell you I want to inject everything in this book into my veins, I’m serious. You NEED it in your TBR, Netgalley request, and pre-order list rn because omg, guys. She had me laughing, crying, smiling, and it was like reading a kdrama from start to finish. If you love friends-to-enemies-to-lovers trope, this book is for you. Also, some very reputable celebrities have been caught reading it, and LOOK AT THEIR FACES! They are obviously loving it and you will too once you start.

Hannah and Jacob are relatable characters that had me rooting for them until the very end. And being from San Diego myself, the love letter to ma city (BTS pun lol) made me so happy. California Burritos may play a hand in our MC’s journey, but to what extent I can’t tell you, but reading about places and restaurants I’ve been to was a whole other level of meta and I LIVED for it.

Basically, I will never be done screaming about this book and if you are into Kpop, Kdrama, California, and even if you aren’t and just want a light-hearted yet heartfelt romance, then SEOULMATES is for you. A perfect debut IMO and a fresh new voice in the YA market that has me excited about what’s coming next from Susan’s sexy brain.

Susan, I love you, thank you for this! SEOULMATES will be out Sept 20, 2022! Thank you @inkyardpress and @netgalley for sending an arc! Also, my cats loved it too and approved it. 😂

4.5/5 stars from me!
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A YA romance perfect for a K-drama!
🇰🇷
Hannah Cho is pumped for summer: she’s going to lifeguard with her boyfriend—until he dumps her for not loving K-dramas. Hannah has hidden her Korean side ever since her best friend, Jacob Kim, left when they were fourteen for Seoul. He’s now a big TV star in Korea so when he returns to San Diego for the summer Hannah thinks this is her chance to show her ex what he’s missing. But as she and Jacob reunite, they end up getting closer than ever. Suddenly her life feels like the show Jacob acts in. What happens when K-dramas take over your life?
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@susanleewrites creates an adorable debut YA romance full of DRAMA and I’m here for it. I love all things K-pop in young adult books and this just had me wanting to dive into the world of K-dramas. Any recommendations? Grab this novel when it releases September 20!

CW: death of a parent due to cancer
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This was a cute ya romance about two former best friends, Jacob and Hannah, meeting up again during the summer. Jacob and Hannah were best friends when they were younger, but then the death of Jacob's father had his family moving back to Korea and they ended up staying because of certain opportunities.

When Jacob returns for a summer, he and Hannah try to reconnect, but their past hurts keep getting in the way.

This was a good premise. I think the characters needed to work through some things, but I wish the story was longer to get see more character growth. I will for sure pick up another book by this author.
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"Seoulmates" captures what it is like to struggle to fit in, to feel left behind, and to find yourself when you're least expecting it. 

Hannah is upset when her boyfriend breaks up with her, and she is left facing the summer between her junior and senior year at high school-- and her final year of high school-- single.  During the break up, he tells her it's because they don't have anything in common, so Hannah makes a plan to win him back by learning (and forcing herself to like) the things he does. That plan is derailed when Jacob, her childhood best friend-- the one who left three years ago and has basically been unreachable since-- comes for a visit.  He's famous, but she doesn't care, because she's still upset that their friendship ended so suddenly.  Their shared history can't be ignored, though, and soon they are reconnecting in new and unexpected ways. What will happen when Jacob's life as a K-drama star starts to push into their newly reinstated friendship, and responsibility comes knocking?

"Seoulmates" is a story of two teenagers who are struggling with a near-universal experience: where do I fit in?  As they try to fit into different roles, they realize that they are sacrificing parts of themselves that should have been held close: their cultural identities, their home language, their interests, their emotional well-being, and their desire to truly be themselves.  This book asks important questions about what is worth sacrificing in order to "fit in."  

This is also a story about love, and the ways people learn to love others.  Hannah and Jacob both love their families, even though they don't look like a "traditional" American family. They learn about what it takes to hold closely the people you love-- even if there is an ocean between them. 

This coming-of-age novel is a must-read for older teens, although there is content consideration due to conversations and engagement in sexual behavior.
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i'm obsessed with this book and i've reread it at least three times already. i have no idea what kind of drugs susan lee put in this book but i love it so much. 

hannah, our mc, has finally gotten the hang of high school and she's ready to take on the summer at lifeguard camp with her boyfriend, nate. when nate unexpectedly breaks up with her, paired with the fact that her mother is making her exit lifeguard camp, hannah doesn't think things could get worse until she finds out that her childhood best friend, jacob, is coming back to visit for the summer. 

jacob is a budding, up-and-coming, kdrama actor whose been getting bigger and bigger by the moment, with legions of fans. he really needs a break and hates his lonely but star-studded life where he's in a fake relationship with his co-star that's actually a huge asshole (to him and everyone else). he's in desperate need of a break. 

hannah still has a grudge because jacob left her right before high school started without saying anything. he was just gone, with no attempts to contact her again. when their respective mothers put hannah in charge of being a good host to jacob, hannah decides she's going to continue to ignore jacob and sneak off to lifeguard camp in hopes that she can get nate to get back together with her. when jacob catches her sneaking out, he promises not to snitch if hannah agrees to take him around the city and they slowly start to warm up to each other, which is what their meddling mothers want!!! 

as the book progresses we can see that hannah never really forgot about jacob despite her grudge, and she remembers his allergies even when he's been cured from them! aaaaa!!! she wants to study allergies and stuff as a career which was because of him!!! 

other aspects of the book i liked: 
the hold that kpop and kdramas have on white people!! hannah's spent her life whitewashing herself only for all of her friend group to be into the k-anything trend?? nate breaks up with her because she's not korean enough for him (potential fetish i think)??? now that everyone is into kdramas, they have to work extra hard to keep jacob out of the eyes of obsessive fans. 

the romance:
i love how begrudgingly hannah was to warm up to jacob at first, especially because she was still fixated on trying to get back together with nate. jacob's a skinny little dude that hannah often had to stand up for when they were younger but the tables have turned and he punches someone for her!! they go to legoland together!! i love it.
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*reads yet another kpop/kdrama adjacent book while humming "I don't have a problem"*
So when I finished reading this last night I was so full opinions but now I find myself at a complete loss. 
On one hand, it is well written and full of all the things we love. Drama, friends to "lovers" (they're teenagers so.. that word feels kind of gross.. more on that later). 
Hannah is our main female lead. She's going to be starting her senior year of high school in the fall. I believe she's 17 but I can't recall the book ever specifically saying so.
Jacob is our main male lead. He's 18 and a lead character in a Netflix kdrama called Heart and Seoul (I would watch that and I don't even have Netflix). 
Hannah and Jacob used to be friends before the unexpected loss of Jacobs father caused him to move to South Korea. 
The friends fell out for three years... until an accident causes Jacob to take a little summer vacation back in his Californian hometown. The friends reconnect and then some ;)
The only thing I didn't like is there was a semi graphic steamy scene. I'm really not about reading that kind of stuff about high schoolers.. and it didn't really add anything.. so yeah.. 
Otherwise, a nice little read for new adults.
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Seoulmates is adorable. It is a perfect friends-to-lovers romance, completely encapsulating that first love feeling mixed with teenage angst. I tore through this book and enjoyed every moment. A wonderful debut!
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SUCH a cute book! 

I haven't read a friends to enemies to lovers like this in a while and the angst was so delicious! I adore the characters, the cover, and the concept. Perfect for K Drama fans.
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This one was different, and I really liked it.  With the massive change and popularity of K-pop, K-drama and really anything Korea, not to mention it’s Asian American and Pacific Islander month this book was a perfect read.  It really bought you into the world of K-pop drama and what goes with it.  there are so many limitations on what you can do outside in the public life, but I feel like that’s true with any celebrity really who wants to be even more famous.  With that fame again comes a lot of limitations and I felt for Jacob throughout the book, so much pressure. But watching him and Hannah reunite and rekindle their budding friendship was a beautiful thing. 

Hannah is outgoing and trying to avoid her “Koreaness” as much as possible, that is until Jacob comes back into her life.  He rekindles something inside her and their friendship begins to develop into something more.  But there are hard choices that need to be made, and it’s how they get there and the power of realizations that help them get through these trials and tribulations.  Not to mention Korean execs/managers and costars, life could be hard, but they always say be careful what you wish for because once you get it you may not want it. 

I really enjoyed the book and I hope you pick up a copy and check it out.  Hannah is funny and sounds like a fun person I would love to hang out with.  Plus, I now want to see this K-drama that they mentioned in the book even though I know it’s not real that’s how much I enjoyed it.
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This was cute and fun with a little bit of spice, I loved the K-Drama elements, and how individual both characters were. I feel like many will be able to see themselves in these two. I was waiting for a bit more interpersonal drama to happen, but was still satisfied.
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I’ve become a fan of these K-drama/K-pop stars young adult romances! They are so adorable and I just love them so much. Seoulmates definitely didn’t disappoint! If you are looking for an adorable young adult romance, I recommend this one! Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for a copy of the arc in return for an honest review!
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This was admittedly outside of my normal genre reads. The story was cute and fun, but at times the writing felt really contrived. I'm not sure if that's norm for the genre or not. I definitely would have loved it as a made-for-tv movie, but I am decidedly mediocre on it as a novel.
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I am loving this book so far! It's a cutesy YA romance, you know what you're getting into with it. The cover is eye-catching, and I can't wait to dig deeper into it!
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Cute story of two teenagers who find their way back into each other's lives after three years apart. Drama and emotion and fun characters. Lots of fun K-pop and K-Drama references in this quick read. Thank you netgalley for this arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I was extremely excited to read this book and I absolutely love the cover.

I was very surprised to read about how down to earth Jacob was while being a big K-drama star. I was very much team Jacob right from the bringing of the story. I love how Jacob and Hannah grow during this story especially the relaxations that they discover at the end. both looking at themselves and the problems that they must overcome instead of pointing the finger towards the other. 

I was very happy that I was able to read this book and it did not disappoint. Every part weather it be steamy, heartbreaking or frustrating had me excited to continue reading (especially when life gets in the way and you have to take breaks). This story was a quick read for me and was very enjoyable.
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Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for the ARC! 

Seoulmates was a book that really interested me when I first found out about it. This book is written from the perspectives of Hannah Cho and Jacob Kim, two childhood best friends who separated after Jacob moved to Korea and pursued an acting career. Years later, Jacob returns to the US, giving Hannah and Jacob the chance to reunite and reconcile their relationship. I had a lot of excitement for this book, but unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to. 

Besides some moments I thought were too melodramatic, an issue I had with this book had to do with Jacob’s status as a K-drama actor. I’m much more familiar with K-pop than I am with K-dramas and as a K-pop fan, I’ve seen so many non-fans claim people shouldn’t support Korean entertainment because of overgeneralized misconceptions. While there are many issues within Korean entertainment (as is the case with Western entertainment as well), I felt like the book relied too strongly on the ~image~ people have of Korean companies. I would have liked for the conflicts Jacob faced as an actor to have more substance than a manager that only cared about his image, a costar that treated him unkindly, and an industry he felt restricted by. Because so much of the book had to do with Jacob’s experiences as an actor (while Jacob did not even seem to be passionate about acting), I didn't feel very interested in his character and storyline. 

While I was unable to get invested in certain aspects of the book, there were some parts I really liked. Something I enjoy about estranged friends to lovers romances are moments where the couple can still perceive what the other person is thinking/feeling, and Hannah and Jacob were no exception to this. I also appreciated the pacing of Hannah and Jacob’s relationship because I felt like I got to understand the dynamics of their friendship and romance, and the involvement of Mrs. Cho and Mrs. Kim was very sweet! Although various elements did not work for me, other readers might find more enjoyment in this contemporary romance.
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I loved this book! Susan Lee did a wonderful job developing the two main characters, Hannah and Jacob. Their friendship and sweet love for one another was thought out perfectly. Jacob’s loyalty to Hannah in the face of his commitments to his family and job was endearing. 

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone interested in a sweet, coming of age love story. It honestly reminded me a lot of the P.S. I Love You series. 

The ending was good, but- if I had to critique something, I was a little disappointed by the hotel scene. It helped to hear Jacob’s perspective, but I was surprised that he allowed the studio to treat him that way. I mean, it all worked out between them, but I still felt there was something missing at the end. 

But anyways, I did like it. Great for fans of sweet, pure, love stories. Especially if they love k-dramas or k-pop! 

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