Cover Image: Seoulmates

Seoulmates

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Member Reviews

Such a wonderful read, so full of heart and thought-provoking, yet so easy to read. I loved following each of our leads on their journeys, and I naturally loved the way their journeys intertwined into this wholesome love story. There is so much to this novel - about abandonment issues, about carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders and trying to stay afloat, about trying to fit in or live up to other's ideas of you, about being once shunned for your culture and now watching everyone borderling fetishise it. This was start to finish a treat of a read and I look forward to anything else Lee publishes in the future.
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Thanks netgalley for letting me read it was a super fun read and I would definitely read again you gotta love a good friends to lover and enemies to lover type trope
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This was a cute, light hearted story that felt a bit like a K drama in parts, with dramatic pauses, minor misunderstandings, and soulful gazing. A super fast read, great for when you need something light on vacation. Both characters are very likable and you end up rooting for them, especially with Jacob's issues with his managers. My only issue with it was that the intimacy scene seemed really out of place, given the pretty vanilla (but sweet) tone of the rest of the book.
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I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. This book is sweet. I love K-dramas. I have been watching them for years. This book was a bit of a change of pace. Hannah had everything planned out only for it to come tumbling down around her as her boyfriend dumps her. She embraced her American traits and ignored her Korean ones. Korean culture is all the rage and that has her on the outs with those around her. Jacob who was in a K-drama is having struggles of his own. He needs a break and going home to San Diego is what he thinks he needs. Also trying to figure out what happened between him and his best friend Hannah. I loved this and waiting to see what the author has in store next in her writing.
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Seoulmates is a delightful YA romance for anyone who is obsessed with K-dramas. It's a classic friends-to-enemies (and also maybe a second-chance romance) story, about two childhood friends who reunite after some time apart. The catch? One of them is a K-drama star and in a manufactured relationship by their studio. This book was very fun to read.
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3.5!

If you like cute YA summer romances and K-dramas, this is the book for you! ☀️

Hannah and Jacob are childhood best friends that got estranged when Jacob left for Korea and became a K-drama actor. But when he comes back to their hometown in San Diego for the summer, they rekindle their old friendship which quickly evolves into more. 

I really enjoyed the friendship between Hannah and Jacob! After a brief period of hostility due to how their friendship first fell apart, it’s like they never stopped being friends. Watching them complete their summer bucket list was absolutely adorable 🤭

I struggled a bit with both Hannah and Jacob’s characters at the beginning, but I grew to love them. Hannah’s struggles with her Korean-American identity and Jacob's difficulties with finding himself mirrored a lot of my own. I loved seeing them give each other what they needed and love each other as they were. Their friendship reminded me of why friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes 🤍

Overall, this book was really cute! I did want to enjoy it more, but I think that maybe I was just a bit too old for this book. However, I did feel very at home with all of the Korean references, and they put a smile on my face 💌 I love seeing books with Korean representation, and I think this author did a great job of that! I’m excited to read more of Susan Lee’s work :)
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This was cute, but frustrating.
Soooooo much miscommunication happening in this one.
One of my most hated tropes.
Also the chapters were super long.
Thanks to NetGalley & Inkyard Press for my ARC.
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A sweet, fun read that hits all the romantic feels as Hannah and Jacob navigate being best friends-to-enemies-to-lovers and learning to trust each other and their hearts again.
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This book was a bit overly angsty for me, but I did like it. Great time to capitalize on the BTS popularity but with the acting as a different twist. Not sure how true to life all the rules and guidelines for young actors are, but they seem realistic. And awful.
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I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Seoulmates from NetGalley. I really enjoyed the characters and seeing them grow as the story progressed. Can’t wait to see what this author creates next.
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Okay, this one was super cute. It is* YA and I think it def shows here, but not in a bad way! Just in how we tend to handle situations in our youth (read: miscommunication abounds) 😅 

I adored all the K-Pop/K-drama references littered throughout, as well as Lee’s commentary on how both aforementioned fandoms have since gone global in recent years— *and* how said global reach can affect someone like Hannah, a Korean-American still trying to figure out who she is in relation to her culture, and Jacob, a K-Idol.

While some of the story beats may ring similarly to some other books you might’ve read or seen before (𝘟𝘖𝘟𝘖 and 𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘜𝘱𝘰𝘯 𝘈 𝘒-𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘮, to name a few), I still think this is a very light & fun read w/ a great message!
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Friends to enemies to lovers in this adorable young adult romance that weaves family, growing up, culture, and romance all in one.

I absolutely loved how perfect and passionate Jacob and Hannah were to each other. Their stories were different yet also similar. Both looking for someone to cure the loneliness, to remind them of theirselves and the happy moments. Even when they “hate” each other, you can tell they truly do not and I love that magnetic pull between them.

I also enjoyed all of the Korean references. I love learning more about Asian cultures and this book was no exception. Susan Lee did such a wonderful job of weaving culture with a perfect romance. Absolutely adored this book. It’s definitely worth a pick up!
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This was so cute! I love K-Drama's so this was right up my alley. I liked how authentically Susan Lee captured the experiences of migrant children, especially the struggle we face in coming to terms with our identities. I connected with both the MCs and their struggle to belong. 

The chemistry between the two MCs was also so well developed. We got to see their relationship grow and experience what it feels like to fall in love with someone again, but in a new and different way. Susan Lee captured those raging young adult emotions and gave us a real taste of what it's like to love unconditionally and have hope in the face of adversity. 

I'm so glad I got the chance to read this and look forward to reading more by Susan Lee.

Thank you to the publisher for kindly providing me with an ARC via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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I received an e-galley of Seoulmates by Susan Lee from Inkyard Press in exchange for an honest review.

If you want a cute and fun summer teen romance read featuring K-Pop, K-drama, and adventures in California, then Seoulmates should be next on your reading list. Hannah and Jacob were best friends before he left for Korea and became one of the hottest Korean young actors. Hannah is disconnected to her Korean identity - something that has always set her apart in her town and she is unsure of what that means when her ex-boyfriend and friends are all now embracing the Korean culture. Now Hannah feels like she's not Korean enough. Enter Jacob who is back in California for a short vacation and Hannah needs to deal with what happened to their friendship and her feelings of abandonment. The two are drawn to one another whether they wish to admit it or not. As they spend time together and resolve their misunderstandings, Hannah and Jacob find that there may be something more magical to their connection than the Korean drama that Jacob starred in.
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Upon learning the plot involving two former best friends reuniting and then looking at the cover, I was immediately intrigued about the story! And I'm glad it managed to keep me entertained. I loved reading about Hannah reconnecting with her Korean heritage at her own pace while also being the person she's turned out to be. Jacob and Hannah are so cute together, I definitely found the book sweet, wholesome and relaxing.

But the characters did feel two dimensional and their relationship got repetitive a lot. Like a lot. I didn't understand the back and forth of the mess that kept happening past the 60% mark when it felt like Hannah and Jacob had solidified their personality on their own. Despite liking the romance, everything was predictable afterwards and that reduced my enjoyment.
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In the growing genre of Korean entertainment related books, this one stands out. Even without a familiarity of kdramas or kpop, this will be an enjoyable read for those looking for a friends-to-lovers romance. The relationship change for Hannah and Jacob didn't feel rushed and as they reconnected you could see how strong their childhood friendship was and the connection they have. The focus on cultural identity for both Hannah (being seen as Korean in America) and Jacob (being seen as American in Korea) highlights the issues of growing up and feeling like you don't fit in and yet must conform to your peers even at the expense of self. One issue that was frustrating was both Hannah and Jacob would jump to conclusions, but fortunately, they would eventually communicate their concerns and try and resolve them.
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Release Date:9.20.2022
Review Date:9.22.2022

I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own.

The last person Hannah wants to see is her former best friend, Jacob. Until blackmail and a bucket list, along with two meddling mamas, push them together for a summer worthy of a K-drama… Hannah Cho had the next year all planned out—the perfect summer with her boyfriend, Nate, and then a fun senior year with all of their friends. But then Nate does what everyone else in Hannah’s life seems to do—he leaves her, claiming they have nothing in common. He and all her friends are newly obsessed with K-pop and K-dramas, and Hannah is not. After years of trying to embrace the American part and shunning the Korean side of her Korean American identity to fit in, Hannah finds that's exactly what now has her on the outs.  But someone who does know K-dramas—so well that he’s actually starring in one—is Jacob Kim, Hannah’s former best friend, whom she hasn’t seen in years. He’s desperate for a break from the fame and someone to trust, so a family trip back to San Diego might be just what he needs…that is, if he and Hannah can figure out what went wrong when they last parted and navigate the new feelings developing between them.

This one was cute. I laughed out loud at points. Parts of it were very K-Drama dramatic. For the most part I liked the characters in this one. Will recommend.
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3.5 stars

You don’t have to understand every K-Pop or K-Drama reference to enjoy this book, but this book was definitely written for fans of both! This is a sweet YA contemporary romance between two ex-besties, Hannah and Jacob.

Hannah lives a normal teenage existence with her mother in San Diego. Jacob, on the other hand, is a huge star on the hit Netflix K-Drama, Heart and Seoul in South Korea, and he is the main breadwinner for his family. They get thrown back together when Jacob and his family retreat to San Diego for a holiday, forcing Hannah and Jacob to address their 3-year estranged friendship.

Things I Didn’t Love:
-The dialogue could be very cringey, but maybe I’m a little out of touch with the YA genre. It felt very inorganic at times.
-Each chapter ends with a wrap up the preceding events - this is an issue I have with a lot of YA romance…
-The plot could be repetitive. They would make a decision, and make up their mind. Then they would still continue with the opposite of what they decided, and this happened over and over again in the last 25%.
-Another issue perhaps pertaining to the issue above (and may have been a part of that), when we switched perspectives from Hannah to Jacob, their personalities seemed to differ quite a bit depending on the POV.
- Who would date the bully of your childhood friend? I don’t care if they’ve changed….just…no.
-Even though Jacob’s allergy treatments were working, he should NEVER leave behind the EpiPen in case he needed it. What was he thinking????
-There were constant back in forth issues in the last half that felt like we were being yanked to and fro, instead of a more natural progression.
-Jacob did not need that mean of a co-star…she was such an annoying ass villain.

Things I Liked:
-This was lighthearted and fun for the most part.
-Hannah and Jacob went on fun dates around San Diego and its attractions. As someone who has been there multiple times and loves it, it really enjoyed being transported back!
-They actually felt like friends!
-This shows us the true cost of fame and what it’s like behind the scenes of many celebrity lives.
-This was a heartfelt, soft read.
-This was a diverse YA read that touched a bit on cultural and ethnic identity.

Overall, this was a quick, sweet read for any Kboo out there.
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I voluntarily read an advanced copy of Seoulmates by Susan Lee. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley and Inkyard Press for providing an ARC to review.

For fans of Korean culture and its impact internationally, Seoulmates is a sweet rom-com. Hannah has just been dumped by her boyfriend, who is looking for a romantic partner that can share his love of Kpop and Kdramas. Korean American Hannah is not that girl. Not only is she now minus a boyfriend, but her ex-best friend and his family are coming from Korea to stay for the summer. Jacob, the ex-bestie, is a famous kdrama actor recuperating from an injury and escaping the stress of his fame. 

Seoulmates is perfect for those who want more kdrama vibes in your literature. I laughed, I was moved, and in the end, I was satisfied with the romance and how the author concluded the issues of a normal person dating a Korean star. If you are looking for an easy romance with a touch of kdrama hidden inside, this is your book. I rate Seoulmates 3.5/5 stars
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Susan Lee’s Seoulmates is a childhood-friends-to-enemies-to-lovers-story.  Hannah is the only person in her social circle who’s resisted joining the throngs of K-Pop and K-Drama fans, doing her best to embrace and exemplify her American persona while leaving her Korean identity aside.  This backfires when her boyfriend dumps her because “they have nothing in common” as he dives headfirst into K-mania.
Jacob, Hannah’s childhood friend who seemed to vanish into Korea without a trace, returns to town to take a break from his growing fame and fake romance from his starring role in a k-Drama.  Hannah works hard to maintain her reputation as the girl who never gives up a grudge, despite Jacob’s charm.  When he tricks her into helping him complete his bucket list of things a normal teen would do in San Diego, she slowly melts and the sparks fly.
I had some problems with Hannah’s commitments winning back her old boyfriend and to holding onto grudges despite many attempts at reconciliation.  Her stance that if anyone left the local area meant that they abandoned her seems exaggerated.
Still, this is a fun and fluffy read.
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