Cover Image: Seoulmates

Seoulmates

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Member Reviews

Hannah has tried to deny the Korean side of herself to fit in as the all-American girl, but then her boyfriend dumps her right before the summer between junior and senior year starts. While her white boyfriend was into all things Korea, Hannah just wants to be California cool. But Jacob, her childhood best friend who moved back to Korea is coming back for the summer - they've lost contact and he's become a BIG K Drama star, which Hannah doesn't know because she can't get far enough of way from her heritage. But the two find themselves working together and the friendship returns... and builds. And then bring on the kissing!

Good story with focus on Korean diaspora.
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Susan Lee I am suing you for emotional damage.

Firstly, thank you Inkyard Press for the eARC! If you cannot tell, I am still processing this book, because this was quite possibly the most adorable and the funniest book I have read all year. I'm serious, reading about Korean moms hitting their daughter's evil ex-boyfriend with their handbags was the highlight of my year. I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would have, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read this book early. SEOULMATES is a gorgeous summer read, and Susan Lee perfectly does the friends-to-lovers dynamic, that captures the essence of fighting for love in the most unexpected ways.

I think that the plot was a little more on the cliché side and was quite predictable at times, but I was here for the ride. I was so invested in this story and soon enough, I wasn't able to put the book down at all. I'm dead serious, I read this during my biology summer school class and I have no regrets. And the emotions I felt while reading this book were off the charts. My friend has the texts to prove how emotionally unstable I felt during all of it. I was laughing and tearing up and was basically a puddle on the floor during many moments. Susan Lee, you really played with my emotions.

I absolutely adored both Hannah and Jacob. Both were such complex characters that I could connect and root for from the beginning. Hannah, my girl, was such a girlboss and I loved seeing her growth and development. And her in a panda hat. Jacob was quite possibly one of the most adorable characters I've ever met, and he instantly became a favourite of mine. Him saying "The Lego Technic Roller-coaster is scarier than it looks," won me over and I will forever be quoting that. But ultimately, my favourite part was seeing him find the strength to finally stand up for himself and fight for his own happiness. The side characters were such a fun treat as well, and I absolutely loved Jin-Hee, Mrs. Cho and Mrs. Kim as they were hilarious to read about and I enjoyed their presence the entire way through.

I did feel that the romance was a little rushed however, but I don't have that much of a problem with it. Hannah and Jacob had such great chemistry together and I was rooting for the two of them the entire time. There were just so many ups and downs that had my poor little heart beating way too fast and all in all, it was just such a beautifully written romance. I will say however, that I was quite surprised for the book to be quite spicy for a YA book, especially because the tone and the theme were a little more targeted towards the younger portion of YA. It's not that big of a deal, but I do just want to make a note of it, especially because it really shocked me.

Overall, this was such a cute read and I highly recommend it for those who love romance, and for those who love watching K-Dramas! This deserves a definite 5/5 stars and I cannot wait for release date, which is SEPTEMBER 20TH 2022 and it's a must-read!
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Literally a K-drama in a book! I was a really enjoyable read I must say. 3.5 stars <3.
Being a k-drama addict, I loved the occasional Korean phrases that I understands despite not being Korean. Loved the dual POV, not just a romance but also a deep exploration of Hannah's fears and resolving them, the other side of being a Korean star, the struggles and the hardships. 

The only thing I didn't like is how Jacob seemed like he couldn't do anything to fight against her management company...he couldn't even say anything to fight for himself, instead he just complied and did whatever they say...

I think if you love watching K-dramas, you would love this book!
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✨Team Jacob✨

This was super cute!!! I didn’t know what to expect, seeing as I don’t watch K-dramas. I am a decidedly dramatic person who doesn’t enjoy too much drama in books or movies/shows. However, her name is Hannah so that’s an automatic read and it’s YA romance which was my first true comfort genre. So no surprise, the romance truly won me over. 

Hannah! My prickly-pear tomato-hating name-sharing seoulmate. Honestly, I was on her side during every argument she had with anyone in this book. She made so much sense to me. She was strong and snarky but a cinnamon roll underneath her armor. Of course, when faced with her estranged-and-now-very-broad childhood-best-friend-turned-K-drama-star she found herself feeling *feelings.* Also her wanting to be an immunologist!!! Heart smash. 

Jacob! I love an ugly duck moment. I live for that moment when the other character comes face to face with this newly-sculpted, distractingly-tall, deep-voiced <I>hot</I> duck. That moment of reckoning past with present is always so delicious. Jacob’s fame definitely takes its toll on him, and we got a lot of him struggling with his role on <i>Heart and Seoul.</I> I definitely got irritated towards the end, but it was an understanding irritation. 

I loved the duel POV here, something I’m not always into. I definitely read more dual POV in adult romance, and maybe that’s why this one felt more new adult than YA to me. There was one scene that was more explicit than some romances I’ve read lol. It was literally like two paragraphs but I was like okay we went there!? It did feel very random but yolo I guess. I would’ve liked it to go more into that new adult sphere, since it kissed that line more than a few times. He was 18 and she was 17.

I really loved the many facets of the Korean representation at play here. The familial relationships were strong and wonderful with this one. We even got a few interludes from their mothers! God, I love meddling matchmakers. I learned a lot about K-dramas and a little about K-pop; the respect I have for those stars wow. I’m also really craving Korean bbq now. 

Overall, this one was the perfect summer read. It took place around the Fourth of July and it’s the only time I’ll be celebrating that particular holiday this year. The real drama started around 70% and I did lose a bit of interest (the reason for the dropped 5th star). Well, that’s not really correct because I was still engrossed, my eyes just couldn’t help but skim some of the sections. Like I said, I’m not one for too much drama and his management situation was so shitty and angering. However, the romance of it all and the fulfillingly dramatic ending wrapped the book up with a bow. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5   .5🌶*/5

*I was not expecting the point-five pepper lol.

Taylor swift song association: Betty & Cruel Summer


Thanks to the publisher for an eARC via NetGalley! All opinions are honest and my own.
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I loved, loved, LOVED everything about this book. Lee's writing flows across the page as this heartfelt story balancing diaspora and betrayal unfolds into a love story that reaches into your heart and takes firm hold. All the stars for this gem!
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Seoulmates was a totally delightful summer romance full of realistic characters, fun and heartwarming tropes, Lee's exploration of Korean-American identity through both characters is nuanced and important, and her book strikes the perfect balance between fun and charming and meaningful. A wonderful summer read!
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Seoulmates is a book that sticks with you long after you read the last word on the last page. Susan Lee has created a set of characters that made me laugh, shuttle back to that angsty teenage time while also handing me a sweet wholesome romance all wrapped in a beautiful package. Have you seen the cover?? Loved it loved it loved it!
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Hannah Cho's carefully planned out summer is starting to unravel - her boyfriend Nate breaks up with her with claims that they're nothing alike, leaving Hannah in confusion as everyone around her seems to be obsessed with K-pop and K-dramas. Further adding complications is her former best friend Jacob Kim, who is back in San Diego for the summer after moving to Korea to go star in a K-drama himself years ago.

I enjoyed the development of their relationship through the bucket list that Jacob has, and I loved this look of San Diego that we get.

I really enjoyed the discussion around identity as Hannah and Jacob struggled in parallel ways as Korean Americans - Hannah feeling like she had to hide the Korean part of herself growing up to fit in, Jacob struggling to not feel "too American" to his fans and audiences in Korea. In particular as an Asian American, I empathized with Hannah's anger at having "rejected" the parts of her culture to fit in and feeling a sort of whiplash when it seems to suddenly be accepted and even popular to enjoy these same things that would've gotten you bullied or ostracized as a kid.

I loved Mrs. Cho, Mrs. Kim, and Jacob's sister, especially the family arcs in this book. I really liked how Hannah, who suffers from feeling abandoned by everyone in her life, ends up seeing some new perspectives on the situations from her mom.

Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for the ARC.
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Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for an Advanced Reader Copy of Seoulmates. 

Hannah Cho, recently dumped by her boyfriend, has a summer long plan to win him back. Unfortunately, her plans are upended when her childhood friend, Jacob Kim, and his family come to stay with Hannah for the summer as he recovers from an ankle injury. Jacob is a newly minted K-Drama star, but Hannah, while Korean, hasn't really been interested in that stuff - much to the dismay of her K-pop and K-drama obsessed classmates.

Hannah was heartbroken when Jacob moved to Korea and told her that he didn't need her anymore,, and she can hold a grudge. But old memories and thawing interactions has softened her resolve - can she have a fun summer without her ex and deal with her growing feelings for Jacob? 

I enjoyed this book, it was a fun read and very entertaining. It's definitely rom-com-y, but well written and enjoyable. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and well written book.
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Seoulmates is my soulmate. I love Hannah and Jacob and was rooting for them from start to finish! It is literally kdrama on the page.
If you are a sucker for "we used to be friends but we grew apart and now we are not even sure we want to see each other anymore but let's take a chance on love" then this book is for you. Seoulmates delivers all of the angsty love themes in a wonderfully written story. The book's uniqueness is tied to the kdrama insight from both the fan and artists perspectives. This adds to the dramatic tension for the main characters and gives the reader insight into the world of a beginning kdrama actor. 
After reading this book I added Susan Lee onto my 'Follow this Author' list and I know that other YA Romance and Kdrama fans will too.
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I enjoyed Hannah and Jacob's journey as they navigated the ups and down of their tumultuous past. I liked Jacob's point of view more than Hannah's, just because he was more mature than she was, but Hannah grew into a better person at the end of the book. Thank you NetGalley for an ARC.
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Absolutely LOVED this book, and read it in one sitting! Loved the romance and thoughts about being Korean American, trying to fit in, and the fun camaraderie between the families. This book made me tear up, laugh, and really want to be with Jacob!
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This book is exactly what I needed! It's adorable, it's sweet, it's funny, it's also the best tourism ad for San Diego ever because now I would like to go, and I have my own bucket list of things to do and see. Starting with trying a California Burrito (WHAT A REVELATION!)

But the best part of SEOULMATES is the relationship that re-blooms between Hannah and Jacob. Having both of their points of view (AND the POV's of their parents sporadically) made this read so much more delightful. Watching their slow, steady feelings come back was so sweet. I don't think I'll ever stop recommending this book. 

Also, like Jacob Kim, my first time was in a school parking lot as well.
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This book was too good!! I haven't particularly read much related to the K-Entertainment industry, BUT THIS BOOK? THIS BOOK WAS PHENOMENAL. I loved the angst and betrayal and hurt. How Hannah & Jacob were so hurt yet through the course of the book they tried to heal from things, and started to fall in love with each other. I LOVEDDD Jacob's sister— and Mrs. Cho & Mrs. Kim. Almost everyone is this book was awesome 😭 Except a *few* if you've read Seoulmates you probably know 😡 Overall it was a great read!! I recommend!! I will be posting a longer review on my blog closer to the publishing date.
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I was provided with an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair review.

This was a super fun read that explored Korean-American dynamics, fame, and a friends-to-lovers romance (my favorite trope!). Hannah was stubborn x1000, and definitely a little emotionally scarred. Jacob was a complete and utter marshmallow who must be protected at all costs. Their relationship was definitely complicated, but mostly because of their own lack of communication. I really enjoyed this book, and can see myself revisiting it when I need a good YA contemporary fix.
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Hannah Cho has her summer in San Diego all planned out until her former best friend, Jacob Kim, returns from South Korea, where he has lived for the past several years and become a huge star. Their friendship slowly rekindles, then turns into a lovely YA romance. I loved the Korean rep in this book and Hanna's struggle to fully reconcile her Korean and American identities. Both Hannah and Jacob have a nice arc, and the friends to enemies to lovers trope is expertly used.
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This is such a special book. Good romance done well is always a treat and Susan Lee is definitely up to the task of delivering a romance story that will make you cheer, gasp, and cry (at least for me!) Hannah and Jacob are such well written characters that you can't help but root for them. And to add in themes of self acceptance and identity is what takes this book to the next level. I can't wait until it comes out so I can recommend it to my teens and fellow librarians! 

Thank you to the publisher/ SLJ for getting me this ARC!
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This book was definitely a 4.5⭐ read for me; the perfect contemporary romcom! It had everything I love in a contemporary: quirky characters, witty banter, lots of drama, and an ending that leaves your with the warm fuzzies.

Hannah and Jacob were childhood friends until they weren't. Now they are both trying to navigate through their lives without their best friend to help them. Hannah is trying to get her boyfriend back after he dumps her. Jacob has been in Korea becoming a star in a K-drama but stardom is a lonely place sometimes.

The two reconnect and their journey back together is both hilarious and super sweet. There were a lot of my favorite tropes included: alternating POV, friends to enemies to lovers, miscommunication, and an HPA that made this book un-put-downable.

I think Susan Lee did a fantastic job of making all of the characters very dynamic and the story was so enthralling. I was cheering Hannah and Jacob on the entire time, and I thought that a lot of the other characters were hilarious. There were lots of poignant moments in this story that were woven into the narrative seamlessly.
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I received an Advanced Reader Copy through NetGalley. 

I have never been a Kpop/Kdrama fan or anything similar, but I am a sucker for romance and character development. This book had all three! Being a YA/teen book, it is not surprising that the characters started as very shallow and had extremely fast character development to the point it can feel forced. What was surprising was there being a scene that could best be described as a little “spicy” and not really what you would want to market towards minors. 
Overall, the book reads similar to the Kdramas it draws inspiration from. It will definitely appeal to hardcore fans of Korean celebrity culture. 
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fast-paced book where boy gets girl and everyone lives happily ever after.
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5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Do not miss out on this book! It will warm your Heart and Seoul!

It’s not often I find myself giving 5 stars. But something about Susan Lee’s debut novel really captivated me. It stole my heart and I couldn’t put it down.

There’s so much to love about this book. The K-pop and K-drama references, the Korean families struggling to find their way, the friendship between the moms, the older supportive sister, the younger adorable sister, the complexities of high school drama and bullying, and certainly trying to find your place and what it means to be Korean American.

The biggest, most impactful part for me, is the main theme of the story. That is, the challenge of always being the one left behind, and most of all, finding love, self-acceptance, and healing throughout all of it.

Susan Lee really wrote an incredible story. Thank you for this! I plan to buy a physical copy for myself AS SOON as it is released!!!

Thank you to NetGalley and InkYard Press for the advanced e-copy in exchange for my honest review.
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