Hart & Seoul

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Member Reviews

I really really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately the writing style was not for me. I didn't feel drawn in and instead felt like it was more "tell not show" than I was experiencing the story alongside the character. I'm going to give it another go in the future but this just couldn't capture my attention.
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Rating : 4 / 5 ⭐ OMG I LOVED IT 

The culture mixing which is Korean culture and American culture are totally amazing. I'm an Asian, so I don't really familiar with American culture ( even though I watched a lot on TV but still ) It's more a culture introducing for me. 

And oh yes, Lee Hyung Kim probably my new fictional boyfriend from now on. He is so charming and talented, he even has Aussie accent which is uwu 😻 more reason to love him.

But overall, I don't really agree with the ending. It's not like what I expected. So yeah, if I have a chance I'd write myself the ending that I want. Okay just kidding no offenses here 😂 but still it's the ending that I want, but not in the way I want it to happened. 

So definitely check out this book. Not gonna lie though, Hart & Seoul made me rolling on my bed for hours, smiling and laughing like an idiot. 😆
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I love famous person falls for civilian books and YA romances (less sex, more actual relationship).  I've also recently got into watching kdramas (and now Boys Over Flowers is on my list!).  So I was looking forward to reading this - and I'm please to say I wasn't disappointed!

I liked Merri and Lee and I thought the author did a good job of showing their personalities and how they dealt with the various challenges they face over the course of the book.  Both also have had past issues currently affecting them.  Merri's mother abandoned her family and Merri's love of art is causing problems with her father.  Lee's fame should mean he's on top of the world, but it's clearly not all it's cracked up to be.

Neither's impressed with the other when they first meet when Lee comes to stay with his aunt, Merri's next door neighbour.  Thrown together by proximity, it's lovely to read as they start to appreciate each other and become friends, then something more.

I really enjoyed the Korean attitudes, food and expressions added to the book, they really added something.

A lovely book.
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Hart & Seoul is for everyone that's had a celebrity crush and dreamed of dating them. This book your typical cute boy meets girl situation except the boy is a runaway k-pop star in hiding. 

However, At first, Lee and Merri do not like each other because of misinterpretations and Merri is an American girl with no knowledge of k-pop and that world of it but of course afterwards they begin to get to know each other and actually like each other. The book was light, quick and cute. you learn about different cultures, music, etc. Personally I don't know much about k-pop but it was interesting to read about it.
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I loved this book so much. A lovely book for all fans of korean dramas. The characters are wonderful and deep. A perfect blend of lighthearted and serious matters. So amazing. I recommend for teens and up.
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What a cute story. I really enjoyed this book a lot! I am a huge fan of K-Pop, so this just tickled my fancy! Hart & Seoul is your typical boy meets girl, neither like one another too much but soon it turns into love kind of story. This was a bit predictable, but nonetheless, was super enjoyable. 


I wish I had more of a backstory for Merri and her friends.  I really feel like their betrayal would have made more of a solid impact on me if I understood their friendship a bit more. To be honest, her friends seemed horrible to begin with and I am not sure why Merri put up with them in the first place. 


Kristen Burnham has a very adorable writing style and her words flowed easily off the page. This book kept me engaged and it was light hearted and fun. This is a great summer read. 


Thank you so much Kristen Burnham, Mascot Books, and NetGalley for the chance to review this title.
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This one didn't really work for me! The writing style felt rushed and awkward, and I just couldn't gel with it. It had a very interesting premise, but I didn't love how it was executed. I could see how others would enjoy it, especially with the rise in popularity for Kpop recently.
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This is a lot deeper than I expected. It should be said that there are content warnings for Self Harm, depression, and abandonment. While only the first is really up front the others are there.
Beyond the sad parts this was an adorable romance that brought two broken people together to help heal. The main characters are Merri and Lee find eachother and while it may start out as hate it grows to something so much more. 
I really enjoyed that they had depth and something in their lives beyond falling in love.
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I don't know what I feel about this book because it frustrated me to no end with its poc rep. The author is clearly a k-drama fan and she does say so in the Author's note. But Korean culture is not just all about 'Aigoo', 'Aiiish', 'Deh' and Kimchi. I doubt they eat kimchi that much at all. Lee did not feel like a realistic character at all. Neither did the other characters. Merri was confusing most of the times. Her best friend Bree was a bitch and they broke of so suddenly that I had a hard time grasping how they'd been best friends since kindergarten. The too obvious attempt to make Lee as Asian as possible became less significant towards the end, and I'm kind of glad with how the ending played out.

It does try to tackle some serious issues like suicide attempt, but in the end, I could just not get over how badly done and blatantly racist Lee's character was to properly enjoy it.
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This book is cute. It feels very much like the fantasy of a person who might listen to K-pop or watch K-dramas. There was a lot of faults with this book in the lack of research, the lack of character and plot depth , and the overall writing of the story. If you are looking for excellent literature then this is not what you are going to want to pick up BUT I will say that as a fan of K-drama's myself, the pitfalls of a self-insert story do make for a fun set of day dreams.
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I guess I should start this review questioning something very simple, but equally important at the same time? I can only rate this book to five stars? For real? Oh, boy, I wish I could give more, really. 
I can’t even put completely in words how much I loved this book and how he means to me now. By the blurb I was expecting something funny and cheesy as korean romcoms usually are, but Hart & Seoul gifted me with so much more than that. It is funny and cheesy, but is also a story about family and friendship, love and trust and commitment. Also, Merri was such a good MC, and I enjoyed (most of the time) how she interacted with people around her. My favorite character, actually, was Ms. Park. I mean, Lee's aunt was EVERYTHING. She made me laugh so hard, I swear. I'm already missing (almost) everyone in this book. Loved the story, the characters and the dynamics between them so, so much. It was a roller-coaster of emotions, and I still can’t cope with all of them. By the end of the book I was crying so hard, but smiling at the same time. I couldn’t expect for a better ending for such an unexpectedly great book.
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3.5 stars


Cutesy! As a Kpop fan myself I keep saying “Wouldn’t it be amazing if this could actual happen” I would love to read more books by this author as I loved her writing style. Maybe it would of been perfect if the characters were a bit less childish. I will keep my eyes open for future book releases from this author. 

Now for the constructive advice ,they were two things why I didn’t give it a higher rating.

* the headers of the chapters were confusing at the beginning, not clear enough, was it something she (Merrie) was reading or just updated about thunder? 
* Also some pronunciation in Hangul can be misunderstood with the actual written word, I know a few words and sentences in korean and I know is hard for a person who has no idea about the language and is reading the book to understand so the author may write it as how it would be better or how it She or He hears it. But example Deh is really not written like that but Neh 네 Deh would be 데. Which I don’t know if is better to try to help the reader with written the korean word as simple as possible but not keep to the original or keep it the correct way. Also “Sorry” korean have so many ways of saying it, if they are the same age, if they know each other for a long time, if is an adult, if they are from higher rankings. How did the author picked what words to use. I think it would of been better not to included the Hangul language. 
*
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me read this book.
I'm going to start by saying a huge thank you! I've been in such a slump this month after reading several books that just hadn't grabbed me. This got my attention hook line and sinker. I finished it in a day!
I'm a huge YA lover and this book was right up my street. It was your typical girl meets boy where dislike turns to romance. It was a very cute read. I had no idea what K Pop was so it was something I'd never read a book about which was why partly why I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the little bits of side story involving Merri's family, schooling and friends. I'm hoping for a sequel with a bit more about Ema as I'd like to learn a bit more about her. My only niggle was that I sometimes found Lee to be a little annoying at times.
Overall a very sweet, easy read
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I was excited to start this book since it features a Korean character and I'm obsessed with Kdramas these days. 
I liked the take on Kpop idols, an insight into their life which seems so glamorous from afar but the reality is that they go through so much to meet public expectations whether those expectations are about their physical features or about their personal relations. 
While the story was full of cliche, it was sweet and a fun read. I loved that the writer decided to write about something so many of us are unaware of. But there was too little mentioned about Lee Hyung-Kim's life and feelings, which I felt like was the main problem, and a lot more about Merilee, the MC.
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When it comes to K-pop and its related idol culture, my knowledge of its works is not non-existent but it’s definitely limited. I started reading this book unbiased, although not completely objective either as I am certainly interested to learn more about what it’s all about. If anything I was ready to love it. Hart & Seoul seemed like a simple, compelling way to fall in love with a mostly foreign world of entertainment and hopefully its (in this case fictional) lead pop stars. 

It didn’t work out quite as planned. The premise is exciting, though. An undercover K-pop idol, reconnecting with the real world and somewhere along the way falling in love with a regular American girl; and in return the girl entering a fantastical world previously unknown. It’s a trope I can always rally behind, it reminds me of my teenage years and foolish but oh so compelling movies. I didn’t expect or even want this to be deep and thoughtful. I just wanted it to be fun. Unfortunately I was often too busy being annoyed to enjoy the experience.

Everything was painfully obvious. And I know it’s a lot to ask this kind of book not to be, but there are limits to my ability to deal with the obvious. I could see everything coming miles away, the foreshadowing was so unsubtle and yet somehow the main character always found herself suprised. That doesn’t work. And annoyed the hell out of me. 

Main character Merilee was likable enough and so was K-pop star in disguise Hyung-Kim Lee. If that’s even his name, because he was usually called Lee, sometimes Eeunim, or just Ee. At first I thought I didn’t get it because I lacked some knowledge on Korean name-giving but it’s more - it genuinely just doesn’t make sense. Nor did the nickname “Lee” chose for Merilee. He called her Christmas, because you know, Merilee, Merry, Merry Christmas, Christmas. So yeah.

Writing about different cultures and especially doing them justice is tricky. It takes tons of research and hours of careful consideration. You really don’t want a book to paint a cliche picture. Sadly I felt this was exactly what Hart & Seoul did. The way the main character’s aunt (who had been living in America for years) “spoke” and the grammar mistakes she constantly made, were painful to read. Maybe on tv this works, but seeing the errors written on paper made it come across as really condescending. Or at least that’s how I felt. The Korean references made me roll my eyes multiple times. I’m sure there has to be more to Korea than Gagnam Style. Right? Lose the cliches and superficial characteristics, that would be my biggest advice.

I also didn’t feel like the author payed enough attention to how sparkly Lee was? I really like my boys sparkly, you know. Or wait. She did. Once or twice. Per sentence. IT WAS SO ANNOYING. She frequently called him sparkle boy, I kid you not. So sexy. I got major Twilight vibes and that might not be the best advertising for your book about K-pop idols.

Many things also didn’t make sense. Situations brought about emotions that didn’t seem to fit or were exaggerated and I honestly can’t imagine a K-pop idol being so unworldly he would call blonde hair ‘yellow’. I think it was supposed to be endearing. It wasn’t. Neither was the chemistry between Lee and Christmas - uh, Merilee. There wasn’t any. And if a romantic book isn’t really romantic…

Ah well. It could have been good but it failed to deliver. Wouldn’t recommend. Especially not if you’re into K-pop and have some actual insight in what it’s supposed to be. I imagine the book would only annoy you even more.
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I enjoyed the romance of the book and it dealt with family relationships really well! Overall I found it a fun read with some dramatic plot points that were helped by the blog updates throughout. 

I will recommend this to students who enjoy sweet teenage romance novels. I found it to be more on the early teens side, rather than a slightly more mature 15 and up audience.
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What a cute contemporary YA romance. Reading this book felt exactly like watching a Kdrama and it was fun and interesting and you got a different perspective on Korean idols. I genuinely enjoyed it and highly recommend this read if you're looking for something to make you feel warm and fuzzy.
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This book had a slow start for me. It felt really cheesy in the beginning and I found myself wondering if I was going to like it or not. I am so glad that I continued to read it, because the more I read, the more I liked this book. Lee obviously stole the show, and he is a character that is so hard not to fall in love with. This book touched very lightly upon the topic of self harm, which is a very real struggle many people face. All in all, this book went above my expectations.
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I am not much of a Kpop listener, but Kdramas I have watched and this book reminded me of one. It was very entertaining and I really loved Merri and Lee. Merri was great, she had a backbone and Burnham really made her reactions to things very believable there was never one time where I thought 'really!? why are you doing that?'. Lee was great and exactly what I thought a leading Kdrama boy would be like. I wish Burnham gave us something with his point-of-view but it isn't anything to gripe about

The one thing I really wish Burnham did was give me moments of Merri with her friends before they betrayed her because I just could not see what Merri had seen in them before this betrayal. Maybe that was the point? Maybe it's Merri who was opening her eyes and seeing what I was seeing this entire time? Maybe I just wanted the book to be longer because this was a really short book. I read this in one night, and I am really glad it is not a standalone because I really to see Merri and Lee's relationship goes, and how it will get past the obstacles they now face. Just know that I will be picking up the sequel when it comes out.
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Wow, I chose this ARC as a K-pop fan and was not disappointed! Merri's romance with Lee was great, they had all the chemistry and banter that I expect from a romance novel and I loved the way that it wasn't all smooth sailing; all the obstacles in their way made their relationship stronger and more believable. I especially loved the author's descriptions of Korean food and references to other K-pop bands, it was a good way to get immersed in the world of the characters.

The side characters were well drawn too, not totally good or evil, but always somewhere in between. I also liked Merri's conflict with her father and resentment towards her absent mother, and Lee's surprisingly dark past. This is a fluffy romance, but it also gets quite deep and I loved that the characters were more complex than they first appeared. This book was a really good read and I highly recommend it to all YA readers!
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