Hart & Seoul

Hart & Seoul

by Kristen Burnham


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Hart & Seoul 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
AgesofAquarius 23 days ago
While I don't usually care for highschool-setting stories, nor am I that well-informed in the K-pop world, I found myself falling in love with Merri and Lee as they slowly began to fall in love with each other. The highschool scenes weren't in the forefront, they were just parts of Merri's life that needed to be seen. I related to Merri extremely well on the topic of her art and wanting to go to college for what she wanted, although I feel the backstory with her mom was a bit overlooked and could have been fleshed out more. Overall, I really enjoyed it. And I'm grateful of the author speaking about anxiety and depression the way she did, and giving strong support systems for the characters that needed it. I'm looking forward to the next book!
mandabutler 3 months ago
This book is modern (hello k-pop, deviantart) and cute. While it's somewhat predictable, it's also catchy. Reminiscent of soap operas and k-pop dramas, it's filled with break ups and drama. But in a good way. It also touches on depression and suicide, especially in how it affects celebrities and their lives. Honestly, I wasn't sure about this, but I'm so happy I gave it a shot. I look forward to a sequel. I received a copy of Hart & Seoul free from NetGalley in an exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Hart and Seoul will have our high school students squealing when they read this book. It has the perfect mix of realistic teenage angst, romance, and Kpop. The writing is aimed at high schoolers as it is easy to read but has a great influx of vocabulary to keep it interesting. This book will be well received in our library.
xxjenadanxx 5 months ago
We are a kpop loving household so when I read this description I KNEW I had to read this book! Who wouldn't want to live next to and befriend a (secret) runaway popstar?! The book was really cute and fun but didn't pull any punches when it came to the dark side of the kpop industry. You could tell that the author is a fan and not just jumping on the bandwagon. Perfect beach read for any kpop fan, but those who aren't will still enjoy it! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Fátima Figueira 7 months ago
I'll start by saying that this is the perfect book for when you are looking for something light, sweet and with a guaranteed happy ending or in summary when you need to escape your own life. The writing was not exceptional and there were some tiny cliches mainly when it came to some of Merri's behaviors and most importantly the beginning of the book that was too predictable but other than that I can't really complain. If you are alive then you are at least marginally aware of the Kpop and Kdramas phenomenon and how many fans they have all around the world. There are people learning Korean all over Europe because of these bands and shows and even the American shows have begun to notice them. I'm not a Kpop fan, I requested this book just because I had never read a YA romance in which the male love interest was Asian. A lot of people will be reading it because of the Kpop angle though, the only other places I ever found stories about it being Archive of Our Own and Wattpad, so there is space for this kind of books obviously and Kristen noticed it. With Lee being Korean the author was able to explore an entirely new set of cultural rules and she did it well. I particularly enjoyed the way in which Lee spoke, not when it came to being agrammatical or having an accent but how blunt he was not minding if he was offending someone. I also finished this book with my belly roaring after learning about several different Koran recipes. I noticed that there is something about books inside books or books that are about another artistic medium that I enjoy and Hart &Seoul is no different. I loved reading about Merri's drawings and cartoons and wish I could see the illustrations she did of Lee and herself meeting, their first drive, Lee carrying her when she sprained her ankle and so on and I did also love to read about Lee ad Merri's best friend dancing and Lee singing and all the tiny details that set him apart from all the other male love interest I read until now. One of those things were his clothes, that were so different from everything else they were difficult to imagine but I'm sure he pulled them off because Lee is amazing. The other was the fact that he often wore makeup and I loved that! In no way was ever hinted that he was less masculine because of it and there was even a tiny mention of Lee helping Merry applying her own eyeliner because he often wore it as well. The only part I disliked was the fact that when he wore it the author called it "guyliner". You don't need to gender makeup to make sure we know he is a man! Despite the general lightheartedness of the book, the story does have some very heavy themes like parental abandonment on Merri's side and Lee's darker side not only of fame but also of Kpop and that is the scene that I will always remember this book for. The book ending felt a bit rushed but I didn't even care because there is going to be a second book and I will Lee and Merri again! When it comes to the cover, I found it pretty but it's only when you see it up close that you notice all the details. The first time I saw it I didn't even care to open the link because it just seemed so bland. The entire book has a sense of freshness, lightheartedness, and originality that reminded me a lot of fanfics with the love you can feel emanating from every word. Thank you to NetGalley and Mascot Books for this ARC.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I voluntarily read and reviewed and advanced copy of this book, received through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. If you're into kpop, dramas or Korean culture in general you're probably going to love this. If you don't, you'll probably think this is another cliché and fluffy romance story about an ordinary teenage girl and a popstar. The main storyline is quite easy to sum up: girl meets boy, they don't really like each other. Drama ensues. Boy falls for girl, girl falls for boy. Girl discovers boy is a runaway K-pop idol in hiding. More drama ensues. If I'm to be completely honest, I was aware from the very first moment that the chances of me liking this book were slim. While it is a fun read and the Korean references can be enjoyable for kpop fans, for me this book felt like another of those fanfics with "inserte your name" as the main character. However, one thing I did like -and I think it is very important to point out- is how the author addresses the pressure suffered by Korean idols. While I'm not the biggest kpop fan, I enjoy watching the occasional Korean drama and from what I could see, the celebrity world in Korea is insanely harmful. Celebrities train from childhood and have to live in this image of perfection and goodness and rectitude and it just seems so awful and impossible to do. And this can have consequences such as mental health issues, which are hidden under this façade of shiny glamorous happiness until, some times, it is too late.
booklover_lexi 8 months ago
Merri has just gotten back from spending a week with her long time friend in Australia. Suddenly her best friend is acting weird and the neighbor Ms. Park has her strange and mysterious Korean nephew staying with her. Despite her efforts, Merri and Lee are forced to start spending time together. Merri has always wanted to pursue art but her father is constantly shutting her dreams down. Lee becomes her inspiration and starts doodling all the ridiculous (and seemingly rude) things he says to her. Somehow he has become her muse and she finds herself wondering about everything that is Lee until one night his secret is exposed... Lee is a Runaway K-Pop star. I just want to start off by saying that this is the first novel I have read about K-pop stars. I don't know much about K-pop but this book had me making a new playlist! I think this is the perfect YA novel to be released right now with K-Pop bands like BTS become so huge right now. The depth that this book had was surprising, yet evoked all the right emotions. The romance between Merri and Lee was a lot sweet and what every girl hopes their first real love will feel like. Hart & Seoul will become a hit this summer for YA readers everywhere! I will definitely be on the lookout for more Kristen Burnham books in the future!
SummerMondays 8 months ago
When a book can make you laugh, make you hungry, make you want to travel the world, and make you feel the looks the characters are exchanging, all while highlighting an important topic that is impressive! This novel is fun, with a capital F. There is romance, but it isn’t graphic and the moments that could be cheesy are endearing because the characters laugh at their own cheese factor. There is K-Pop music with obsessed fans, but not in a way that feels fake and certainly not in a way that makes you wish for fame. Most of all, there are two main characters and a supporting cast that through a short novel manage to grow, love, hate, and become the friends you didn’t know you needed. Hart & Seoul is one of the books that has characters you wish you could hang out with in real life which is always a sure way to make me love a reading experience. The writing is fun and light and the sprinkling of Korean and Australian words and confusion over sayings is just right making the book speed by while many months are covered in the book’s timeline. Because of the way that passage of time is handled, the end of the books seems fitting and doesn’t end with a quick fix which can be a common pitfall of shorter YA books. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an enjoyable book, needing a laugh, getting over heartbreak, jamming out to K-Pop on the regular, or anyone who has learned who their friends are the hard way. Just don’t read this one on an empty stomach! No kimchi for me, but I’ll be ordering in bibimbap tonight! Thank you NetGalley for an early copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Courtneymcreative 9 months ago
This book has just the right amount of twists and turns to keep it interesting, but also believable. I was happy to see that the story dipped into more difficult and sensitive topics instead of just being all-over cheesy and fluffy romance, exploring not just the happy-go-lucky side of romance and K-pop alike but the darker aspects as well. I enjoyed the ups and downs of the story even though I expected all of them. This was helped, I think, by the narration. I didn’t think that I would like (let alone relate to) reading through the perspective of a high school senior who says ‘dang’ and ‘darn’ rather than swearing, but I actually settled into Merilee Hart’s narrative quickly and ended up really liking how it helped me sink into the story and look at what was happening from her view, bringing more believability to the story. The sense of voice in this story was really strong, and I came to feel like I really understood Merri and her motivations and thought processes. Not only that, but it was quick and easy to read. I finished this book in two sittings thanks to this writing style and the push of the eventful plot. At times, the narration did become a bit repetitive, especially when it came to Merri’s opinions on kimchi, but it didn’t detract from the story too much overall. However,I sometimes felt a bit annoyed with Merri because of her unwillingness to learn. Personally, I found it a bit privileged of her and it made me frown several times, but it didn’t bother me so much that it affected my enjoyment of the story too much. Then again, I wouldn’t call myself an expert on Korea, either, and what I know I’ve only come to learn recently, so I can understand where she’s coming from. My main critique for "Hart" is that I wanted more. More time to get to know Merri before Lee is introduced, more discussion on sensitive topics (especially one, the most sensitive of all), more explanation in the conclusion, and more time for the romance to burn before igniting. The latter two, especially. The ending tied everything together, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the explanations the characters gave for the choices they had made and I doubted whether it would have been enough, in reality, for them to move forward in the way it implied they were going to. After all, there were so many factors against it, how were they going to cope? That being said, I would have hated if everything had turned out perfectly. I only wished that there had been a little more to really convince me that what had happened was going to last (or clear implications that it wouldn’t). What I wanted more of the most was a slow burn. It’s only a short time between when the characters realize they have feelings for each other, start to question whether to act on them and begin to flirt, and then get together. It was believable, and obviously, readers are aware it’s going to happen from the start. It also left more room at the end for other topics to be explored, which I appreciated. But...isn’t that section the best part of a romance? Personally, I think those will-they-won’t-they, kiss-already! moments when the tension is at its crux is the best part, and there was very little of it in this story. I would have settled for having the story run longer if I could have had a chapter or two more of the steamier stuff. "Hart" is a great summer romance, especially for K-pop fans. I'd recommend it to fans of "The Sun is Also a Star" and "Eliza and Her Monsters."