Title: Heart To Seoul
Series: Seoul Series
Author: Jen Frederick
Release Date: May 25, 2021
As a Korean adoptee, Hara Wilson doesn’t need anyone telling her she looks different from her white parents. She knows. Every time Hara looks in the mirror, she’s reminded that she doesn’t look like anyone else in her family—not her loving mother, Ellen; not her jerk of a father, Pat; and certainly not like Pat’s new wife and new “real” son.
At the age of twenty-five, she thought she had come to terms with it all, but when her father suddenly dies, an offhand comment at his funeral triggers an identity crisis that has her running off to Seoul in search of her roots.
What Hara finds there has all the makings of a classic K-drama: a tall, mysterious stranger who greets her at the airport, spontaneous adventures across the city, and a mess of familial ties, along with a red string of destiny that winds its way around her heart and soul. Hara goes to Korea looking for answers, but what she gets instead is love—a forbidden love that will either welcome Hara home…or destroy her chance of finding one.
Yes, I did jump at the chance to read this book because of the title alone, because like many others I have discovered K-dramas and have fallen hard. And I mean really really hard! I truly thought this story was going to very a light and quick read, and although I did whiz through it, it was anything but light.
Hara has spent her entire life not quite fitting in. She was adopted from South Korea by white parents and has always wondered why she was given up for adoption. When her father passes away suddenly all of the questions she's had about her birth rise to the surface again and she can't keep wondering any longer, so she flies to Seoul to find answers. What she doesn't expect is to have a spontaneous meet-cute as soon as she disembarks her plane, especially with a guy who looks like a Korean model, but hey she's not going to complain amiright! This is a very heart-wrenching story, from the moment Hara starts looking for her parents it's a disaster at every turn and it truly makes it hard not to be disparaged. I can't even imagine what it would take to not tuck tail and run home, but she is so strong and persist in her search.
So yes I thought this was going to be a lighter read, but it was just packed with so many twists and turns. It has so many elements I love in a book too! There's the mystery element about her parents, there are the friendships that are made and some unfortunately broken, there is the somewhat tense relationship with her adoptive mom Ellen, and of course, there's romance! Now let me just tell you that this isn't the type of romance a lot of us are used to, it's delicate and sweet and in my opinion made the story even better. I both love and hate that this is a series because I wanted the next book as soon as I finished.
I cannot recommend this book enough and if you give it a chance you will agree! I huge thank you to Jen Frederick for giving me Seoul from the comfort of my bed!
A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.