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Book Review: Seoulmates

“I came to Korea to find my family, to figure out where I belonged, and what I learned was that family has never been about blood. Family is about the people you love and the people who love you back, and in that circle, you are never an outsider, a person with no name. You always belong.” - Seoulmates by Jen Frederick

{I received a #giftedbook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review}

Loved #SEOULMATES, the sequel to HEART & SEOUL, which continues Hara’s journey in Korea, her birth country, primarily focusing on navigating her relationship with her birth mom. I know many were upset with HEART &SEOUL, stating that there wasn’t enough romance or a HEA ending, but that’s what I loved about this series the most, that this follows Hara’s journey as she navigates her identity and her quest to belong.

To be honest, I loved everything about SEOULMATES except for the romance. I didn’t think Yujun and Hara have much chemistry, but there’s another reason I just found it to be a bit icky, IYKYK!

The author continues to do an incredible job capturing modern Seoul, even more intimately in this one. I was proud of Hara’s improvement with her Korean and her understanding of cultures and customers (even though some are so outdated). While some might feel like it was too much info dump, I didn’t feel this way at all. We got to read Hara’s observation as she learned about her birth country🇰🇷

In addition to reading about the ups and (mostly) downs Hara faces as an outsider in a homogeneous and strict society, Frederick does an incredible job portraying the sexism and old traditions steeped from Confucianist beliefs (especially in the workplace). While Hara’s journey was fun to read, I also loved Hara’s friends: Jules, Bomi, Sangji, and Yang Il Hwa ajjumma.

While the ending might have been a little too neat for my taste, I also couldn’t imagine it ending differently.

I see myself reaching for SEOULAMTES when my heart longs for Korea. The scenes of Hara and her friends walking the bustling streets of Seoul, all the food mentioned throughout the book, the city jam-packed with small businesses, coffee shops, and the slice-of-city life scenes had me desperately longing for my motherland❤

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