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Since the release of Hello, I Love You, I've had quite a few people send me emails and messages asking if there will be companion novels that focus on the other characters, like Sophie and Yoon Jae. While I hate to tell you that HILY is a standalone, I'm hoping that it lessens the blow when I tell you that I do know what happens to everyone.
And I'm going to tell you!
Now, just a warning: There are spoilers in this post. A lot. If you haven't read HILY and don't want to know what happens in the book, then don't read this. Also, if you have your own ideas about what happens to the characters and feel like my thoughts will spoil that, don't read this.
Because even though these are my ideas about post-HILY happenings, this isn't a book and therefore not canonical (if we're getting all technical). And sometimes, as a reader, your own ideas are better than what the author thinks.
But for those of you who do want to know, think of this as what I would add to an "epilogue" if you could fast-forward ten years.
Begin spoilers ------------------------------>
The summer following the end of Grace's senior year, she moves to Seoul. She and Sophie get an apartment together. In the fall, Sophie goes to university, where she's pre-med. Grace gets an internship with a record company in college while getting a music degree.
Meanwhile, Jason still struggles with his label about his music. He ends up leaving that label after another year and signs on with a much smaller label, where he's able to have more creative license with his music. Many of his fans remain loyal, and he becomes that new label's top-selling artist.
Tae Hwa leaves the music industry and goes to work for his father's construction company. He keeps in touch with Jason and Sophie, but when he moves to Busan, they drift apart. He and Sophie meet-up a year after they graduate high school, to see if there's still a spark between them, but mutually decide they aren't right for each other. He meets a girl on a blind date set up by his parents, and they end up falling in love and getting married.
Yoon Jae's career with the new band really takes off, and they become one of the hottest groups in Asia. He and Grace are still friends, and while he doesn't want her to know, he still likes her.
After finishing her junior year of high school in America, Jane moves to Seoul to live with Grace and complete her senior year there. She connects with Yoon Jae through Grace, and he allows her to tag along with him sometimes, where she fangirls over his life and everyone he knows. She crushes on him the entire time, but he never returns her feelings. When she graduates, she goes back to the States and gets a college scholarship to play soccer at University of North Carolina.
Yoon Jae gets over Grace and decides that he can't afford the distraction of a girlfriend, anyway. He makes the tabloids by dating a number of famous Korean actresses and singers, but he never settles down. His career continues to skyrocket until he's one of Korea's favorite celebrities; he ends up leaving his band and going solo as a pop artist, where he tops the charts.
Grace and Jason continue their relationship while she's studying. They break up once her junior year, when he starts drinking pretty heavily after his father dies. But with some counseling, he cleans himself up, and they realize that they want to spend their lives together. They get married a year and a half later. Jason quits being a singer so he can become a songwriter, while Grace (who's finally learned Korean) becomes his songwriting partner. Together, they write and produce songs for some of Korea's most famous artists - including Yoon Jae.
Grace's parents never visit her in Korea (not even for the wedding), but she still goes back once a year to see them. They never understand why she chose to live abroad, but each year, the relationship between Grace and her mother softens a little. They'll never be friends, but Grace no longer fears talking to her.
Nathan, Grace's brother, is honored by the Country Music Hall of Fame two years after his death, and Grace is there to accept the award in her brother's place.
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So that's what I think! Hope you enjoyed this little post. Maybe you have better ideas. I'd love to hear them! You can email me with what you envisioned for the characters' futures at katiemstout [at] gmail [dot] com.
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