Books for K-Pop Fans
Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 9:23 a.m.Southwest LibraryStaff Picks
Books for K-Pop Fans
As the world of K-pop has made its way beyond Korean borders, books involving the cultural phenomenon have become more prevalent. Now, readers can dive into the imagined lives of K-pop stars and their fans. Start with these six young adult novels to get into the rhythm, then check out Freegal to stream K-pop like BTS, TWICE, and more for free with your library card.
K-pop Confidential by Stephan Lee
Candace is the perfect student, but despite her achievements, there’s no way she could succeed at being a K-pop star. Still, when the opportunity to apply for a global contest that could end in a training deal with the label her favorite K-pop band belongs to, she can’t resist. Soon, Candace is testing her persistence and abilities in the strictest circumstances (which includes the number one rule: no dating!). But temptation strikes again and Candace finds herself putting her potential K-pop career -- and everything she and her family has sacrificed to get here -- at jeopardy for another trainee. Also available as an ebook.
Shine by Jessica Jung
Korean American Rachel has been training under DB Entertainment for six years and she’s finally about to make her big break in the K-pop world. But just as she’s on the verge, she breaks the golden rule of K-pop boot camp: no dating. Attempting secret outings with the label’s darling boy Jason Lee, it’s not long before Rachel is faced with choosing between the two things she wants most: Jason and a potential K-pop career. Also available as an ebook.
Once Upon a K-prom by Kat Cho
The world seems to be over Elena and Elena is over prom. Why bother going when she’s basically invisible, anyway? But when K-pop star Robbie Choi asks her to be his date to the big event, Elena’s brought back to a childhood promise they made to each other years ago: go to prom together. Now she’s torn between being true to her current self and honoring her promise to the boy she once loved. Even if he’s no longer the same. But that doesn’t mean Elena’s feelings have disappeared. Also available as an ebook and as an eaudiobook.
XOXO by Axie Oh
Jenny is all about predictability, so when a mysterious and handsome stranger, Jaewoo, tempts her across an adventurous night across Los Angeles starting at her uncle’s karaoke bar, she surprises even herself. But just as fast as he came, Jaewoo is gone. Three months later, Jenny finds herself in Korea to visit her sick grandmother and back in Jaewoo’s presence byway of attending an exclusive arts academy. But Jaewoo isn’t just a student at the school -- he’s also a massive K-pop star. And consequently, dating is off the table. But Jenny may be willing to throw caution to the wind again if Jaewoo is. Also available as an ebook and as an eaudiobook.
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
Now that she’s on the brink of becoming a worldwide K-pop star, Lucky really only wants one thing: a hamburger. Unfortunately, she’s likely to be noticed in Hong Kong if she slips out of the hotel for it. Meanwhile, tabloid photographer Jack also wants something: an exclusive celebrity photo. Lucky may be just the ticket. And Jack happens to know the best ways to sneak around in pursuit of a burger -- and the other delicious food Hong Kong has to offer. He just has to keep his motive a secret. And they both have to keep their hearts to themselves. Also available as an ebook.
I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee
Skye loves the world of K-pop even if it doesn’t love her and her bombastic personality back. When she finds out about a global contest that seeks to identify the next big K-pop star, Skye is all over it. But for all the positivity Skye finds in K-pop, she is disappointed to find the contest fraught with reality TV negativity and all the shame that comes with it. At least there’s Henry who, despite being the competition, is also lighting up Skye’s days. Now, Skye just has to prove that she can be the next big thing in K-pop while holding onto who she really is. Also available as an ebook.
About the Author
Abby is a New-Hampshire-grown Teen Librarian at Southwest Neighborhood Library. In addition to writing book lists for DC Public Library, she's written for Book Riot, School Library Journal, Library Journal, Booklist, and other professional library and bookish publications. She reads broadly, but often enjoys literary young adult fiction, contemporary young adult fiction, and young adult fantasy. She lives in Virginia with her husband and her cat, Oopsilon.