I had this post drafted a few months back, but it was CW of A Quiet Pond who finally gave me the push to publish this post. I saw her tweet about putting together K-Pop Book Recs and it reminded me of this sitting back on my drafts. So, thank CW for this, and watch out for K-Pop Book Recommendations! 🤣
South Korean Dramas, or K-dramas for short, continue to gain traction around the world especially now that they’re more accessible to watch. They may be formulaic or full of tropes but one thing’s for sure, deep down we all love to watch them!
Today, I’m sharing five YA books to read if you love K-dramas!
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Five YA Books To Read If You Love K-Dramas
XOXO by Axie Oh
XOXO follows cello prodigy Jenny Go, whose goals are straight from the start: get into a prestigious music school. A moment of spontaneity hits her as she meets a mysterious guy named, Jaewoo. They spend one adventurous night together before he disappears. They reunite months later as Jenny enrolls in a school exchange program in Seoul where Jaewoo is attending, only to find out that he’s a member of the famous K-pop band, XOXO.
XOXO is a sweet, lighthearted, and fun contemporary YA novel that tackles friendships, family, and the reality of the South Korean entertainment industry.
If you love teen oriented K-dramas like Extraordinary You, True Beauty, Dream High, or the School series, you’ll definitely want to read this book!
Wicked Fox (Gumiho) by Kat Cho
In this urban fantasy set in Seoul, Gu Miyoung is secretly a gumiho—a nine-tailed fox who consumes the energy of men to survive. One night, she crosses paths with a fellow student, Ahn Jihoon, and she loses her fox bead to him.
Miyoung and Jihoon get stuck in an unlikely friendship that blossoms into something more as they try to figure out how to get Miyoung’s bead back with evil spirits lurking as threats.
Echoing Renee Ahdieh’s blurb, Wicked Fox is utterly transportive! It’s a fun, action-packed story with a very sweet romance subplot.
Read this if you enjoyed watching My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Uncanny Counter, or My Roommate is a Gumiho!
Don’t forget to read the companion novel, Vicious Spirits (Dokkaebi)!
Made in Korea by Sarah Suk
Enemies to lovers alert!
In this debut novel by Sarah Suk, Valerie Kwon competes against a new student, Wes Jung, in their K-beauty businesses. Determined to outsell each other, the two ploy various antics against each other in hopes to be the best K-beauty business in school.
Made in Korea is full of banter and fluffy romance, that also tackles identity and family dynamics.
If you loved the enemies-to-lovers aspect of Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, School 2017, or I Am Not A Robot, you should definitely check out this book!
The Silence of Bones by June Hur
Set in the 1800s Joseon (Korea), this compelling page-turner follows an orphaned 16-year-old Seol, who works as an indentured servant in the police bureau to assist young Inspector Han. She forms an unlikely friendship with the inspector but is forced to trust her instincts and her loyalty gets put on the test as Inspector Han becomes the primary suspect of the case she’s assisting with.
The Silence of Bones is an immersive tale that delves into loyalty and family set in the Joseon Era covering one of Korea’s dark and historical events: The Catholic Persecution.
You should definitely read this book if you enjoy the politics, mystery and action of historical K-dramas like Six Flying Dragons or Deep Rooted Tree.
I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee
Author Lyla Lee celebrates body positivity and radiating confidence with her debut novel, I’ll Be The One. The book follows Skye Shin whose dream is to become a K-Pop idol. Caught in the whirlwind of idol training, drama, and reality TV, Skye is determined to break the stereotypical beauty standards that surround the industry.
I’ll Be The One tackles relevant issues in the Korean Entertainment industry and it will surely make you root for Skye!
Check out this book if you’re a K-Pop fan and you enjoy K-Pop-themed dramas like Hit The Top or Dream High!
There goes my K-Drama Book Recommendations! I hope you pick up these books or watch the shows because they’re all really good! Especially The Silence of Bones and XOXO, I really enjoyed reading these two!
I recently spent a lot of my time catching up with K-dramas, and there are three in particular that I really enjoyed: Extraordinary You, Move to Heaven, and Racket Boys! These are all available on Netflix! I’m thinking of posting a review for these shows. Also, I’m currently obsessed with The King’s Affection and I’m tuning in every week!
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Let’s Chat! 💬
What are your favorite K-Dramas? How about books that feature Korean or Korean-American characters?
This post is gold!! I especially agree with XOXO and The Silence of Bones!
I honestly can’t wait to read Forest of Stolen Girls and The Red Palace!!!
I’ve only read I’ll Be The One but I totally wanna read all these! 😍
Hazel, I totally recommend XOXO! It’s a very very VERY cute contemporary, I’m sure you’ll love it!
I miss reading XOXO by Axie Oh. I will surely check the other books on your list, Inah. 🙂
I definitely want to read more books like XOXO!
YES! I love this post! I really enjoyed XOXO by Axie Oh! It was adorable and gave me all the k-drama feels!
I just read Red Palace by June Hur and LOVED her writing so I want to read her backlist.
Thank you, Nick! I definitely can’t wait to read The Red Palace!
I LOVe this post inch! I completely agree with XOXO and I’ll be the One! Wicked Fox and Made in Korea are on ym tar and I *really* need to read them ads! I’m definitely adding The Silence of Bones to my Tar too now!
Yayy, thank you Jayati! I hope you enjoy reading them! The Silence of Bones is truly amazing!!!