The best books to immerse yourself into the world of K-pop and fangirl romance

Who am I?

Ever since I watched my first K-drama, Heartstrings, on Netflix in 2011 I’ve become fascinated with Korean Pop Culture. I created one of the largest K-drama discussion groups on Facebook (KDA: Kdrama Anonymous) and published seven K-pop and K-drama-related Novellas. I traveled to Korea with my family in 2017 and was a panelist at Kcon in 2018. My passion for Korean Pop Culture has ventured into Webtoons and I often spend my time there catching up on all my favorite stories. I truly love Korean Culture and I’m happy to have participated in even a small part of it.


I wrote...

#fangirlproblems

By Jennie Bennett,

Book cover of #fangirlproblems

What is my book about?

When a fangirl meets her celebrity crush, a series of events turns her dreams into reality.

Tabitha is a typical nineteen-year-old trying to make it on her own. Although she has a good job at a catering company, she doesn’t have the resources to attend the concert for her favorite Kpop group XO. She’s disappointed until she comes face to face with Chansol—her ultimate celebrity crush—at a private catering event. When paparazzi crash the party, she ends up bringing Chansol to the safety of her apartment where she finds herself closer to Chansol than ever. But a K-pop star must please their fans and Talitha needs to either face the media or stay a happy memory in Chansol’s life forever.

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The books I picked & why

K-Pop Confidential

By Stephan Lee,

Book cover of K-Pop Confidential

Why did I love this book?

K-pop Confidential was so real, I felt like I was the trainee. Candace Park is a fierce character with raw talent who starts her K-pop trainee years not believing in herself. Not only does the reader feel like they’re overcoming the challenges along with Candace, but it goes deep into the K-pop world with an intense knowledge of the industry. Candance’s fun personality and the cute B-story romance had just the right amount of tension to keep me hooked. One of my favorite K-pop books for sure.

By Stephan Lee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked K-Pop Confidential as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I'm still giddy over this electrifying, big-hearted, all-kill smash of a debut. I couldn't put it down." -- Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

In this romantic coming-of-age novel about chasing big dreams, a Korean-American girl travels to Seoul in hopes of debuting in a girl group at the same K-pop company behind the most popular boy band on the planet. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi and Jenny Han.

Candace Park knows a lot about playing a role. For most of her life, she's been playing the role of the quiet Korean…


First: Get Caught

By Crystal Liechty,

Book cover of First: Get Caught

Why did I love this book?

What if you were secretly sketching the cutest boy in school and he accidentally found your notebook? First: Get Caught, A Stalkers Guide to Love tackles this very question. Abigail doesn’t mean to be a stalker, but the whole situation places her in an adorably hilarious situation. I loved that when it came to the true romance of this book, Ben fell for her first. He wasn’t just attracted to her, he fell for her—as she was. I loved that Ben was Korean and we really got to see inside his head just as much as we got to see Abigail. Truly one of my favorite all-time reads.

By Crystal Liechty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Abigail Bean’s leather-bound journal is quickly filling up with all things Ben Song, but she has no intention of doing anything about her feelings. She knows there’s no chance the most sought-after boy in her grade would be into her, but the doodles and daydreams serve as a mindless distraction from her parent's recent divorce.Though Pruitt Preparatory Academy is a small boarding school, valedictorian Ben Song doesn't know Abigail exists—until he stumbles upon her journal. Sure, he's a little creeped out. But he's also curious about this girl who draws so beautifully. He becomes more intrigued when she stands up…


How to Date a Nerd

By Cassie Mae,

Book cover of How to Date a Nerd

Why did I love this book?

Nerds are the new sexy in this adorable young adult rom-com. This story has an excellent character focus. Both Zoe and Zak have true character traits that don’t leave anything as fill-in-the-blank. It’s like reading about your two best friends getting together and giggling through the whole thing. Cassie Mae is a pro at comedy. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. Even if the characters aren’t Korean—they are true nerds—so the fangirl-like pop-culture references of the characters make it amazing. There’s nothing to dislike about this book, it’s an all-around good time.

By Cassie Mae,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Date a Nerd as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Zoe has a great pair of legs, perky boobs, and wears exactly what she needs to show it all off. She works hard for the easy sleazy you only wish you were me reputation, burying who she really is---an all-out nerd. The only time Zoe gets to be herself is when she hides under her comforter to read X-Men comics, sending jealousy stabs at everyone who attends Comic-Con.

Zak's a geek to the core, shunned by everyone in school for playing Dungeons and Dragons at lunch and wearing "Use the Force" t-shirts. And Zoe's got it bad for the boy.…


Flower Boy Tour Guide

By Shannon Kent,

Book cover of Flower Boy Tour Guide

Why did I love this book?

This book is almost better than watching a K-drama. Hasn’t every K-drama fan wished to be toured around the country by a hunky Korean man? Maybe the fan hasn’t pictured doing it alongside a bunch of old ladies, but she’ll take what she can get, won’t she? This super-funny, extra-flirty, good-times book is exactly the type of read I like to escape into. It truly took me on my own Korea tour right from my living room, with all romance included.

By Shannon Kent,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flower Boy Tour Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Flower Boy: noun 1. slang for a really hot guy
Hannah Reynolds travels to Korea in search of her own drama hero come to life. What she gets instead is gorgeous, but surly tour guide, Jae Lee. He seems determined to ruin every romantic location they visit with his snarky comments, but Hannah can’t deny the crackling tension between them.
As they travel around the country with a busload of wacky K-drama and K-pop fans, their chemistry keeps drawing the two together. Hannah sees the mountain of problems standing between her and a relationship with Jae. They live in different…


Austenland

By Shannon Hale,

Book cover of Austenland

Why did I love this book?

It might not be Korean, but the same feeling is there. So many fangirls dream of visiting their favorite stories—and the main character Jane—in the book Austenland gets to do just that. When Jane’s grandmother buys her a trip to Austenland—the place where any girl’s Jane Austen dream can come true, she feels rude turning it down. Although, she’s enamored by men wearing smart coats and cravats, she’s also keenly aware of how fake everything is. It only takes a few days, however, to get swept up in the realness of the scene. A fangirl can hardly control her desire to be in her favorite book. This adorable and funny romance is exactly my cup of tea. 

By Shannon Hale,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Austenland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jane is a young New York woman who can never seem to find the right man-perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined. Is this total immersion in a fake Austenland enough to make Jane kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr.…


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