2020 was the year BTS and Blackpink found their way into my heart, but I’m sure I'm not the only one who took solace from the magic of K-pop during this pandemic. It was also the year I accidentally stumbled across the literary treasure trove of K-pop romance novels — and honestly, I haven’t looked back since!
From the happy chaos of celebrity life, to the heartwarming camaraderie among K-pop idols, these books are incredibly addictive. But don’t just take my word for it! Here are nine K-pop romance books for you to check out yourself.
I hope you find something that tickles your fancy. Happy reading and swooning!
Heart and Seoul
With her bestselling book getting a K-drama adaptation, Tessa Hale flies to Seoul for the filming. When she arrives, she discovers that Baek Eun Gi, her ultimate K-pop idol crush, has been cast as the leading actor. And, well, things get even wilder after that.
Featuring a great found family of chaotic but affectionate K-pop idols, Heart and Seoul is the kind of read that will have you smiling and blushing all the way through.
In fact, it’s my personal favorite. If you’re still unconvinced, this is also a perfect pick for fans of the marriage of convenience trope.
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After finding out that she's the illegitimate heir to one of the K-pop industry's biggest entertainment companies, Holly was supposed to manage a failing boy band back to stardom. She definitely was not supposed to fall in love with all of them.
Pitched as a reverse harem with K-pop idols and a delicious slow burn, Idol Thoughts is the first of a fun and steamy series.
I'll Be the One
This YA contemporary debut novel follows Skye Shin, who has always been discouraged from dancing because of her weight. Still, she auditions for a televised competition in search of K-pop talent. When she nails her audition, she's determined to become the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star.
I’ll Be the One is a body-positive romantic comedy that is both fun and thought-provoking. If you’re in need of a gentle reminder to love yourself as you are, this is a must-read. (Also, I loved the bisexual representation in this book!)
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Candace Park is a regular girl. Despite her talent for singing, the last thing she imagined was secretly entering a global audition by a music label, and getting a spot in their intense trainee program.
Aside from following a Korean-American girl trying to make sense of her identity, K-Pop Confidential also delves into the price of fame and stardom. Definitely a great read if you’re looking for a deep dive into the K-pop industry.
As an aspiring K-pop idol, Rachel Kim has a strict set of rules to follow — including no dating. But with the dark scandals of the industry threatening to surface, maybe things are not so simple after all.
Does the author’s name ring any bells? That might be because Jessica Jung is the former lead singer of Girls' Generation, one of the biggest K-pop names of all time. Who can serve up a better K-pop story than someone who’s actually lived it?
Somewhere Only We Know
When moonlighting tabloid reporter Jack and K-pop superstar Lucky run into each other in a fancy hotel, nothing is ever the same again.
Perfect for fans of The Sun Is Also a Star, this novel offers a whirlwind of a romance involving food trips and sightseeing. All I can say is it’s best to prepare yourself for the ride.
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Play It By Ear
When Jo Yihwan replaced his injured bandmate in a reality TV-esque talent competition, he’s determined to win. But he didn’t expect to fall for his teammate, Ha Yoojung.
Short and sweet, Play It By Ear promises to satiate your romance cravings. Aside from the cute love story, this novel also explores the gender disparities within the music industry.
Set to release in September, this YA debut follows sisters Alice and Olivia Choy. During one of their Friday karaoke nights, Alice is scouted and given the opportunity to take the K-pop world by storm — but first she'll have to make it through the rigors of training, and the scrutiny of the media.
A bit more contemporary than romance, Idol Gossip examines cultural differences, themes of sisterhood, and the terrifying minefield of fame. Fans of sibling dynamics better keep an eye out for this upcoming release!
Axie Oh’s upcoming novel follows the adventures of a cello prodigy named Jenny. When she transfers to an elite arts academy in South Korea, she's surprised to run into Jaewoo, the mysterious and handsome guy she once met in her uncle's karaoke bar.
Even more shocking? Jaewoo isn't just another student. He's a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world—and he’s strictly forbidden from dating.
A love story between an aspiring cellist and a K-pop idol? XOXO is perfect for fans of forbidden romance (and also fans of pretty book covers, to be honest).