My mom has always been an important part of my media consumption. She is a true tastemaker, not caring if what she enjoys is trendy or cool, but is always ahead of the curve. She told me about the wonderful world of k-dramas back when Netflix had JUST switched to their early streaming platform from their mail-in system. Yeah, I know. She's cutting-edge! But my enjoyment of all sorts of Korean media began in earnest when I started seeing my partner. He showed me one Taemin video, and I was immediately and fully smitten and soon realized there was no turning back. K-pop, k-dramas, and even some Korean variety shows, I was hooked.
Now, I'm not as enthralled as I was a few years ago, but Korean media is still very much a part of my balanced diet. And with the full global takeover of BTS, Parasite winning Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars, plenty of Korean stars in Hollywood films (Ma Dong Seok in the Eternals, anyone? Very exciting!), and now Squid Game becoming Netflix's most watched show ever it's safe to say that Korean media is here to enrich all of our lives for good.
For your reading (and viewing and listening) pleasure, my colleague Nicole and I paired some of our favorite young adult books with either a k-drama or a k-pop act. So if this is your first foray into the wonderful world of Korea—and its rich diaspora here in America—then look no further than the following titles. - Bookseller Niki