XOXO is about a Korean-American teen and cello prodigy, Jenny. One night she meets and likes a stranger, Jaewoo. They basically go on a date, take photos in a photo booth and exchange numbers, only for Jaewoo to stop responding to her texts. When her grandmother becomes sick, Jenny’s mother decides to travel to South Korea to look after her. She eventually agrees that Jenny can transfer schools and move with her. But soon after they arrive, Jenny realizes that Jaewoo is 1/4th of the popular new boy band, XOXO — and is forbidden from dating.
Made in Korea is Sarah Suk’s debut YA novel. Valerie Kwon is a business-savvy Korean-American teen who runs V&C K-Beauty with her cousin, Charlie, out of her high school locker. She’s saving up so that she can take her halmeoni to Paris on a memorable vacation. Valerie is also misunderstood by her mother because she’s not as dutiful, math/science smart or organized as her older sister. Valerie’s dreams face a huge obstacle when a new, good looking Korean-American student Wes Jung unwittingly starts his own competing K-beauty business in their school.
51 Best Asian YA novels featuring young adult novels by authors of Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Middle-Eastern descent and more.
I fell for The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling just for its name alone. Thankfully, the premise is equally as captivating. Anna Chiu is a high schooler who has her hands full caring for her little brother and sort of watching over her younger teen sister. Their father runs a restaurant in a nearby town (about two hours away by car) and their mother is so depressed, she hasn’t gotten out of bed in weeks. When Anna convinces her dad to let her work at their restaurant on weekends, she starts a relationship with Rory, the new delivery boy.
As Anna gets to know Rory (and his own mental illness struggles), things at home go from bad to worse. Anna’s mother gets out of bed, but begins acting erratic and her relationship with her sister, as well as their father becomes strained as Anna has to step in to provide her mother the support she needs.
In Paula Yoo’s Good Enough, high school senior Patti Yoon is preparing to retake the SATs after failing to make her Korean proud with her 2010 score. It doesn’t help that she’s also lost her concertmaster position at the All-State Orchestra. Both “failures” are conversation fodder at her Korean church where she also plays music.