I'm with the Band

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

From K-pop to rock to country to soca music, this is a fun list about boy bands, girl groups, and pursuing your dreams while falling in love.

  • Kiss & Tell

    2022 by Khorram, Adib

    Going through a breakup is hard enough. Going through it when your ex leaks private conversations with you to the world while you are on your first major tour is a new level of horrible. Lead singer Hunter Drake has all this and more to contend with and yet, when his fake dating of fellow singer Kaivan Parvani turns real, life does not seem so horrible after all. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • If This Gets Out

    2021 by Gonzales, S.

    Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of a hugely popular teen boy band called Saturday. Relying on one another to get through the craziness of fame, their friendship deepens and eventually turns into romance. But management wants to keep it quiet, pushing a different narrative. Ruben and Zach must find a way to be true to themselves, their fans, and their music. I was completely won over. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • XOXO

    2021 by Oh, Axie

    High school junior Jenny is a classical cellist who’s super focused on earning a spot at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. Jaewoo is a K-pop star, lead singer of the trending boy band XOXO, with management keeping him on a very tight schedule. Nonetheless, they meet at a Los Angeles karaoke bar and later find themselves attending the same arts academy in Seoul. I adored these characters and the details about their lives in and around music, romance, and relationships. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • I'll Be the One

    2020 by Lee, Lyla

    Sweet, funny, inclusive, and definitely cheer-worthy. Sixteen-year-old plus-sized Skye Shin is determined to become a K-pop idol. To that end she tries out for a reality TV competition, nails the audition, and challenges an anti-fat K-pop industry. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • The Happy Ever After Playlist

    2020 by Jimenez, Abby

    A heartfelt, hilarious, steamy, thoughtful, and uplifting second-chance romance. After losing her fiancé two years ago, Sloan is suddenly pulled back into the world by a lost dog and his famous rock star owner, Jason Walters. As Sloan and Jason embrace their new romance, a demanding tour schedule makes finding stability harder than either of them thought. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Where the Rhythm Takes You

    2021 by Dass, Sarah

    Reyna has always followed her mother's wishes, which included working at the Plumeria, their family hotel in Tobago, and letting go of her first love, Aiden. Now Aiden is a famous musician visiting Tobago with his band and staying at the Plumeria. Reyna and Aiden must confront past emotions and current struggles and decide if it is worth rekindling what they once had. This is a gorgeously told story of first love and second chances, with soca musical references interspersed throughout. It makes you feel all the feels. Suggested by Rummanah and Sharon.

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  • Azar on Fire

    2022 by Abtahi, Olivia

    Azar finds her voice in more ways than one when she steps out of her comfort zone and puts together a band to represent her high school for an upcoming battle of the bands competition. Truly, we’re super enthused about this book, which we think you’ll find relatable, touching, and hilarious. Suggested by Rummanah and Sharon.

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  • Audrey, Wait!

    2008 by Benway, Robin

    Girl meets boy. Girl dates boy. Girl breaks up with boy. Boy writes song about girl. Girl becomes famous in this light and hilarious read from Robin Benway. Audrey, Wait! is a fast-paced must-read for those who love romance and music. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Jesse's Girl: Hundred Oaks Series, Book 6

    2015 by Kenneally, Miranda

    No, not the creepy song by Rick Springfield. This is a delightful contemporary romance featuring high school musician Maya Henry, who gets to shadow country teen heartthrob and Grammy award winning singer Jesse Scott. Maya is reluctant to get her heart broken. Jesse too is hesitant to open up as he has a hard time distinguishing real people who like him for him and not because of his fame. As they spend time together they become friends and possibly much more. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Sinner

    2014 by Stiefvater, Maggie

    Cole St. Clair is the bad-boy frontman of the band NARKOTIKA. He had it all until it all went wrong when he began spiraling down a self destructive path and for many people disappeared off the face of the Earth. Now he returns to LA and the spotlight and is determined to live a clean life, have his chance at redemption, and perhaps too a chance at love and happiness with Isabel Culpeper. In order to heal, they both must reflect on what truly matters in life and whether or not they are worthy of happiness and love. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Where She Went

    2011 by Forman, Gayle

    Where She Went takes place three years after the devastating accident of &If I Stay, in which Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now, solely written in his point of view, Adam explores the devastation of grief and the promise of new hope. He uses music as catharsis and to try to make sense of what has happened. Most books written about grief and death focus on the emotions of those who were directly involved and connected to those who have died, but do you have the right to grieve when it affects you vicariously? Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Once Upon a K-Prom

    2022 by Cho, Kat

    Elena Soo isn’t going to prom. She’s leading an awareness group to get would-be prom goers to donate to the underfunded community center rather than spending money on new prom outfits and such. However, when her childhood best friend Robbie Choi, now part of a successful K-pop band, returns home after seven years to ask her to prom, everything seems to shift, as they dance around their friendship turning into romance and work out how to be true to themselves. Call this a fan-favorite pick. Suggested by Sharon and Lynnanne.

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  • Somewhere Only We Know

    2019 by Goo, Maurene

    This focuses on teen K-pop star Lucky, who is about to break into the U.S. music scene, when she goes incognito and ends up spending one day with an up-and-coming photographer looking for his big break via tabloid journalism. If you think the plot sounds a little like Roman Holiday, you'd be right. No matter, it's all entertaining. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • K-Pop Confidential

    2020 by Lee, Stephan

    A behind-the-scenes look at the K-pop world. Fifteen-year-old Candace Park gets a shot at becoming a K-pop idol. That is, if she gets through a summer of intensive training, starvation dieting, homesickness, cultural shock, and cutthroat competition. A can't-put-down book that will have you rooting for Candace and her girl-powered group, and then grabbing the sequel to see what happens next. Suggested by Sharon.

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