You likely didn't realize there are several YA/MG
writers who also happen to be K-drama addicts, but it's important do, because
we are totally willing to make you one of us
. . . Kdramas are awesome, and personally I've always felt one of the reasons so many YA authors love them has to do with the basic traits most Kdramas have. Love story (usually a triangle)? Check. Angst? Check. Overcoming obstacles? Check. Hot boys and pretty girls (your tastes as they apply)? Check. FEELS-filled first kisses? Almost always. Even in the Kdramas geared more toward adults the kisses come few and far between, but when they come you fall over from all the darling.
The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton
I've been in love with the (sadly) fictional Ponyboy Curtis since I was four years old. Yeah: four. I've been in love with Hinton's novel about him since age thirteen. Hinton was only sixteen years old when she wrote about a group of rough neighborhood kids in Tulsa, OK (my birthplace), and the fallout from one of them accidentally killing a rich kid, or "Soc"--short for "socialite"--while trying to save narrator Ponyboy, as said Soc is actively trying to drown him at the time.
I sob like a like a hired mourner every time I read it.
Sodapop is, as are most middle children, the peace-maker and intermediary between Ponyboy and Darry, not to mention the rest of the greasers. While not the smartest kid on the block (he's dropped out of high school already), Soda is charming to a T, upbeat, and intuitive regarding others. Soda’s laugh can usually cool down most hot tempers, and of course girls everywhere swoon over him . . . but he doesn't seem to notice, because he’s devoted to his long-time girlfriend Sandy.
Song Joong-ki, a kid so gorgeously baby-faced you’d never peg him to play such an impossibly tragic character as Johnny, but trust me and the people who cast him in Werewolf Boy, he CAN.
Yoon Shi Yoon, one of my favorite goof-able actors in the Korean world, just the kid to play a kid always ready to laugh, or pull a switch blade.
David the Soc. Not a lot to be said about him, either, except to note he’s the Soc trying to drown Pony at the playground, and whom Johnny subsequently kills in self-defense. As an actor, Min-woo seems pretty fond of cameos, and besides, his schedule is kinda insane right now, so offing him near the beginning of the adaptation really suits.