Kat Cho’s debut Wicked Fox is one of the most-anticipated YA novels of the summer. The book follows Miyoung, a nine-tailed fox who feeds on men and finds her world changed forever when she saves a human boy named Jihoon. Readers who have been counting down the days until Wicked Fox hits shelves are in luck: Bookish has an excerpt of the novel and is giving away advance reading copies! To celebrate the raffle, Cho put together a K-pop playlist inspired by her novel. Listen to the book’s soundtrack below, and then visit BookishFirst to read the excerpt and enter to win an ARC.
I often write to K-pop. This is partly because I don’t love listening to songs in English when I’m writing because it’s distracting. It’s also very fitting to listen to K-pop because so many themes in my book are inspired by Korean pop culture.
“Stay with Me” by Chanyeol and Punch
(나와 함께있어 라, 찬열, 펀치)
I honestly just think of this as Jihoon and Miyoung’s theme song. Are they fated to be together? Is this supposed to be? Will they be able to stay with each other in the end? I also do really feel like if Jihoon could sing he’d have the sweet, low voice that Chanyeol does when he’s singing.
“Missing You” by 2NE1
On first listen, this song sounds like a normal bad relationship/break-up song, but I would argue it could also be applied to other damaging and toxic relationships. Sometimes while listening to it, I could see it being about Jihoon’s relationship with his parents or Miyoung’s with her father. But yes, it is also kind of about Jihoon and Miyoung when they hurt each other.
“Save Me” by BTS
I can’t fully explain why this song is important to my characters without giving spoilers, so I will just say that things aren’t always easy between Miyoung and Jihoon even though they wish it could be.
“Rewrite the Stars” cover by Kevin Woo and Jimin
(별을 다시 써라, 우성현, 박지민)
This was one of my favorite songs from The Greatest Showman because it was filled with so much emotion and angst which is very much the theme of the relationship between Jihoon and Miyoung. They believe that their relationship is not written in the stars because they come from different worlds.
“Crying Crying Crying” by ALi
(사랑한다 미안해, 알리)
This drama is about a mother’s love and hope for her daughter and the lengths she’ll go to in order to protect her daughter, even if those methods aren’t traditional, safe, or what her daughter wants. It is very much how the relationship between Miyoung and her mother, Yena, plays out in Wicked Fox.
“Dinosaur” by AKMU
This song is about childhood fear. The songwriter Chanhyuk, who is half of the AKMU duo, wrote it about when he was younger and debt collectors would come to terrorize his family. For him the dinosaurs in his nightmares symbolized the instability in his childhood. I thought this was so poignant and definitely has some parallels for both Jihoon and MIyoung who had very unstable childhoods. Jihoon dealt with abandonment at a very young age and he has never fully recovered from it. So it seems likely he has some dinosaur-type nightmares as well.
“Bad Woman” by FTISLAND
(나쁜 여자야, 에프티 아일랜드)
The song is about a woman who left her boyfriend and broke his heart. This would definitely be applicable to some of the heartbreak felt by Jihoon in the book.
“Gone Not Around Any Longer” by SISTAR19
(있다 없으니까, 씨스타19)
This is another good heartbreak song for my sad Jihoon and Miyoung. There’s a line that goes:
싸우고 싶어도 싸울 수 조차 없잖아
니가 없으니까 니가 없으니까
Which roughly translates to:
Can’t fight with you even if I want to now
Because you’re gone, because you’re gone
Without too many spoilers, this is something that one of the characters definitely feels about the other in the book.
Here’s a Spotify playlist for Wicked Fox. You’ll find all of the above tracks, save for the cover of “Rewrite the Stars” and “Crying Crying Crying,” both of which can be found on YouTube.
Kat Cho used to hide books under the bathroom sink and then sneak in there to read after bedtime. Her parents pretended not to know. This helped when she decided to write a dinosaur time-travel novel at the tender age of nine. Sadly, that book was not published. She currently lives and works in NYC and spends her free time trying to figure out what kind of puppy to adopt.