YA Meets Kdrama: The Distance Between Us

A group of us lovers of both young adult fiction and kdrama had a brilliant idea on Twitter, a way to bring our two loves together. We’ll be alternating through our five blogs with one post a week in our new feature YA Meets Kdrama. This is my first post.

Kdramas that have been cast already:
So Close to You, cast by the author Rachel Carter
Lauren Oliver’s Delirium, cast by Laura J. Moss
Stephanie Perkins’ Lola & the Boy Next Door, cast by Katie M. Stout
Melina Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road, cast by Corey Wright

For my first book, I chose Kasie West’s The Distance Between Us, because it’s just the sort of story that would make a perfect kdrama. There’s romance, witty banter, and a tense familial situation. This basically demands to be a kdrama, probably not a full sixteen episode season, but they’re a lot more flexible with series length in korea. If you don’t know what kdrama is, you might want to check out this post before you read on.

Also, no one laugh at how terrible I am at graphics, okay? I’ve just started trying to understand PicMonkey, and haven’t figured out how to make the text look awesome yet.

The Distance Between Us kdrama

Seventeen-year-old Ji-Min Myeong studies the rich people that visit her mother’s shop, Chibi & More, though really they don’t sell anything aside from overpriced chibi figurines anymore. The shop has fallen on hard times, and Ji-Min spends most of her free time working there. When Dong-Hyun Seop comes to the store to pick up a chibi doll his grandmother ordered, Ji-min immediately judges him for being absurdly wealthy. She wants nothing to do with him, but he keeps pursuing her. However, he wins her with his charm and appreciation for her sarcasm. This presents difficulties, because her mother will not approve of Ji-Min dating a wealthy guy.

Lim Ju Eun
Lim Ju Eun as Caymen/Ji Min

Jung Il Woo as Dong Hyun

Yoon Eun Hye
Yoon Eun Hye as Skye/Seo Yun

kang min hyuk
Kang Min Hyuk as Henry/Hyun Woo

Jung Yong Hwa
Jung Yong Hwa as Mason/Min Jun

Kim Hye Ja
Kim Hye Ja as Dong Hyun’s Grandma/Young hee

Casting Choices Explained:
In casting The Distance Between Us, I immediately knew who would play the Xander Spence character, because Jung Il Woo did such a brilliant job playing the pampered rich boy in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. He’s charming, but also the kind of guy that Caymen would want to avoid.

Casting Caymen on the other hand was difficult, because none of the female leads I’ve seen thus far really worked, so I went with a lesser known actress, who I’ve only seen in a rather terrible drama called What’s Up. What I like about Lim Ju Eun is that she’s got a sort of bitchy, judgmental look about her, the kind of girl who doesn’t appreciate bullshit and can do sarcastic well. Also, the fact that she’s fairly unknown fits well with Caymen’s personality too.

For Skye, Caymen’s best friend, I wanted someone friendly and approachable and beautiful, so I went with one of my favorite kdrama actresses, Yoon Eun Hye. Playing Skye’s quirky boyfriend, Henry, is Kang Min Hyuk, the drummer for CN Blue. He was hilarious in Heartstrings. CN Blue lead guitarist and singer Jung Yong Hwa plays Henry’s bandmate, Mason, who Skye tries to set Caymen up with. I chose that rather odd picture of him, because most of his publicity shots he’s really neat and put together, but he would look more grungy and punk rockish in the show. The kdrama would definitely beef up his story arc.

I loved the character of Xander’s grandmother, so I had to cast her. I wanted a friendly looking grandmother, but one who looks like she knows what’s up. I can totally imagine Kim Hye Ja matchmaking and being awesome based on her performance in Goong. For Caymen’s mom, I wanted a woman who’s sort of dainty looking, since Caymen is worried about her mom’s health for much of the book, but with iron underneath. Yoon Se-ah can pull this off perfectly, though I had to remove her image because it broke my blog for reasons I do not understand. See it here.

16 responses to “YA Meets Kdrama: The Distance Between Us”

  1. Nara says:

    This is such a cool idea! Minhyuk would be awesome as Henry! Not so sure about Yonghwa as Mason though haha, I just see him as such a dork because of all the variety shows I’ve seen him on. I guess he does have the voice for it though πŸ™‚

    I’ve never heard of Lim Jueun, but she does seem like she’d fit the role of Caymen quite well. Ditto Jung Ilwoo.
    Nara recently posted…ARC Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish DollerMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Min Hyuk was totally the easiest casting ever. Weird but lovable. With Yong Hwa, it was a bit of a stretch, but I wanted CN Blue to be able to be the band and play in the drama a couple of times. :-p I’d like him to have the opportunity to do something different. At least I’m not type-casting. Maybe he’d enjoy playing a bit of a bad boy for once!

      I hope so. Caymen was so hard to cast!

  2. Katie says:


    And you’re so right about Jung Il Woo playing a good pampered rich boy. Great casting!

    I’m loving this series and who everyone chooses. πŸ˜€
    Katie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Best SequelsMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Ha, I knew you would like that, girl. All for you. Also, how much fun would it be to see him play an edgy bad boy? I think he could do it!

      Jung Il Woo will totally be perfection, and he can be less obnoxious in this one. You know, slightly.

      • Katie says:

        OMG he would be HOTNESS INCARNATE! I’m casting him right now as the love interest when my book gets optioned to be a kdrama. He can go ahead and pencil that right into his schedule. πŸ˜‰
        Katie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Best SequelsMy Profile

        • Christina Franke says:

          Glad that you agree!

          Also, if your book is optioned to be a kdrama, I feel like you need me along to help consult. Or to play your American best friend, since you’d play the lead obviously, so you could have an awkward on screen kiss with him. :-p

  3. I’ve only watched a few kdramas so I don’t know too many actors or actresses but I love this feature! So cute.

    All I can say is YONGHWA!! I nearly didn’t recognise him xD
    Charlotte @ Gypsy Reviews recently posted…Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer (#84)My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I need to watch more kdramas stat, because I’ve only seen 12 or 13, and that’s not enough for this. Haha.

      Right? He ought to be a little unrecognizable in this one. A chance to show some acting chops!

  4. Laura says:

    LOVE it!

    As soon as I saw Jung Yong Hwa I knew Katie would be stoked! πŸ˜‰

  5. Great post. I love Kdrama too πŸ™‚
    Shane @ Itching for Books recently posted…BLOG TOUR SIGN-UP~Second Chances by Jo BriggsMy Profile

  6. Nafiza says:

    I’m watching so many Kdramas at the moment. I love YEH too. I’m cautiously excited for her new drama but I guess we’ll see. It has Jung Yonghwa in it too as the second male lead so it’ll be fun to see.
    Nafiza recently posted…Quick Fix – Linda GrimesMy Profile

  7. Rachel says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE. Jung Il Woo is seriously one of my favs.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I have not read this book BUT I am so in love with this idea!!

    Eun-hye is my favourite Korean actress so far (Coffee Prince was my first K-drama. And Gong Yoo will forever be king of my heart) and Jungi Il Woo is so freaking swoon-worthy! Beyond the fact that I really want to read this book, I totally would watch this. I really, really want to watch this actually!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Friday Five (on Saturday again)My Profile

  9. […] lauren oliver, lola and the boy next door by stephanie perkins, jellicoe road by melina marchetta, the distance between us by kasie west, if i stay by gayle forman, paper towns by john green, and white cat by holly […]

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