A couple of books that have been hanging out in my mind recently are Y/N by Esther Yi and Idol, Burning by Rin Usami. Both are books about fans of pop groups. Y/N is about a Korean American Expat living in Germany who journeys to Korea in search of her idol, while Idol, Burning is about a Japanese fan/blogger who weathers life as her idol's career falls apart, mimicking her own personal journey.
Without digging into the plot (everyone does that), I find it striking that these stories of maturation speak to the sort of fandom that struggles to find its footing about being 'normal.' Tamar Herman over at Notes on K-pop makes a great point that fandoms of sports are considered normal. Painted faces, camping out and waiting in line, wearing the clothes and the kitch representing your favorite player, flying to see a game, all normal (sports betting included). Yet, being a Swifty, a super fan of BTS, etc., I do not know much. (There's always the 'dark side' of pop fandoms. Though, I'm unaware of any riots after a pop group won a Grammy).
Consider this: could fandoms and the communities we build around them be integral to our maturation? Could they be the threads that bind us to our true selves, as [name] suggested in relation to children at play?
Returning to Y/N and Idol, Burning, these books not only delve into the world of fandom but also explore the personal growth of a fan and, by extension, ourselves within the fandom community. They're not just good; they're haunting. They whisper to you every time you see a jersey, hear a pop song, or ponder the meaning of growing up.

In short, read those two books. They're great and speak to each other.

Y/N and Idol, Burning: Book Recs.