Rating:
Average user rating 4.6
81

Romance is a Bonus Book: Episode 16 (Final)

Not unlike a good book, I feel bittersweet about reaching the end of the journey with our publishing heroes. We’ve faced great highs and hard lows together, and I will miss everyone, from sweet Dan-yi and Eun-ho to bickering Hae-rin and Seo-joon, and even spoiled Ji-yul and poor Hoon. But also like the best books, we get an excellent conclusion and the reassurance that our heroes stories will continue, even if we can’t see it all in this volume.

 
EPISODE 16

The day has arrived: Dan-yi is headed back to Gyeoroo, and she’s even got a trench coat on to flap in the breeze as she makes her return. Ji-yul and Hoon await her at the elevators, party favors in hand, but the first out of the elevator is Director Ko, not Dan-yi, and they carefully pick the pieces of ribbon out of her hair. Second is Jae-min, who they nearly deafen with their party favor, and by the time Dan-yi finally pops her head out of the door, they’re all out of party favors. Dan-yi quietly heads through the doors, but then immediately runs back and jumps and hugs her friends.

At Dan-yi’s new desk with the marketing team, Yeong-ah has brought her flowers, they’ve found the sturdiest chair, and the guys have assembled her desk. Even Song-yi has picked up a gift: a cute cactus humidifier, and then after some prompting, also an apology for falsely accusing Dan-yi of making the contract mistake when it was actually her own. Dan-yi graciously smiles and accepts the apology.

Jae-min arrives, wearing the same celebratory headband as Ji-yul and Hoon, while Director Ko quietly mouths, “good job” to Dan-yi from a distance. As the welcoming starts to break up, Director Ko saves Jae-min from Ji-hong’s request to practice his tango lessons with him. Now that the room has cleared, Dan-yi receives a text from Eun-ho: “Look at me.”

Dan-yi looks around the room, until she spots finger hearts coming from behind a shelf. Eun-ho emerges and delivers additional hearts with his hands and above head head. Dan-yi delivers a return heart, and then Eun-ho saunters to the other side of the room, book in hand as if to play it cool, but he bumps his head on a shelf as she turns to watch Dan-yi, and wanders back to the other side of the room for more hearts directed at Dan-yi. She sends a kissy face back. It’s adorable.

Meanwhile, Ji-yul broods in the break cafe about the Heroes manuscript. She wonders if Hae-rin has stolen it so that she can work on it herself, and as Ji-hong arrives to make himself a coffee, Ji-yul decides that she’s got to stand up for herself.

The next thing you know, Kang superfan Ji-hong is at Hae-rin’s desk, Ji-yul hovering behind, demanding to see the manuscript. He’s heard that Eun-ho has it, but Hae-rin reports that Eun-ho is at a meeting with Seo-joon. Ji-hong knows Hae-rin better than that, and asks her to make him a copy of the copy she made for herself. Hae-rin gives in and digs out the manuscript just as Jae-min enters the room.

Hae-rin surrenders her copy of the manuscript to Jae-min in his office. Jae-min recalls the moment that Eun-ho offered to deliver all of Author Kang’s rights to Gyeoroo, and how Eun-ho had told him that he was Author Kang’s son. But there’s more to this scene, as Jae-min recalls that he immediately questioned this family status, since Author Kang was known to have never married. And here Eun-ho responds that he promised the author that he would be his son, and that he needs Jae-min’s help to find a caregiver for him. When Jae-min asks for proof, Eun-ho offers Author Kang’s journals.

Dan-yi lingers outside Jae-min’s office, and then she glances to Eun-ho’s empty office chair. We return to the scene of Eun-ho and Seo-joon at a bar. Eun-ho first proffers a manuscript by an author that Seo-joon really likes to work on, and then he pulls out the Heroes manuscript, since Eun-ho knows he’s also a fan of Author Kang.

Seo-joon plays dumb at first, but Eun-ho quickly lets him know that not only does he know that this manuscript came from Seo-joon, but also that Seo-joon is the son Author Kang mentioned in one of his journals. Eun-ho knows that Seo-joon’s birthday is the same as Author Kang’s final book, and Seo-joon asks what Author Kang’s explanation was for the title.

And then Eun-ho says that Author Kang was not in a state to answer that question. Instead of explaining, Eun-ho hands over a bag filled with the author’s journals.

Seo-joon returns home, but he finds himself struggling to enter his birthdate into his door lock. Through his father’s notes and journals, he discovers his father was sick with Alzheimer’s and that it was never that his father didn’t try to find him, but that he had forgotten that he’d even met his son.

Seo-joon flashes back to when he confronted his father back in 2008. He announced his mother’s name and his birthdate, and delivered the news that his mother was sick. He promises to tell no one that he’s the author’s son, and asks if he could just send money to help with the hospital expenses. Young Seo-joon dashes away, leaving Author Kang with just his notes to try to piece things together.

Author Kang begs himself not to forget this important information, that he has a son, and he crosses out the title of his current manuscript and writes in April 23.

In the present, Hae-rin arrives in Seo-joon’s neighborhood. While Seo-joon discovers how Eun-ho came to be Author Kang’s “son” in his mind, Hae-rin stands vigil outside his door. It isn’t long before Eun-ho runs to Seo-joon’s apartment as well, but his worries are eased when he sees that Hae-rin has beaten him to it.

Hae-rin comes down to talk with Eun-ho, and Eun-ho says that Seo-joon is lucky to have someone like Hae-rin looking out for him. Hae-rin returns the compliment that Dan-yi is lucky to have a guy like Eun-ho, and they smile at one another.

In the night, Eun-ho wakes up to a phone call from Kapyong, and he picks up Seo-joon on the way as he hurries to be by Author Kang’s side. Seo-joon is worried, and Eun-ho tries to comfort him, telling him that they’ve had several scares and that Author Kang will be fine.

Jae-min is already there when they arrive, but it’s too late, and Author Kang has passed away. Eun-ho drops to his knees at the man’s bedside, and then reaches up to place Seo-joon’s hand on his father’s as well.

The scene dissolves to Eun-ho and Seo-joon, dressed in black, standing together looking up at a hill by a river. Seo-joon admits that he thought that Author Kang had ignored him, and that he had wanted to prove to the man that he was still his son by writing The Heroes. Eun-ho tells him that in the end the manuscript did exactly what Seo-joon had wanted, since discovering it was what helped Eun-ho make the connections and unite Seo-joon with his father at last. Eun-ho sighs that it seems as though Author Kang waited a long time to be able to say goodbye to Seo-joon.

Seo-joon says that April 23 was his last hope, and Eun-ho confirms that it was indeed Author Kang’s last message for his son, that he hadn’t forgotten him.

Back at Gyeoroo, Song-yi appears at Dan-yi’s desk, hopeful to work with her on her first book proposal in the 10 People series that won Dan-yi her job back. But Ji-yul is also vying to work with Dan-yi, and she arrives with research. Song-yi can’t compete with that, and Dan-yi and Ji-yul pick out their first mentor for the series, a botanist.

And in other publishing news, Gyeoroo releases a new edition of April 23. Readers flock to the bookstores, where they discover the author’s official chronology, as well as photos sharing the truth about his illness, Eun-ho’s involvement in his life, and the secret of his son.

We return to the moment when Eun-ho and Seo-joon stood together following Author Kang’s memorial, and the doctor delivered a letter left for his son. Eun-ho passes it to Seo-joon, who passes it back, and the doctor suggests that it’s for the both of them.

It begins, “To Eun-ho, my beloved son,” and in this possibly last moment of clarity, Author Kang says that he’s no longer afraid of the world knowing about the full story of his life. He was afraid of being remembered as an old, sick man, but that now he accepts that as part of his story.

We quickly flash to the readers with the new edition, who spot a medical certificate indicating his diagnosis and clearing all the rumors that he disappeared. There’s also a photo with Eun-ho standing beside Author Kang in his wheelchair. At Gyeoroo, Ji-hong and Yeong-ah read through the new supplemental material, and Dan-yi reads her own copy, and then gazes up, contemplative.

In the past, Eun-ho sits to write the chronology of Author Kang, the words from the letter still fresh in his mind. “I want my life to become a story that people can read.”

The letter’s narration continues, as scenes of a young child who reads a book on the floor and two students help an older woman up some stairs roll by. “I don’t believe that a single book is capable of changing the world. However, I still would like to tell you to become someone who’s like a book.”

A woman begins to tear up as she reads the new edition supplement, and then we see a flashback of Eun-ho walking alongside Author Kang. Ji-hong and Yeong-ah squabble over dinner with their son, and Jae-min covers Director Ko with a blanket when he finds her asleep at her desk. When Director Ko wakes up and finds a note from Jae-min reminding her that her work will never love her back, she’s in his office in an instant and convinces him to play hooky from work and go to the beach. Hae-rin drops a manuscript on Ji-yul’s desk, and everyone cheers as Ji-yul realizes she’s finally passed her mentor’s inspection.

“Eun-ho,” the letter continues, “I want you to become a book that can console others like you did for me.” Seo-joon finds Hae-rin at his apartment, a packed lunch in her hands. And in his apartment, Eun-ho stands at his bookshelf, while Dan-yi embraces him from behind, her head on his back in tender support.

“A single book might not be able to change the world or change a person’s life. But a good book is bound to be read by everyone. And then, little by little, it will warm people’s hearts… I pray that you’ll also be able to be consoled by meeting a person who’s like a book.”

At Seo-joon’s, he asks if Hae-rin cooked all this food for him, but she reassures him that it’s her mother’s cooking. Seo-joon jokes that he heard a woman who starts stealing from her mom’s fridge is a woman who has started dating. Hae-rin flushes and asks who she would be dating, and Seo-joon just shrugs and grins.

Seo-joon takes a photo of his food, but he’s included Hae-rin in the frame as well, and promises to share the photo with her. Seo-joon mentions that he heard from Eun-ho how Hae-rin remained outside his apartment for him, and he thanks her for worrying about him. “But Eun-ho is still your number one guy,” and Hae-rin quickly squashes this, saying that he’s just her chief editor.

Hae-rin leans back and takes a look at Seo-joon’s former writing lair. She suggests that he write a new novel with his real name. Seo-joon demurs, but she tells him that she read The Heroes several times through and loved the writing, and will wait patiently for him as his editor.

At Gyeoroo, Ji-yul and Dan-yi have their edited copies of their first manuscript by that biologist, Inner Thoughts of Plants. They are so excited to present it at the next executive meeting, except that when they get there, the group overwhelmingly approves Hoon and Song-hi’s thriller instead. They try to ask when their book will be published, and everyone filing out of the room tells them to wait, while Yeong-ah tells them that means it will never be published. Aww. Dan-yi and Ji-yul watch the group congratulate Hoon and Song-yi, while the two of them mutter about invasive species and plants (haha, they’re still deeply immersed in their botany book!)

But then they realize that Eun-ho wasn’t at the meeting, so they find him after his lecture and try to get an answer from him. But even Eun-ho tells them to wait while he thinks about it a while.

Seo-joon and Hae-rin have returned to that cafe where they first watched the snow fall together. This time they’re back to arguing over the details of a book design. They both stick to their stubborn stances, until Hae-rin answers a call briefly from her mother, who has set her up on a blind date. Seo-joon’s face falls, and he whimpers that he thought the two of them would eat dinner together. And then he takes a bolder approach, and asks Hae-rin to not go on the date, and instead to eat dinner with him. Seo-joon tells her, “my father once said that I should be someone who is like a book. I want to be a book for you.”

Hae-rin asks if he means a book about nagging and morality (ha!) but Seo-joon is quick to answer that he wants to be a romance novel.

Dan-yi sits in bed as she searches for an apartment of her own. Her six months at Eun-ho’s have come to an end (has it really only been six months?) and she’s looking for something nearby. Eun-ho joins her, and while he doesn’t voice his disappointment, his mood seems to dampen at the prospects of Dan-yi finding another place to live.

Eun-ho tags along as Dan-yi goes to see her prospective new apartment (wearing quite a jacket). It’s clean and roomy and a good price, and she is ready to sign a lease. But Eun-ho protests that it’s not big enough to fit him too, so she’ll have to pass. As they leave the apartment, Eun-ho says that he won’t stop her from finding a new place, but the deal is that wherever she goes, he goes too. Dan-yi asks why she would leave his place if that’s the case, and Eun-ho’s response is, “Exactly.” Dan-yi worries about what it will mean when her daughter returns home after graduation, but Eun-ho tells her they can worry about that then.

Another day at Gyeoroo: Hae-rin shares the skincare products she’s received as a gift from an author (sharing with everyone except Ji-hong, ha). Dan-yi approaches Eun-ho about the botany book, but he says he’s still thinking. Eun-ho gets a call, and then announces to the room that the poetry book Ji-hong supported is ready for its fifth printing. Additionally, Hoon and Song-yi’s thriller has become a bestseller and will begin its third imprint. With that news, Jae-min announces that he’s treating everyone to bbq.

At the restaurant, everyone is thrilled, except maybe Dan-yi and Ji-yul, who are letdown by the lack of enthusiasm around their book. Jae-min gives a speech congratulating everyone on the sales, and then announces that because those books have done well, they can now publish Inner Thoughts of Plants as well. He says that they sell bestsellers like Hoon and Song-yi’s book so that they can afford to publish books like Dan-yi and Ji-yul’s, ones that won’t sell well but are worth sharing with the world and the smaller audience that will treasure them.

And there’s one final announcement to be made, this time by Director Ko. She announces, with a nod in Dan-yi’s direction, that Gyeoroo will now have a blind recruitment process for new hires, where they will only consider the applicants’ talents. The servers notice how happy the group is and ask what they do, and the group all yells, “We make books!”

Everyone heads outside. Eun-ho can’t help but take Dan-yi’s hand, and he holds it high overhead to announce to their colleagues their official status. And they aren’t the only couple with news, as Jae-min drags Director Ko’s reluctant hand into the air as well. Everyone laughs and runs, until Eun-ho and Dan-yi find themselves alone under a clearing covered by tree branches.

Dan-yi gasps that everyone knows now, and Eun-ho responds that he doesn’t care, because he wants the entire world to know that he loves her. They kiss under the canopy of trees, and Dan-yi thinks to herself how Eun-ho is like an old familiar book, one she opened up again to read anew. “I find new sentences in this book everyday. It’s a book that stayed with me the longest.”

EPILOGUE

Ji-yul finds her blind date interrupted by Hoon. They try to yell at each other, but then Ji-yul kisses Hoon instead, and the two run out together.

Together for a meal, Jae-min feeds Director Ko the food he’s prepared for just the two of them.

At Gyeoroo, Yeong-ah walks Ji-hong and their son to the elevator. Ji-hong has his son for the weekend, and they’ve got plans to goof off together.

And finally, all the remaining new hires walk out of the doors of Gyeoroo together, leaving us with a long final shot of the empty workspace where they’ve made so many books together.

 
COMMENTS

And now we must leave Gyeoroo and its staff behind, though their stories will never leave our hearts. I know I’m being a little saccharine and sentimental, but I can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy as this show draws to a gentle close. It was honestly everything that I wanted it to be: a poignant but also adorable love story, an office comedy, and even the mystery finally impacted me in the way I wanted it to, so that I felt for Author Kang and the sons he left behind.

We’ve been wondering for a while whether or not Eun-ho was truly Author Kang’s son or just an enthusiastic student of the man, and now that we know the answer, nothing has diminished in their relationship. He promised to be Author Kang’s son, and he upheld that promise until the very end. I am so relieved that Seo-joon never saw Eun-ho as a replacement or unwelcome member of the family, and instead saw how his father, even with his declining health, could want to hold tightly to the memory of Seo-joon but still falter. Even though Author Kang’s memories were mixed up and confused, his feelings held tightly to him, and he transferred them to Eun-ho. I’m glad that Seo-joon was able to find his closure at last, and to even find a “brother” he could trust.

The show has done an amazing job of honoring both the publishing industry and what it does and the people who work in that environment, and Author Kang’s parting sentiments bring these two loves together as one, with people and books both existing to touch the lives of others. It draws out the idea that every person has a story of their own, just like a book, and while an individual cannot change the entire world, it is still significant in the way that others feel comforted by it when they bring it into their lives. Just like Inner Thoughts of Plants wasn’t necessarily a bestseller, it was still a work that deserved the chance to touch the hearts of others. And I really like the final sentiment, that it couldn’t necessarily do it on its own, but with the help of others, our botany book will make it.

Eun-ho couldn’t solve Dan-yi’s problems, nor did he too often make the mistake of trying to. Instead he was there to comfort, to hold her hand, and to make her smile. For others, like Director Ko, sometimes we forget that stories (and people) are important, and instead dive into other pursuits like work. But in the end, everyone at Gyeoroo grows and thrives, even as their stories change.

Author Kang also reminds us that a story needs a beginning and an end, even if the ending is not the one we had hoped for. In perhaps his final moment of clarity, Author Kang realized the importance of recording his whole life, not just the beginning, and how that life and its story impacted others. Because even though many struggled through the end of his tale, in the end when the truth was revealed, he brought people together who were able to console one another.

Let it not go unnoticed that the final shot is not of our romantic couples however, but of Gyeoroo. A place of cherished work, where all of these characters came together to make stories for others, and to make their own along the way.

And so, the show leaves us with one final message at the end of the credits: the moon is beautiful.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , ,

81

Required fields are marked *

Ok, I’ve been on the fence about this show since the beginning. But I had an unexpected “Aww” 🥰 come out of my mouth at the ending credits: “the moon is [indeed] beautiful.” So, even though the missing daughter, Director Ko’s multiple personalities, and the mystery of the missing author gave me the feeling that the writing could have been better, at least they remembered that.

14
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually liked Director Ko's many facets. I think she deep-down needs friends, companions, and joy in her life, but was too wrapped up in her work - which had to be #1 over all else because of the sacrifices she made in her personal life to keep and preserve it. I think she appeared cold and rules-oriented because her work and its rules were the one thing she allowed to give her life meaning and comfort, yet at the same time her real personality and emotional needs could not help but manifest themselves, and in some pretty spectacular ways.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually liked her initially, but then I thought her selfishness was over the top. I understand rule followers, I’m one as well, but if she were that strong, she would have realized what an asset Dan-yi was in the company and hired her outright, making a new position for her. I didn’t think that she was a good match for Jae-min and his daughters either. It’s just seemed the writer wrote her to be strong and independent but didn’t think through the character to the end.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Maybe the writer didn't have enough time, and that was the best he/she could do.
Oh, hi, Ally! I am back in Europe.
I want to say that I liked the end.
Ep. 13 to 15 bored me a little bit, but I still appreciated the show and that last message of love.
Addressing us as the audience... it was indeed lovely and very intimate.

In regard to other aspects of this show, I may write them later.
For now I can only say it made me smile.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually wanted to see how the daughter would affect the dynamic between danyi and Eun Ho. Maybe they didn't have enough time to incorporate that plotline into the show.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I’ve found that pacing in kdramas are hot and miss. There’s plenty of time to tell a story, but so much of this time is wasted.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

*hit

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

When Hoon walked in on Ji-yul date and said she's his, I actually squealed. Go on Hoon!

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I looked forward the weekends so I could watch this drama. It was one of those dramas which made me feel warm and cozy. Yes, it had its flaws and was far from perfect, but it was perfect enough for me.
In the end, it was all about the books. The life of books. Everything else was a bonus. My love for books only grew as I watched the drama.
May be someday I can open and watch this drama again and read those sentences in a new light.
The moon is indeed beautiful (p.s. today is first day of Spring and a full moon!)

11
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

YES, it was indeed all about the BOOKS but then books come to life because people make them AND books are a good METAPHOR FOR LIFE.
As author Kang wrote, books must have a beginning and an end UNTIL someone opens that favorite book again and READ IT WITH NEW EYES.
I will miss this warm and cozy drama and open it again one day soon 🤓 when the MOON is beautiful🌛🌖🌝

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes I loved all those metaphors!!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't recommend many shows to my daughters - they are all very busy people. But as they are all writers, lovers of books, and lovers of personal stories,I recommended this one.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

"In the end, it was all about the books. The life of books. Everything else was a bonus. My love for books only grew as I watched the drama."

Well said. The name of the drama was actually perfect - romance is a bonus book.

My favorite part of the entire drama was the love letter Author Kang wrote to Eun-ho in one of his last moments of mental clarity. I figured out in the first few minutes of the episode after we first see author Kang that Eun-ho wasn't his biological son, and I worried that this would become an issue. But it was so clear that author Kang truly loved and appreciated Eun-ho as a son, and that Eun-ho saw him as a father, just as much as if they had that biological relationship. I loved how author Kang acknowledged his love for Eun-ho, and the way he expressed his hopes for Eun-ho's future, with the metaphor of a beloved, well-written book that brought comfort and joy to the world.

Lovely ending. And I am committing to buying more books, instead of getting everything on kindle.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

The ending was so perfect. Left such a feeling of warmth.
I am committed to reading more books!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh man, that coat!...

9
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

That coat was so distracting it made my eyes bleed! ugh

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I had to turn down the brightness of my screen for that thing! You know that coat got to be bad if Lee Jong-suk couldn't pull it off.😂😂

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

He actually tried it on when he and Dan-i were going out to dinner, after his love confession and the kiss, and both were in their rooms trying to find the perfect outfit. I was like,"NO! That is HIDEOUS! Don't pick that!!," only to see it show up in one of the final scenes. The rest of LJS's clothes were lovely on him. You can really tell he was a runway model. He has the body and the flair.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hahahaha That coat is famous! It was a comedy gem on it's own 😂

My reaction (during their date) was.. "Oh my god, NOOOO!". And then he goes and wears it during the apartment hunting! 😕

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

For those who didn't know the coat is by Valentino and costs a whopping 2500 USD!

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

It was obviously designer wear - I'm actually surprised it wasn't a bit pricier - but that doesn't make it attractive!

With his background in runway modeling, I wonder how much say LJS has in the clothing choices for his character in a drama like this, where he plays a well-to-do professional in an arty field. I'm still swooning over that raspberry- colored, soft wool (possibly cashmere or angora?) sweater he was wearing when the mad ex GF threw a glass of water on him. He looks good in everything.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It wasn’t a coat. It was a sweater. Episode 1, when he goes to a cafe or coffee shop to meet his ex-girlfriend, and she tosses water on him. He’s wearing a black coat over the sweater, and takes off the coat so it won’t be ruined, but after she tosses her water in his face, she grabs his water and tosses it on his black coat as well.

0

👏👏👏 and thank you to everyone in RIABB!

Even reading the recap I'm teary-eyed 😭 Thank you @abirdword! and yes, it was very fitting to have Gyeoroo as the parting shot.

The drama is truly healing, making one feel and think of a whole lot of different things and emotions. Truly and absolutely, a pleasant roller-coaster ride.

I think we really needed a few more episodes to really get into Writer Kang's story... But even then, his letter, EH and SJ's scenes (I felt for SJ) , and how they showed how people reacted to the new edition, still made me teary-eyed.

I will really miss the Eun❤️Dan couple!!! (I'm already starting to rewatching from the start and find myself grinning, smiling, heart aching (for EH), heart fluttering,....).

I will also miss Gyeoroo, the office dynamics, their passion for books and the whole gang!

IF ONLY LJS is still available, I would've loved a special "a year after" episode to see how everyone is doing!

And lastly, how EH "announced" he and DY were a couple was SOOOOO simple for kdramland standards but is also the absolute CUTEST!!!

8
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

We really need an edit button here :P saw some mistakes, but will just leave them there... sorry 😅

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I too liked how subtly they announced their relationship Status. Though I would have liked to see more individual reactions after this declaration:)

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Me too, would love to see what happens after but I do appreciate the fact that the show didn't solely focus on the romance part and lived up to the the title that it is just a "bonus book".

I am REALLY trying to keep myself from listing what I love about this drama! 😅
I think there are so many little things to love that it's more than enough to compensate for its shortcomings.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is the BEST drama I’ve seen since the start of this year. Being a book lover myself, I like the concept behind ROMANCE IS A BONUS BOOK, that life is indeed like a book that you open and read; leave behind and rediscover later, to appreciate and see what you’ve not seen before. 🙂

It is also very heartwarming that there are no unnecessary angst and bickering among the characters, making ROMANCE IS A BONUS BOOK a warm and cozy drama to watch at the end of a difficult day at work. 😀

It also presented the world of book publishing in a most realistic way and depicts the struggles of people to get a job and hold on to it. How Dan-yi had to “downscale” her abilities and talents and hide her credentials to get a job after a seven-year gap, applies not only in book publishing but in the work world as a whole. 😂

The relationship between Eun-ho and author Kang, the main mystery in the drama, was also handled well and kept us hooked to the end. How Eun-ho and Seo-joon became “brothers” or the sons of author Kang was a great revelation. 🤓

I will savor this drama again along with other dramas of LEE JEONG-SUK who is now doing public service duties until he makes a comeback. This was a superb last drama for him till we see him again.😍

It is my first time to watch LEE NA-YOUNG and I will be watching out for her next project. 🙂

8
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

"It is my first time to watch LEE NA-YOUNG and I will be watching out for her next project."

I had never seen her either, and I've also never seen her husband in a drama, although he is certainly alluded to frequently in dramas, as the paradigm of handsome Korean men.

I checked out a few photos of Won Bin on line, and even in his 40s, he is a beautiful man! Although he has made a living through modeling and endorsements (for which, inexplicably, his "fans" have criticized him. I will never understand the harsh, intolerant, and personally intrusive manner in which so many Korean "fans" treat their idols), there have been recent rumors of him making a comeback. It would be awesome if he and Lee Na-young did a drama together.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have never seen her work before either.
Regd Won Bin - If you like action movies, do watch 'A man from nowhere'. It is the king of all action movies.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Won Bin in Autumn in My Heart (with Song He Kyo and second lead to Song Seung Heon of Black)

Will try to watch "A Man from Nowhere", movie sounds interesting.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Until this episode, I never shipped Seo-joon and Hae-rin because he clearly could not stand her before. However, in one episode, they became the only couple in this show to make my heart flutter. When Hae-rin said, "I'm number one in line (as your editor)," I wish Seo-joon answered, "Me too" as a reference to his "But Cha Eun-ho is still your number one." As Seo-joon was not at lunch to hold Hae-rin's hand and announce their relationship in front of Gyeoroo, I was so disappointed their couple did not appear in the epilogue. I fully expected Park Hoon to grab Ji-yul's hand like Team Leader Bong with Team Leader Seo's, but unfortunately, Ji-yul was not running with them.

As Dan-yi's daughter Jae-hee ended up as a cameo, I am going to assume the only reason Lee Ji-won was cast was because of her popularity from SKY Castle. At least Dan-yi did not forget she had a daughter because Jae-hee got a mention in the finale: "Jae-hee will come back to Korea once she graduates." Speaking of forgotten daughters, where were CEO Kim's two daughters? I loved when CEO Kim asked, "Girls, how do you feel about Eun-ho samchon being your new stepmom?" in episode 4. "Joahaeyo!" The love line between CEO Kim and Director Ko felt forced.

How did Author Kang know Seo-joon was not scamming him out of his money since Seo-joon promised to never show up again or tell anyone he was Author Kang's son? I hope Gyeoroo publishes Seo-joon's The Heroes. The show letting Song-yi off the hook for "framing" Dan-yi is reminiscent of Director Ko "stealing" Dan-yi's blurb. Are we supposed to forgive Song-yi because she bought Dan-yi a humidifier even when she shamelessly destroyed evidence like we were supposed to believe Director Ko came up with the exact same blurb?

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Haha... I had a little trouble too to believe Song-yi didn't frame Dan-yi on purpose. But since I loved the "fuzzy, warm" feeling this show gave me, I decided to look at this incident in the following way. If I had by accident blamed someone for my mistake, I am not sure (if I was 20+) I would have been able to confess to my crime. So ... I let my indignation go. ;-)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, I would have loved seeing Kim's daughters with Ko, even for a couple of seconds, too!
Their love story seemed a little out of blue, I agree. I think, for a part of the story, she thought one day she'd reunite with her almost husband by fate, so, she didn't have real interests in other men, but I never noticed interest from CEO Kim's part, neither a little stolen gaze, until the last episodes.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

i LOVED that this was set in a publishing company. i LOVED these characters. frankly, i loved everything about this. it made me feel warm inside, and thats really all i could have asked for. what a lovely weekend watch <3

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

if only this whole show had been as strong and poignant as the first and last episodes were! this goes down as a rare drama where the ending satisfied me more than much of the middle. there were too many dangling plot points—details that didn’t need to be there or didn’t serve enough purpose to count (missing daughter, weird other publishing co; even author kang felt underdeveloped to me), but overall this was mostly a sweet watch. gyeoroo has my heart forever—for publishing poetry and books about plants and celebrating it. the characters were *exquisitely* done—flawed and realistic and so so loveable. (park hoon and joyful i miss you already. hae-rin you are marvelous. dir. ko and pres. kim, i’m rooting for you.) i loved this final episode so so much.

6
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This drama has kept its promise that it would give us a heart-warming and fun office drama! Gonna miss this drama a lot....

I love this drama didn't spend too much time on angst and jealousy.. Everything about it is pretty "reasonable", from Director Ko's being jealous to Dan-yi and is willing to fire her (but she didn't at last), or Son-yi who blamed Dan-yi about the document she had misplaced.... Everything resolved nicely... She apologised, Dan-yi forgave her, and they became friend again.

Similar with Hae-rin. I love this drama doesn't take most route kdrama used for the second lead. She couldn't hate Dan-yi and Eun-ho because she likes them so much!

I love this book is about the people who just LOVE to make book....

This drama is a good send-off the LJS to the Army... Looking forward to see him again in two years!

6
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The last two episodes were perfect. THIS is how I want conflict to be resolved and ends to be tied into bows without all of the excess, neatly and warmly.
- All the relationships worked for me in this show, friendships especially.
- Great women.
- The mystery never took over too much, but remained interesting.
- Any conflict never really threatened the main couple because their romantic relationship was simply an extension of a preexisting strong friendship built on mutual trust, love and communication.
- Also books.
Perfect.

10
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

indeed, it was a calm ending :) thank you, Team Gyeoroo, for showing us what true joy, passion and conviction for work looks like. also, what a way for them to pay tribute to author Kang.

also, am glad that EH/DI's 'relationship reveal' happened as such, and not as some messy, dramatic trope in between. really kept to the vibe of the show! happy also for HR/SJ :)

thanks all for following the show till the end!

locations:

kiss under the branches: The Botanical Garden BCJ - https://koreandramaland.com/listings/bcj-botanical-garden/

helping a grandma: Ilsan Cultural Park - https://koreandramaland.com/listings/ilsan-cultural-park-%EC%9D%BC%EC%82%B0%EB%AC%B8%ED%99%94%EA%B3%B5%EC%9B%90/

5
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks, Mich, for the timely location reporting! That made watching the show even more interesting. In those branches was a very cool spot for a kiss ☺️

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

always a pleasure to be of service! here's the full list of the locations we have so far :) (to be updated as and when we track down more!) https://koreandramaland.com/jobs/?search_keywords=%22romance+is+a+bonus+book%22&submit=

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

and back to say: thank you @abirdword for recapping, and for your lovely parting shot of this beloved series to all of us ♥ the moon is, indeed, beautiful.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Love this drama for it's ode to books.
Overall a happy and breezy watch for me.
Will miss the happy family at Georyoe, especially Kang Dan Yi, everyone's favorite best friend and acted amazingly by Lee Na Young.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wow the number of couples in one workspace

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I legit cried at the end credit T_T
I'm aware that this show may not be the best k-drama out there BUT HECK I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT SO MUCH MY HEART HURTS

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

The moon is beautiful. 🤗

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It was a nice drama. Not one I will rewatch but I really liked the work environment. I like their work relationships and all about the books.

All the mystery about Writer Kang was useless, it brought nothing to the story or the characters. They should have brought up the topic in a other way or given up.

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

When in despair just find yourself a rich boyfriend.

But I like this drama and don't regret watching it, it was cute, fluffy watch in the end. My first Lee Na Young drama, hope she came back for good, because I liked her a lot, shame that she was relegated to the worst wardrobe in entire cast.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

On this episode

1. Songyi should be fired, or censured for her terrible lie at blaming Danyi for her mistake. It's a character flaw, NOT a competence issue, and no amount of cute smiles and cactus humidifiers will resolve that.

2. Director Ko - I like that she's not perfect, and she gets a background storyline with CEO Jaemin, even though we don't see it. I could completely imagine a full kdrama just spinning their story - this story - from their point of view.

3. Jihong and Yeongah - while I'm not a fan of divorce, I'm so glad that you guys did not get back together because something definitely broke in your marriage, and unless Jihong retreads his life and places his wife and family first, nothing's going to change. Kudos to Yeongah for moving on and making the move work for everyone.

4. Danyi and Jiyul, and the publication process - sad but true fact - make money so that the company can afford to print books which need to be printed. I love how the company loves books, but understands the economics which need to be addressed. #Realism #ftw (insofar as kdrama is realistic hahaa!)

5. Seojoon and Haerin - hwaiting! I'm waiting for your romance novel to come out. <3

6. Eunho's really loud jacket - shut up, get back into the closet, and never come back out again.

7. Seojoon - I'm so sorry you didn't get to meet your dad before he passed. :~(

8. Danyi's daughter - welcome back to the storyline. Sort of. You got one line of reference here.

6
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

On the whole drama
I'm a bit bummed. While I love LJS, I just wasn't really sold on the chemistry and the romance. It's not an age thing; I think we needed more scenes where they actually connected over their past. I get that LNY and LJS were trying hard, and maybe I'm spoilt on other high-squee romances which are showing right now, but I was really hoping for a deep-rooted romance which demonstrated how long-term deep friendships and love develops. We had glimpses of it with Eunho's exes, and how he told Danyi that he had girlfriends but always broke up because they weren't her and he knew it, but... I don't know, I kind of wanted more.

Besides the romance angle, I really loved this little snippet into the publishing industry, and how every side-character felt very well lived-in. The acting was pretty good all around, and the ensemble-writing was one of my favourite parts of the script.

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ugh, you articulate it brilliantly! Age is just a number. I could ship Park Seo Joon and Uhm Jung Hwa in Witch's Romance (20 years gap) so I'm convinced that the problem lies deeper beneath their age gap.

Maybe this show needs more 'show don't tell' moments, isn't it? If we witness firsthand how conflicted or depressed Eun Ho was before meeting Dan i again, we would probably able to feel more of their relationship. Also, we rarely ever get a glimpse of how Dan i truly feel of Eun Ho before they dated. I think it's quite suspicious that Dan i never even question attraction toward Eun Ho despite her considering Eun Ho as a little brother. We're humans, after all. *They're not even related*

Until the last episodes, there's not much substances to their relationship. Yes, we know that they have an unbeatable bond and connection that no one could ever match. Instead of portraying that, often their scenes are comprises of collection of advertisements (honestly!). Those scenes of Eun Ho hiding behind bookshelves, making cute poses and finger hearts, while their theme song playing justify it! xD

At least I got to witness Seo Joon and Hae Rin blossoming friendmanceship on the last episode.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Jumping on the thread pretty late coz I just finished watching this drama. I’m with you on this. I did not feel the chemistry on the OTP. And yes, it was not about age. There was no sexual tension, compared to Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food/SITR. Still. I like RIABB.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It was a lovely drama. Very sweet but with notes or realness. Maybe too sweet at times but still enjoyed it.
I loved the end credit message for us :)

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I can't say this drama ended with a whimper or badly but it was far from satisfactory for me. I can only describe that finale as incomplete. Families have been totally excluded form all the romantic relationships which is so unrealistic for Korea.

The scenes I missed:
- Dan Yi's daughter's reaction to her mother's young boyfriend
- Hae Rin's parents' joy at discovering her new successful good looking boyfriend (I loved them so much that I am cross they didn't show up at all this week!)
- Ji Yul's mum's face when she realizes her daughter really likes and is dating Hoon
- Director Ko interacting with President's daughters

9
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, I would've liked seeing HR's parents' reaction to SJ! And EH's ex when she sees EH & DY! And DY's daughter's (and ex-hubby's) reaction to EH!

But, I understand there's only 16 eps soooo like I mentioned before, I vote for an ep or 2 as Appendix to RIABB! Maybe after LJS's military service 😁

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

An appendix sounds just about right. They don’t need volume 2 of the book, just an extra appendix would do haha! Love how everyone is using book metaphors and language now! 😀

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Bravi! Bravi! Bravissimo @abirdword What a wonderful recap and review. You had my heart with your Comments.

I love how the show has continued the imagery of people and relationships being like books which have been apt and inspiring.

The show has done an amazing job of honoring both the publishing industry and what it does and the people who work in that environment, and Author Kang’s parting sentiments bring these two loves together as one, with people and books both existing to touch the lives of others. It draws out the idea that every person has a story of their own, just like a book, and while an individual cannot change the entire world, it is still significant in the way that others feel comforted by it when they bring it into their lives. Just like Inner Thoughts of Plants wasn’t necessarily a bestseller, ... (and) it couldn’t necessarily do it on its own, but with the help of others, our botany book will make it.

This is really all the show says but it is a great truth, and the way it was related was heart-felt and warm.

Kudos to the production team who were unafraid to stick to making a simple story, and to making it beautiful to see, hear and read.

"The moon is beautiful", indeed!

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, the moon is indeed beautiful. 🌷

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It was a good show but I feel they kind of screwed around and drew out some things more than they should and then everything at the end was wrapped up really fast. As someone pointed out, Dan-yi's daughter vanished completely from anyone's thoughts and there were so many little side things that could have benefitted from a few more minutes of closure. Still compared to some of the real crappy shows on right now this was A-grade stuff.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

So.... I make no bones about not liking this drama, but....... Nothing about Dan-i's daughter at the end? Sigh.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The best part about this episode were Author Kang's words when the second edition of his book came out. So poignant!
it was a sweet story and I loved the world of books which revealed to us a different side of publishing books.
A lot of times throughout the drama there were instances where the dialogue or the phrases they used were amazingly quotable a poetically beautiful!

Also good job on having actual good female characters in a drama. They can withstand so much on their own!
power pose!

8
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for your recaps. I enjoyed them immensely. I een started to watch some of the episodes again when I had read your recaps. :-)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

For a lot of dramas and western tv shows, I found that the penultimate episode was the best, but this time the last episode was the one I liked the most. It was touching and I didn't expect it, I got choked up.
I liked the messages of the whole story, and the final declaration.

There are a lot of things about this show that I liked (like the fact that the story was really choral, or the sweet Hae-Rin), and just as many I didn't like (as the missing daughter or the fact that I didn't feel committed to the main love story), but I'm glad I watched it, and it's a solid 7/10 for me.
I will miss its warmth.

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved this drama. There were some conscious and unconscious cruelty, times when people did cruel things and knew they were doing cruel things, and other times when folks truly didn't know how much the other person was suffering. And there is a heck of a lot of adjustment to life, and tons of forgiving. Usually in kdramas, people forgive people who have wounded them only in the finale. But throughout this, there was learning to accept and deal with people the way you find them. Everything in my heart wanted two certain women in that office to not have a happy ending because of their cruelty but in the end i had to accept that even mean bosses, insensitive ex-husbands, and petty coworkers should get love and a chance for a happy life.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for wonderfully encapsulating everything beautiful about this show in your recap, @abirdword! After a roller coaster episode 15 which I felt tried to cover so many things, I tried to keep my expectations low for the last episode. Should have trusted the writer, director and the cast fully, because the final episode exceeded my expectations. This is also one of the dramas that changed my whole perspective of how kdramas should be. I was ready to accept this show as a show that would just be “ok” given the fact that I didn’t really like the other works of the writer which had a lot of unnecessary angst and past baggage and 3 cornered love stories which broke hearts. That is why I was totally surprised my how beautifully warm this show has been. And I think others share the same sentiments judging from the comments everywhere on the internet.

My heart is full and content with the ending of this show. Sad of course, I will truly miss the Gyeoroo family.

My fav moments that left me teary in the final episode were definitely:
1. Author Kang’s parting letter to Eun Ho
2. Seo Joon’s reconciliation with his father
3. The frame where Eun Ho and Dani ran into the tree shades, with the music playing in the background (it was a total parallel of the wedding runaway scene and music in the first episode, which brought back all the feelings)
4. The closing shot of Gyeoroo’s empty office
5. The final message to viewers: The moon is beautiful.

To the whole production team and cast esp LJS and LNY, I want to say “The Moon Is Beautiful” to all of them too! Grateful for such a poignant, meaningful and lesson-filled journey with these people. It wasn’t just a show to fulfill fan’s expectations, nor to entertain mindlessly. It was thoughtful through and through, even till the very last minute of the show.

This show isn’t without its flaws, but no books, nor humans are without flaws. If we can accept that we are flawed, then we can accept that a show is flawed too but tries its level best to be that “one book” that will touch a group of people’s lives. It wasn’t a kdrama hit by any means (though I wish that it was, it deserved to!), but it is that one book that all of us who loved it will cherish in our hearts for a long long time, and reread (rewatch) again and discover newfound beauty in its poetic script.

This was also the best parting gift LJS could give his fans for 2 years, and it further solidifies the fact that he is thoughtful in his choice of projects and has great eye in picking out quality scripts. I’m truly going to miss his absence during this period. Can’t wait to see what he returns with in 2 years time!!

All in all, Romance is a Bonus Book isn’t a bestseller, but it has definitely been one that impacted me deeply, and one that I will remember for a long long time - alluding to the words of Author Kang and President Kim.

It’s been a wonderful journey with everyone here!

4
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I too didn't like the other works of the writer so was pleasantly surprised.

"This was also the best parting gift LJS could give his fans for 2 years, and it further solidifies the fact that he is thoughtful in his choice of projects and has great eye in picking out quality scripts."

👍
Really admire this young man for being so passionate about his craft. I posted (on my fan wall) an IG link to one of the BTS which includes the cast's message.
It is nice to see the cast loved the drama as much as the audience. 😊

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for your thoughtful review @ermsandahs Kdfanz, I do love to find the hidden gems in a show like the parallel runaway scene you mentioned. Thanks for highlighting it.

Indeed this show had a good deal more to offer than just a story of a couple or a woman or of the publishing business. It covered all these but gave us many little life lessons and reminders in how to appreciate people and relationships and different aspects of life as precious books to dip into, to learn from, and to enjoy repeatedly. A true gem of a book/show.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agree with all that you guys @growingbeautifully @kdragon said! It took me awhile to get used to LJS acting in such a drama. I must admit, that he’d been in so many high profile, buzzworthy dramas that I was worried this drama would be the so called “dip” in his repertoire.

I guess actual ratings and buzz wise, it probably was less stellar than I hoped it would be, but I’ve also come to realize that it’s part of him maturing as an actor and he doesn’t always have to be the IT boy or the unstoppable Hallyu Star like his Pinocchio and W days.

RIABB was a pure gem through and through, and lived up to the vision of the production team in wanting to make this a warm-hearted drama. Every character served to teach us a lesson in life, and I’m glad they stuck to their storytelling philosophy and didn’t pander to the pressure of churning out crowd-pleasing plots and scenes.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

"All in all, Romance is a Bonus Book isn’t a bestseller, but it has definitely been one that impacted me deeply, and one that I will remember for a long long time."

This.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I like the drama so much. Like the different hair style dressings of LJS that brings out poetic look charming and adorable. i had so much fun n giggles watching the drama. Thank you LJS for choosing an amazing drama as parting gifts to us all. And he has up his acting level again 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love books as much as anyone, but really this was a story about love relationships. I really like where we are at the end. It might have been nice to see more but it was not necessary.

Song Hae-rin and Ji Seo-joon are still one the road to romance, but they will get there. They are just like-minded enough to understand each other, but also different enough to bring strengths to each other.

Danyi and Eunho are finally official- but so are Jae-min and Director KO- and with the last two the only question one can ask is ‘What took you guys so long?’.

Ji-hong and Yeong-ah were probably as like minded as Eunho and Dan-yi in the beginning- yet there is no hope of their getting back together unless Ji-hong can change. The first rule of being a husband is simply this: Your wife is always number one. Even when you have kids she is still number one. It is as simple as that. He never figured this out and so his marriage died.

Ji-yul and Hoon’s story also illustrates the truth that ‘like-mindedness’ is not always the basis of a solid love or even desirable: Were Ji-yul to marry a man like her that marriage would fly apart in 3 weeks. Ji-yul may have grown a lot but there will always be a strong element of ‘crazy’ to her- so instead someone as solid as Hoon is what she needs, while Hoon needs her craziness just as much if he is to avoid falling into total blandness. Hoon has grown too- to the point of marching right into the coffeeshop and hauling Ji-yul away from her blind date.

Perhaps this is the lesson in the end: Not everyone needs the same kind of relationship, but whatever you need once you have it you must learn to grow together and change together. We have seen that sort of growth in most of the couples in this show.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have to say, I overall feel quite happy with this drama. The end left me all warm and fuzzy inside. Overall, I appreciated the ensemble and the office, the publishing world. It helped go bck to my passion of reading and left me with the message that books are treasures. I particularly appreciated that analogy of humans being like books. Though the author Kang saga did nothing for me emotionally, I overall liked this drama!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Love this drama so much so heartwarming and the OST up until now it still ringing in my heart.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

What do you think will happen to The Heroes manuscript? Published or not?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

What do ya’ll think will happen to The Heroes manuscript? Published or not?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

there's only one word that can I describe this drama.

dissapointment

because it ends....😖😖😖

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *