Romance Is A Bonus Book is such a sweet delight! Charming characters blended with simple, soothing, feel-good narrative make it a pleasing ride. And the show loves books as much as I do. So yes, it had to win me over for that if for nothing else!
It is a story about a woman (Kang Dani) restarting her career after a break (marriage, children, household, divorce). It is about the obstacles she faces to find a job again and how she enters a publishing company by lying about her experience, posing as only a high school graduate. We also meet her best friend, much younger than her, and like any workplace show, other characters of the office.
Notwithstanding the first episode consisting of extreme tragic situation of our heroine, the drama keeps the touch very natural and subtle. I loved Dani right from the start — she is hard working, funny, mature, understanding, strong-willed and optimistic. I love that the show never makes her annoyingly cute or child-like. Lee Na Young plays the character with such an amazing naturalness, no over-the-top acting or exaggerated emotions. Cha Eun Ho (Lee Jong Suk) is a sweetheart! He keeps supporting her without being possessive or pushy. He simply wants to keep her happy. As a person, he is caring and kind.
I adore that the second leads have their own individuality other than rivaling for love for main leads. They are good people and it’s so satisfying to see them move on from their unrequited love. Especially, Ji Seo Joon, who is a true gentleman and a sweet, sensitive and lovable person.
I do have to say that there were certain side stories and characters that I found kind of boring and didn’t pay much attention when they were on screen. I did enjoy the female bonding and general camaraderie between everyone. The show also suffers the same way as any story that is stretched more than required — fillers and nothing much left in the end. Also, the whole arc about Professor Kang was uninteresting and dull. And I was sad that the drama did not use the terrific teaser song anywhere!
The drama gives us lots of book metaphors and references, not to mention a fresh setting about a publishing company. Books play a major part here and we even have a library date! Speaking of which, the main couple is as sweet as the cool summer breeze. They understand each other so well, and Lee Na Young and Lee Jong Suk have an effortless chemistry. Yes, the romance is pretty chaste but very warm and tender. I loved the secondary couple too, so cute and dorky.
The cinematography is lovely with gorgeous shots. Lee Jong Suk is perfectly sweet and warm in the show. As I said before, Lee Na Young is spot on with her natural and understated acting. Wi Ha Joon is my new crush and Jung Yoo Jin again gives a strong impression as a woman who is workaholic as well as good-hearted. Kim Tae Woo is funny as the boss and Kim Yoo Mi is also great as the cold co-founder of the firm.
In a nutshell, Romance Is A Bonus Book is like a book that is not too deep or memorable but every chapter leaves you with warm fuzzies.
My Rating: 8 out of 10