How are you, my dear friends and readers? My apologies for neglecting this blog, as I have to say I have been spending much of my time watching dramas and not to mention reading. How come there are no reviews, I can imagine some of you asking. Well, it is because I have been reading Chinese novels lately but didn't have the time in posting them. You see, usually I will try to have a brief English summary (or translation) after writing my thoughts in Chinese and as much as I want to write them, my mind keep telling me to do otherwise, ha. Anyways, this post is about Sungkyunkwan Scandal, a Korean drama which I watched some months ago but the purpose of this post is to share my thoughts after reading the Chinese book version of it (written by Jung Eun-gwol). Usually I'm the person who would read the books first before watching the movies (dramas), but in this case it is vice versa since (i) I didn't know there is a book version until later, and (ii) my idol, Micky Park YuChun starred in this drama. To keep this post from an idol raving post, I would try to keep this post focused on the drama instead of Micky, or at least the role he played as a diligent and down-to-earth scholar.
Set in the late Joseon era during the reign of King Jeongio, Sungyunkwan Scandal is a story revolving four youths during the time they are studying in Sungkyunkwan University. The society during that period does not allow females to be educated, thus Kim Yoon Hee, a girl disguises herself as her brother (under his name, Kim Yoon Shik) to enrol into that University to make ends meet for her family, while at the same time she earns extras by becoming a substitute test-taker (which is an illegal act) for the entrance examination in the prestigious Sungkyunkwan University. There, she befriended the intelligent and upright Lee Sun Joon (starring Micky Park YuChun), the playboy Goo Yong Ha (starring Song Joong-ki) and the rebellious and hot-tempered Moon Jae Shin (starring Yoo Ah-in).
Studying in Sungkyunkwan is a challenging task to Yoon Hee as she has to keep up with the heavy school works besides keeping her disguise from being discovered. However, the most difficult task is trying to act nonchalant with so many men around her and trying not to act like a huge sissy while insisting to keep her clothes on whenever there are events such as soaking in the lake, playing in the field or even sleeping topless. Little did she know that Yong Ha and Jae Shin harbour suspicions over her gender but they remain silent and protect her in their own ways.
As the days passes, Yoon Hee begins to fall in love with Sun Joon yet she couldn't tell him the truth, for fear of expelling from Sungkyunkwan. On the other hand, Sun Joon begins to question his liking towards Yoon Hee and is afraid that his emotions towards her is unnatural and immoral, since he thinks Yoon Hee is a guy. It is only during an outing when Sun Joon accidentally discovers she is a woman and their feelings towards each other soars thereafter. Still, they have to keep their acts calm and together and the moments they are together alone are so rare and precious.
To complicate matters, Yoon Hee has an admirer in Joseon's most famous courtesan, who thinks he is an intelligent and righteous fellow unlike her other clients. Meanwhile, Jae Shin has a secret identity as he anonymously posts poetic essays about the unfairness and unsatisfactory views on the state of Joseon. Now posting such essays are illegal acts and he could be sentenced to jail or receive severe punishments, and it is through these times that he receives assistance from his three trusted friends.
What I liked about Sungkyunkwan Scandal is the various characterisations and the intense (and comedy at times) plot as the author brings us to the old Joseon where different clans and classes do matter and most of all, how the brave heroine has conquered all the difficulties and finding her true love in the end.
Speaking of the heroine's true love, I couldn't help but to share my thoughts on Sun Joon. This is Micky Park Yuchun's debut drama yet he had portrayed the said character very well. I have to say I couldn't differentiate my feelings towards this character as I wonder if I have fallen for Sun Joon or Micky himself, considering I'm his huge fan. That said, Sun Joon is a likeable character as not only he is good-looking but he is diligent, righteous, humble and down-to-earth as well. I mentioned on my Facebook status before that he is the most perfect hero I have ever read, and by saying that I'm not exaggerating or simply because he is played by Micky but the fact by being who he is. Sun Joon is borne with a silver spoon and his father holds an important role in the Emperor's court but these do not make him an arrogant man, instead he feels for the netizens who are especially poor and to convince the emperor to act on improving the state matters from their perspective. He made me swoon (or is it Micky?) and needless to say, he has made this book (and drama) such a pleasurable and unforgettable experience I have had.
Oh, before I end this post, I have to say there is a sequel to this book (奎章阁之恋）but I don't think I have found the same for the drama. And, there is a slight difference between the book and the drama version on some plots but that doesn't affect the overall story in my opinion. As I'm writing this, I couldn't help feeling sad that I have finished reading the books. The thought of re-reading them all over again is overwhelming and as much as I wanted to do this, I feel at this moment it would be better if I should give other books my time since I'm so way behind, where my reading is concerned.