A novel’s bound to be good if it inspires three adaptations (hmm four actually since Unrequited Love actually has two versions!) that have been made into drama series right? I’m talking about Ba Yue Chang An’s Zhen Hua trilogy of course, which has successfully captured audience’s hearts with its drama adaptations of Unrequited Love, With You and My Huckleberry Friends. There’s also a movie adaptation of called My Best Summer.
If you’re late to the bandwagon and have yet to this the complete trilogy, or if you need a refresher about the three stories, here’s a short recap to whet your interest –
Unrequited Love is the story of star-crossed lovers Huai Nan and Luo Zhi. When the two meet up again in university, they immediately hit it off. However things didn’t go on without a hitch as Huai Nan receives a text message from his ex girlfriend about Luo Zhi that throws a wrench into the budding relationship between the two. To find out the truth, Huai Nan also learns that Luo Zhi has been hiding her secret crush on him for over a decade. When the two finally get close to each other, they are forced to overcome difficulties before finding their happily ever after.
With You 最好的我们 is the story of Geng Geng and Yu Huai. School life has not exactly been smooth sailing for Zhen Hua student Geng Geng as she struggles with exams and homework. Her home life isn’t any bit easier with a new mother and a new brother she detests. However, ever since sharing a desk with top student Yu Huai, life becomes much easier with new (good) friends like Yu Huai and Jiang Nian Nian by her side.
Geng Geng is finally able to shed her loner status and powers on to complete the next three years of high school, all the while growing closer to Yu Huai. Things soon change and any hope for a blossoming relationship with Yu Huai is cut abruptly after graduation when Yu Huai disappears from her life. They meet again after many years and Geng Geng must choose between the man who she’s never forgotten or the man who has been pursuing her all these years.
My Huckleberry Friends 你好旧时光 the companion piece to “With You”, tells the story of Yu Zhou Zhou and Lin Yang. Yu Zhou Zhou befriends Lin Yang when he helps her out of a situation the first day of elementary school. The two become fast friends and Lin Yang helps Zhou Zhou adjust to school life. When rumours about Zhou Zhou spread, Lin Yang’s parents asked him to distance himself from her. The years pass and Zhou Zhou soldiers on with her life, getting into Zhen Hua for high school where surprise surprise, fate brings Lin Yang back into her life. As another chapter in their story begins, the two face many challenges. Will the pair finally find their way into each other’s arms?
As you can see, the central tenet revolving around these three beloved stories is the story of unrequited young love and the fulfillment of that promise as the characters grow older and wiser. Did you also know that the author interwove the characters of the stories with each other?
My Huckleberry Friends goes first in the trilogy, followed by Unrequited Love with Luo Zhi being the school senior of My Huckleberry Friend’s Zhou Zhou. However you can also say that My Huckleberry Friends and With You are “school mates” within similar timelines since Yu Huai (WY) is Lin Yang’s (MHF) junior high classmate and his love interest Yu Zhou Zhou (MHF) is related to Yu Huai. A wee bit confusing initially to wrap your mind around perhaps? Feel free to draw a diagram on paper if you’re a visual sort of person.
Each one of the stories is self contained and can be enjoyed independently regardless of whether you saw the prequel or not.
PS. I hate to burst your bubble though, if you prefer to watch it sequentially, you’ll just have to hold on to your excitement for a wee bit longer and wait a few days more for Unrequited Love which will be premiering in a few days on the 10th of June on Tencent.