花樣年華 HYYH The Notes 2 (The Most Beautiful Moment in Life #2) is the sequel book of the Bangtan Universe which continues following the story of the seven friends facing many challenges and struggles, and the one with the power to save them all.
This is not a spoiler-free review. Spoiler sections will be identified.
To briefly preface what the Bangtan Universe is, it is a storyline created around the members of the K-Pop group BTS. Each member plays a character of the same name and the overall story is their connection to each other and learning to heal from their traumas and tragedies. The Bangtan Universe is told through a collection of many different forms of media, including music videos, short films, and the comic Save Me.
This book essentially starts where the first one left off, but now things have changed. Seokjin is struggling and is losing himself, while his friends can clearly see something is up. The anguish from repeating these loops to save his friends has taken away everything from him and now he just wants it all to end. But in order to do that, he needs to find the map of the soul.
The overall story across all of the books, the game, the comic, and more is a roller coaster, so this book having its twist and turns and confusing moments is not surprising. However, I found myself asking myself “what is going on?” a few too many times. While the format of having the story told through snippets of the seven friends worked well for the first book, for this book it sometimes was messy and trying to keep track was confusing in those moments. For this book it ultimately wanted to follow a linear path, but was doing so through seven different perspectives.
SPOILERS START HERE. HOVER TO REVEAL
Another part that I wasn’t a big fan of was how they explained and resolved Seokjin’s ability to time travel and how he finally broke out of the infinite time loops. I had to re-read those sections a few times to wrap my head around it fully. And I’m still a little lost on how the resolution we got made it to that point. And Seokjin’s father’s own time travel time and how all of that happened is also not super clear. It felt rushed and too many details weren’t shared to make it satisfying. And I think a big portion of this issue is that it is written and not through a visual medium like a movie or show where we could get more details and see what is happening through their eyes.
SPOILERS END HERE
There are some things that have not been resolved, which leads me to believe we’ll get more notes and a book in the future. While there were some big questions of mine that were answered, there are now more unresolved conundrums.
Overall, while I do enjoy the book since it is a necessary piece of the BU, I think it is not as good as the first book. The first half of the book I really enjoyed and the second half was off and confusing for me. And the story might be heading in an odd direction in my opinion. I do think that I will need to give it a second read to really absorb everything that happened. I ultimately did not love this book like I love the first book. But I love this whole world and story so I still like the book and what we learn from it.
Have you been following the BU? Share your spoiler-free thoughts in the comments below!