[Review] I Will Never Let You Go (小女花不弃)

I was super excited about the pairing of Ariel Lin and Zhang Bin Bin. The two are amazing at acting and looked very good next to each other. But overall, the drama did not do them any justice. I was disappointed at the development and plot of the drama and its characters.


Title: I Will Never Let You Go/Legend of Hua Bu Qi (小女花不弃)
# of Episodes: 51
Release Date: January 8th, 2019
Where to WatchViki


Hua Bu Qi lives as a beggar with her uncle. Although she lives an impoverished life, she is always cheerful and optimistic and uses her smart brain to make money for them. But when she is revealed to be the daughter of Prince Qi and a descendant of the Divine Maiden who is the only one who can find the hidden treasure to rule the world, she transforms from being a beggar to a young miss with a rich background. And while her life seems to be good, she soon discovers that it is not as easy and simple as it seems because there is a bigger conspiracy going on.

Overall Thoughts

Hua Bu Qi

My first impression of Hua Bu Qi is that she is very similar to Yang Xue Wu from Lan Ling Wang. First, they both are young and free-spirited. Second, they both are extremely optimistic, smart, and witty. And, finally, they both are extremely naïve and innocent. I honestly didn’t see much of a difference between Hua Bu Qi and Yang Xue Wu other than the fact that one is a beggar and the other isn’t.

And because of this, I can see why the creators decided to cast Ariel Lin. She’s great at portraying these kinds of characters. She looks young, even though she’s well beyond the age of 30, and she’s an amazing actress. Her portrayal of Hua Bu Qi was spot on and she was able to play the innocent and naïve role very well. But even though Ariel Lin did a great job portraying Hua Bu Qi, I was disappointed because I was looking forward to her portraying a different kind of character. Most of Ariel Lin’s characters that she’s portrayed in her dramas have always been someone who is young, innocent, clever, and pure. And while this is not a big issue, it’s repetitive. And I really wanted something different. And that’s why I was very disappointed.

Chen Yu/Zhang Qing/Lian Yi Ke

I really liked Chen Yu. He is handsome, smart, has amazing Kungfu, can kickass, and is a devoted lover to Hua Bu Qi. I wasn’t as a disappointed in Chen Yu as I was with Hua Bu Qi. And I think that Zhang Bin Bin’s portrayal of Chen Yu was very good. I was pleased by his acting and I couldn’t help but fall in love once again with Zhang Bin Bin.

But while I liked Chen Yu, I couldn’t help but notice some of his flaws. One, he was a jerk to Hua Bu Qi in the beginning for no reason other than the fact that he has daddy issues. And instead of dealing with it and confronting his father, he pushes all his resentment to her, which is totally unjustified. Two, he’s really bad at communicating with Hua Bu Qi. There were sooooooo many times that he did things behind her back that he could’ve easily explained to her for her to understand. For example, his relationship with Liu Qing Wu. He knows Hua Bu Qi hates her and that Liu Qing Wu is in love with him, but he still keeps her by his side and cares for her “as a friend”. He never really draws a line between them, which easily made Hua Bu Qi jealous and feel confused about his feelings towards her. But, luckily for him, Hua Bu Qi is easy to console.

The Story/Ending

I already said it before and I’m going to say it again, because I truly mean it. This drama did not do Ariel Lin and Zhang Bin Bin any justice. The story lacked a good plot, the characters weren’t well-written and didn’t really stand out. The acting was good and they both did a good job at portraying their characters. But the problem for me was their characters. I didn’t really like Hua Bu Qi. To me, she was very naïve, which was fine in the beginning, but there wasn’t really any character growth for her throughout the drama. At least for Yang Xue Wu in Lan Ling Wang, she grew up from being an innocent and inexperienced young girl into a much more mature woman. I know their experiences were different as Yang Xue Wu married Gao Chang Gong who was a general and was fighting in a war. But, in my personal opinion, Hua Bu Qi just didn’t stand out to me. And again, this isn’t Ariel Lin’s fault. She’s an amazing actress and I love her acting, but whoever wrote the character did a horrible job.

But regardless of how much I didn’t really like Hua Bu Qi, I truly bought into the chemistry between her and Chen Yu. And this was mainly due to both Ariel Lin and Zhang Bin Bin’s wonderful acting. They both were extremely cute together and looked great as a couple. Even with the 11-year age gap between the two, you would never be able to tell because of how youthful Ariel Lin looks.

Overall, the drama wasn’t for me. I like a drama with a strong plot, well-written characters who have development and grow throughout the drama, and actors and actresses who can give a good performance. I Will Never Let You Go had a good cast of actors and actresses, but lacked a good plot and had weak and unmemorable characters.

5 thoughts on “[Review] I Will Never Let You Go (小女花不弃)

  1. Beginning was formulaic. Read about the even more formulaic ending and decided not to finish. The best thing for me were fun Zhu family characters in the middle part. I think the drama did some justice portraying the infuriating villainous second male lead DongFang Shi.

    Quickly skimmed through the original novel. As expected, another cdrama butchering its source material.


  2. I agree completely. I disliked this drama despite liking the leads. The industry is increasingly giving better, meatier roles to younger actors and actresses. And those who are flavor of the month. A great time for Dilireba and Jaywalk fans. It’s not going to be easy to find good dramas with actresses around 40 yo, despite there are some very talented, experienced ones in that age group, Only actresses like Zhou Xun, Sun Li, Liu Tao, and a few others can still get great offers. More challenging for Taiwanese, HK actors than Mainland ones. Even among non-Mainland actors, they still favor young blood like Kathy Wen Qi, Eleanor Li Kai Xin, Cherry Ngan. Or Ouyang Nana, for variety shows. The average age for the latest 4 Hua Dans has gotten younger too. For now, youthful looks are mostly trumping the better talents in getting high number of roles, or in getting the more watchable roles.


    1. Yeah, I think people nowadays are more interested in looks and beauty more so than talent. It’s kind of unfortunate because there are tons of people who have experience and talent who are pushed to supporting roles while the main roles go to younger and less experienced people. It’s good that young actors and actresses are getting experiences and building their skills, but also sad for the older folks.


  3. Agree, I hope they can have a modern drama or something together because I really like the chemistry and story but it fell flat in development and at some point I don’t think they knew what was going on

    Liked by 1 person

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