Endings

The A to Z Challenge is an annual blogging challenge. It isn’t restricted to book blogs – all kinds of blogs can participate. It takes place every year in April and during that month you have to write a post on the designated days (all except Sundays). These posts must have some correlation to the letter of the day. So, there will be a total of 26 posts starting from the letter A and ending with Z. Here is a list of all my posts.

 

I’ve been thinking of doing a discussion about book endings for some time now and it fit perfectly with the letter E, so here it is today! Hooray!

So, imagine that you’re reading a really awesome book! You’re turning page after page as you’re reaching towards the end. The biggest scene of the book is about to happen and you are feeling all the feels. You have only 10 pages left in the book and what you have been waiting for still hasn’t happened. You’re dangerously close to the very last page and it looks like the book is taking a completely different turn. The amazing kiss just doesn’t happen… The protagonists don’t face the great danger and instead get saved by some random lucky act… The end of the world is no longer coming because the bad guys just changed their minds… And then! The book is suddenly over. Everything you had anticipated and all the hopes you had for the protagonists are just destroyed. God, I hate underwhelming endings!

There is no worse thing that can happen in a book for me. An ending that just avoids all kinds of action and escapes the big scene that had me turning page after page the entire time, can drive me nuts! Seriously, I can go from rating a book 5 stars to rating it 2 or 3 just like that! And I don’t think anyone disagrees with me, right?

So, the question is what kind of book endings do you like?

For me, I can’t say I’m very picky. I love a good ending, just like most people, but I can also go with a sad one. Especially if it is an impossible situation we are talking about and in the end everyone comes out unharmed it feels too anti-climatic to me. Very unrealistic.

I think my favorite way for a book to end is a very dramatic one. Having something happening in the very last pages and just leaving it open so that it feels like the adventure continues. I don’t like it when EVERYTHING gets completely cleared out in the end, because it feels like my protagonists don’t have a reason to exist anymore. And what are they doing after the book ends? Just leaving a normal life? After all the adventures they’ve been through? NO! That can’t be right! Just leave something open, so I can imagine them continuing their lives, doing interesting things and keep fighting evil like they’ve always done. Don’t leave me picturing them living in a white-picket-fence house, having a normal job and sitting in front of the TV every night. (Contemporary books are an exception to this one, of course. But I mostly read fantasy, so that’s what I’m basically talking about here…)

I know open endings piss many people off. It feels like the book doesn’t get a closure. But I have to say I disagree with that. For me an open ending lets the story continue on in my imagination and I can think of the heroes continuing their quest. Whereas an ending where everything is resolved leaves me wondering what the heroes will do with the rest of their lives.

To sum up, I want the book to end with a bang!

I want the big thing the author was building up for to happen in the last 10-50 pages. I want things to cool down a little bit after that and then I want to have an ending that suggests more things happening in the future. I want to have that bittersweet feeling that things will be going on and I won’t be able to be a part of them. It kills me to have that feeling, but it’s a given with every book that I read and it really is the best way to finish a book. (In my opinion!)

But seriously, I’m not picky when it comes to book endings! 😛

What kind of endings do you like? Do you get angry when a book doesn’t end the way you were hoping for?

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16 thoughts on “Endings

  1. Great pick for an “E” post!
    For me, an ending has to make some kind of sense–if it comes totally out of left field and just doesn’t make any sense at all, that’s a turnoff for me. I’ve also read a few books (no titles are coming to mind, unfortunately!) where it just seemed like the author ran out of steam and abruptly stopped the story.
    I like an ending that keeps me thinking about the book long after I finish it. I like endings that are like real life–everything isn’t necessarily going to be tied up in a bow. There may be loose ends or questions. I guess my favorite kind of ending is one where the author didn’t take the easy, predictable route.

    • Unpredictable endings are also amazing! I like to be surprised even if it’s not in a positive way. Even if the author has some of the basic protagonists die I’ll hate it at first, but I will definitely appreciate the “courage” in writing sth like this and knowing that every fan of the book will hate you!
      And I also like it when an ending makes me think about a book. Also if I catch myself thinking about it days after I’ve finished reading the book!

  2. I love closure, but like you said, I like being able to imagine the characters’ lives going on after a book ends. (Epilogues are pretty much amazing for that reason.) I don’t like depressing/sad endings, but if there is at least closure, I can deal with it. (A good example of that is “The Book Thief” which I just finished.)

    I am a sucker for happy endings, however. When I finish a book I really loved I’ll close it, hug it to my chest, smile, and sigh… because it was SO GOOD but because now it’s over and I don’t know what to do with my life.

    That’s when I go find a new book to read…

    • Hahaha! That’s my reaction after reading a book with a good happy ending too! But I have to say that I also appreciate books with bad endings even just for the courage it takes o write a bad ending Especially for a popular YA series for example, where you know that tons of fans will be pissed off at you!

  3. I think we might be opposites. I like when things get wrapped up nicely. Open endings are too much like real life. I like to see that things end well and happy.

    • haha! Maybe we’re opposites on this one! I like wrapped endings sometimes, just as long as they stay in the present and don’t go 10 years into the future or sth. But I generally prefer the ones that are a bit more open. I understand where you’re coming from, though.

  4. Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !
    @JLenniDorner

    I like when things appear to be wrapping up, but, hmm… there are a few more pages to go…..BAM! Something happens.

    So yes, dramatic ending. That’s what makes me fall not just for the book, but for the author.

    ~Now we wants more, Precious! Give it to us. The next story, my Precious.~
    (No more LOTR marathons for me…)

    • Yes! Yes! That’s the best way to end a book, by far! It makes it stay in my head waaay longer than a book with a nice wrapped up happy ending!

      Smeagol will show you the way to finish a book correctly!

  5. Endings – what a great choice for E. I don’t like a disappointing ending either. Who wants to read a whole book to be let down at the end? I don’t mind if it’s sad or happy as much as I just want some sort of drama, something that makes it worth reading until the end. I like surprise endings too. But they have to be believable.

    • I completely agree with you. I can go with any kind of ending (good or bad), as long as it’s a dramatic one. An ending with a plot twist is also great, but it’s a bit harder to find a good one.

  6. I like endings that give me a feeling of satisfaction. Whether they are happy, sad, somewhere in between, cliffhanger or open— I like to have that feeling of fulfillment at the end of a book. Books don’t have to be wrapped up pretty and tied with a bow for me to love the ending.

    However, if I am waiting for something epic to happen and it doesn’t, I am really disappointed. I want the drama. I want to be itching to find out what happens. One book that I read this year where the ending was incredibly disappointing was Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. The ending of this book came out of nowhere and didn’t fit at all. It was really weird.

    • I have also heard other people saying not so great stuff about the devil and the deep blue sea. I really wanted to get it (because of the cover, basically Lol), but I don’t think I will after all.

      And I’ve also read books where I’m waiting for sth to happen throughout the whole book and it just skips that part in the end. Or where the characters come off of an impossible situation by some luck or sth. I really hate those endings!

  7. I’ve never thought about how I want the book to end. I guess if it is a stand alone book or the final one in a series, I want it to feel that way, but also leave room for imagination of what comes next and if it is in the middle or beginning of a series, I want to get excited about what is still to come.

    • If it’s a series I also want to get excited for the next book, but not a major cliffhanger. Especially if the next book doesn’t come out for a year or sth!

      And if it’s a standalone or the last book in a series, I want some room for imagination too!

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