Blogger Confession: It is all about the end for me #BookTalk

Posted August 1, 2012 by Felicia S in Blogger Confession, Book Talk / 27 Comments


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NOTE: This will be 1 of 2 Confessions I have this week as I also need to come clean about how badly I am doing in Operation TBR.

Blogger Confession:  The last chapter (or two) of a book can make or break a book for me. It may be unfair but it is true!

I needed to write this confession now because of my review of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I don’t want to keep people from reading the book just because the ending did not work for me personally.  In fact, this particular story is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Gone Girl kept me riveted all during Part 2 of the story but still only got a 3 rating (almost 2 but I did factor in the brilliance of part 2) from me overall just because I am all about how the author chooses to tie up a book! This was an ending that made me want to throw the book across the room.  Luckily I was listening to it on my Kindle Fire so I refrained from the destruction of property but I was that FIRED UP over the ending.

Why am I an ender?

I think it has to do with my love of mystery/thrillers!  Seriously, you can take a brilliant case and turn it to crap within the span of a chapter.  You can also take what seems like a slam dunk case and give it a spin/twist/turn that can totally throw a new perspective on the entire book in just one chapter.  So basically I look at the end of a book just like the end of a movie: you had better knock me on my hiney, give me a big case of the smiles, or make me want more.  If you don’t, then well I will be disappointed!

I don’t know when I began totally basing a book on the last few chapters but I think it happened somewhere in my teens during one of my marathon summer reads.  I do remember the first book that totally killed me with its ending (not in a good way).  I was reading North and South by John Jakes  as a little light reading over summer break one year(first published 1982 though I think it was 1985 when I read it). Yes, my idea of light reading is about the same as Hermoine. I was amazed at this vast tale that really had me crying, cheering, and screaming while reading. The series went on to be one of my favorites overall because it was just done so well. Though I almost didn’t finish it because the end of North and South made me spitting mad.  I wasn’t aware that there was a 2nd or 3rd book yet so that didn’t help matters at all! I think I might have thrown the book across the room.  I was furious. I decided that I hated the book and couldn’t believe it ended like that.  Then I found and read book 2, after that all was well.

However, not all stories have a 2nd book in the series that might solve my ender troubles. That is where the big problem for me begins.

I loved Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry but seriously went on a hunt to see if it was part of series after finishing.  The end was good enough for me if it ended there but really made me want more.  I still haven’t heard officially if there is a book 2 but I think there might be.  The end of Dead of Night was wicked cool and no it didn’t tie everything up in a nice little bow.  I was totally ok with that because it was brilliantly orchestrated!  Almost like he was asking if you ever really know what happens 10 minutes after something big.  Do you?

Another end that killed me: Enclave by Ann Aguirre–really open door, stop book?  Don’t have the next one out until at least a year and half later. I really wish I would have waited to read it until book 2 was out.  I am not sure if I will pick up book 2 until I hear from reliable sources that there is not another one of those endings.

The two books up above have similar open ending but they both struck different chords with me.  They made me look differently at the book as a whole.

So how about you?  Do the ends totally make or break a book for you?  Are you one of those lucky people who can look at the book as a whole and forgive a bad ending?

(I want to note that there is nothing an author can do about my like/dislike of the ending of a book.  That is totally up to the reader in most cases.  In fact, they should be applauded that I care that much about how they end a story that it can have that big of an impact!)

Felicia S
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27 responses to “Blogger Confession: It is all about the end for me #BookTalk

  1. I’ve had this post bookmarked, and finally got a chance to read it 🙂

    Um, I usually read endings first… if I like it, then I’ll start the book. If I don’t, then I’ll put back in tbr.
    I’ve read the endings for as long as I can remember now, so it doesn’t take away from the pleasure of reading for me 🙂

  2. Felicia endings do matter, however it has been my experience that since I read mostly series that there is never going to be a way for an author to please everyone as there will always be something that is unresolved so for me I read and enjoy each book unto itself. But if a book ends with a cliff hanger, the next book does not come out for over a year, if there are many more questions after finishing the end of a series than there were answers than I am not a happy camper either.

    I applaud each and every one of us for being voracious readers, it is a wonderfully enriching hobby that can create some really dramatic discussions that, as long as they are civil, can be quite enlightening at times and maybe even encourage other people to become readers to see what all the fuss is about.

  3. I do agree with you Felicia. I hate cliffhangers when I don’t have the next book ready, but when a book really disappoint me with the ending, I will not be happy, and will not write a positive review. Of course it is the journey, the story that counts most for me, I often don’t care all that much about the romance part, but the plot will have to be good. If not, you have lost me as a reader, forever.

  4. It’s so funny that you’re writing about this. I just wrote out my ten reasons for how a book gets a rating. I wrote this because I just finished Skinny, a young adult book that was filled with a fabulous plot but the story is kind of a downer. The entire time I wanted to give it a three but the five was nudging at me. And then it ended beautifully. But because it was such an easy read I still questioned that five. So, the new list was made, criteria that I can fall back on if ever need be. And ending is a huge part of that list. If everything falls apart at the end then why waste the time reading the book!? Yup, very frustrating. Great post though!

    • I will have to check out your post! I have reasons in the back of my head all the time because I don’t give out many 5s. People give me crap about that all the time (I am ok with it though)!

      Yep–the ending is a HUGE part for me 🙂

  5. Gayle Cochrane

    I am with you on this one, and endings can really influence how I feel about a book. I am so glad that I read this blog today, because I was very close to picking up one of the books you mentioned, but will now wait until the series is finished.

  6. I hear you, An ending can totally ruin a book for me especially a cliffhanger. I am so sick and tired of cliffhangers! There never used to be dramatic cliffhangers and now they are the norm and I hate them. I can’t decide what is worse a cliffhanger, an open ending or a bad ending. I know what you mean about Gone Girl but again it was such a fun ride that I have to recommend it. On another note, I saw your note on the side or your blog about requests and I have had my head in a hole I guess, has something new erupted recently? I am seriously going to get caught up by the end of the year if it kills me and likely not do requests anymore either. I am not getting to read anything I want to anymore 🙁 I need to be more accountable too maybe we should work together and cut down those TBRs!

    • No nothing new happened but I had that on my review page for awhile. People weren’t reading it so I moved it to my front page. I think I wrote it when the GR Bully site started. It is far to “high drama” for a hobby LOL I had been thinking about doing it for awhile anyway. I have over 1000 unread books so it isn’t like I am hurting for material LOL

  7. I’m with you. I’ve read a couple of books lately that I loved all the way through but the ending/last chapter made me want to bang my head against the wall. Good endings here, people! Not cliffhangers or crappy ones or whatever. GOOD!

  8. Don’t I know it! Last week I read..or the week before, anyway I read a book that was so good, and then BAM! the end and I was angry and it broke the book for me. I wanted to rate it as low as a 2 but I gave it a 3 and that still annoys me

    • Isn’t it crazy?!? I had to force myself to give a book a 3 because I realized that most of the book I was caught up and LOVED it. The ending though–man I wanted a take back! I wanted to act like I had not read it!

  9. Love this post Felicia! I’m with you on the ending of Enclave, I was unhappy with how abrupt it felt and then book 2 is taking forever to come out. I have Outpost on my TBR list, so I’ll let you know if that one ends the same way:) I’m the type of person that likes a clean ending (at least if it’s the final book in a series, not the first), I need to know that the characters I’ve loved and followed all this time are happy. I don’t deal well with open endings at all, the uncertainty causes me stress. 🙂

    • YEAH! I know I can count on you to tell me 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      I am a little more forgiving in series UNLESS the series ends and there is no resolution: Jace anyone (Shifter series)! There had better be a spinoff–all I am saying! I feel the same way about the Fever series and Dani’s character (though I know there is a spinoff there)

  10. JenM

    I’m usually pretty good about judging the whole book instead of just the end. Especially these days, since many series books end on cliffhangers, I kind of have to discount that or else I would hate many of those books no matter how good they were. Still, there’s nothing like the satisfied feeling that I get from a good book and a good ending. I also think that one reason the endings don’t affect me that much is because I’m one of those people who read the ending in advance, so it’s usually not a surprise to me when I get there.

  11. Omg, I’m totally the same. I usually end up so mad because it takes me forever to get through a book to begin with, I feel cheated out of all that time wasted. Pre-reading the end doesn’t help at all either. When describing a book like that to a friend or reviewing it though, I try to say something along the lines of “it was an excellent book up until the end, good for a high rating but the end was awful and the result of the lower rating”.

  12. The ending is really important for me, too! In fact, I just recently read a book where the ending SAVED my enjoyment of the book. I don’t that endings actually COMPLETELY make or break the book for me, but endings I don’t like will definitely make my rating slide downward.