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!)