My Thoughts on Book Endings

BookEndings

I have been thinking about book endings a lot lately. There has been many occasions where I was absolutely loving a book but then the ending comes and I am left feeling disappointed or unsatisfied. I can actually feel myself getting nervous when I come to the end of a fantastic novel. I am just hoping that the end will live up to the rest of the book. Does anyone else feel this way?

I am going to take this opportunity to share some things that I like, and things that I dislike when it comes to book endings.

Things I Love in an Ending

A twist that I didn’t see coming, but there were clues

I think most of us like a twist ending, but there has to be clues throughout the novel. If a twist comes completely out of left field, and there were zero hints as to what was coming, it completely cheapens the story for me. I want to be able to look back and think “I am completely shocked by the ending, but this line or this scene was foreshadowing what was to come.”

Characters has an ‘aha moment’

One of the things that I love most in a novel is character development. I love when a character, at the end of a book, has some sort of epiphany. It is interesting to read about a character who has a moment of self awareness or insight. I love when that ‘aha moment’ occurs near the end of a novel and seeing how to story comes together or wraps up because of it.

Open-ended

I appreciate an ending that leaves things up for interpretations. It allows the reader to come to their own conclusions. I love endings that get everyone talking and debating about what happened. These are the kind of endings that make a lasting impression and the books that I recommend most to other people. I just need them to read it so that I can get their opinion on what the author meant by the ending!

Leaves no plot holes

There is nothing more frustrating than finishing a book and having way too many questions. I do not need everything to be wrapped up in a neat little bow, but at least give me some answers! I am not a writer, but I can see how it would be difficult to tie up all of the loose ends. I am in awe of authors who manage to do it seamlessly.

Books With Great Endings

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Things I Dislike in an Ending

Too predictable/Generic

This is more specific to thrillers, but it can applied to many novels from other genres as well. When the ending ends up being something that I predicted would happen only 50 pages in to the book then I am left feeling disappointed. There also a lot of ‘twist’ endings that I find to be too generic or cliche. The ‘it was all dream’ or ‘the hero saves the day and they all live happily ever after’ ending for instance.

A twist that came out of nowhere

I touched on this when talking about how I like twist endings that have clues throughout the book. If there was no foreshadowing, and there was no way that anyone could have ever in a million years predicted the ending, it actually makes me angry. I know other might not agree with me on this, but I need to be at least given a chance of figuring it out. Do not get me wrong, I love endings that leave me with my jaw on the floor, but not when they make no sense!

Cliffhangers

This will be controversial, but I HATE cliffhangers! They feel cheap, and a ploy to try and get me to buy the next book in a series. In a series, I still want a satisfying ending at the end of each book. Of course there will be some questions left open so that the reader will be excited to read the next book, but do not torture me by having me guessing whether or not my favourite character dies at the end!

Books With Unsatisfactory Endings

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So that is it! In general, this is what I love and dislike in endings! There are obviously exceptions to each of these points! For example, when I read a romance, I want a predictable ending where the couple is together in the end. Admittedly, I am often cheering for the hero to destroy the villain. It is just that these endings are not memorable!

I would love to know whether or not you agree or disagree with me, as well as what you like and dislike in endings?

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53 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Book Endings

      1. *my heart* Ending alone would have been acceptable if I tell you the truth XD But I was team Peeta so I love that ending XD
        I don’t remember those plot holes, but I think I will be reading them again next year :3 (Then I will tell you XD)

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great post! I love a great plot twist, but I agree I should be able to look back at the story and have some idea where it came from. For me, I don’t like when a book is left completely open ended at the end. I like to have at least some closure otherwise it drives me crazy thinking about it, but I guess that is the point…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like when books are open-ended and I get to imagine where the characters go next, but I also dislike when a book feels unfinished and nothing gets resolved. I also dislike when I’m getting so close to the end and there are still a million questions and then everything gets wrapped up way too neatly, too quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh interesting post! I kinda do not love open ended endings because I want to know if my characters are happy or not but I can respect it. I feel like it takes guts, especially in contemporary, to not make it outright happy or sad. I feel like Morgan matson is really good at that. Her endings are always like on the uphill path to happy. Not right at the happy ending but on their way. Which kinda bug me but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I AM SO WITH YOU ON CLIFFHANGERS. I feel CHEATED when it just ends with so much to tie up. Like excuse me???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get why open endings are not for everyone! They can be frustrating! They have to be done is a certain way and make sense to the story. I will have to read more Morgan Matson! That sounds like the kind of ending I would enjoy. I am so glad people agree about cliffhangers!! It such a cheap way to end a book!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i so much agree with twists that come out of nowhere!! they always feel like the author got tired of developing the plot and the immersion is pretty much broken at that point. mockingjay is the PERFECT example ❤ and I adore open-endings bc they drive me insane and at the same time are extremely satisfying?? love this post 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hate endings that are too predictable, like the “it was only a dream” ending kills me, like i hateeee it!!
    and ending on a cliffhanger is just cruel! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What i hate most is the plot twist for the sake of plot twist. It usually ends up being something dumb, and out of character. Not everything need multiple plot twists, but it seems to be a trend nowadays.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved this post! I definitely think that predictable endings and ones that come out of nowhere are the most annoying – and completely agree with you on Everything, Everything; it was one of my least favourite endings to a book ever!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. yes!! I hate it when there are loads of plot holes, or the book just ends completely on a tangent and they don’t actually make sense?!?! And uugrrrh yes those cliff-hangers are SO annoying, and personally, I prefer it to be a well-rounded ending because then the sequel is even more shocking because I think “OMG THERE’S A SECOND ONE???! I THOUGHT IT WAS FINISHED!!” where as cliffhangers sort of set the second book up to be really amazing and thrilling and my expectations just get TOO high!!

    This was such a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Plot holes are so irritating! I love a well rounded ending for books in a series for the same reason. It is a nice surprise to find out there will be more books, but if I never get around to reading it at least I feel like the story wrapped up nicely in my head. That is also true about cliffhangers setting up the second book for failure! We expect something epic and it is almost impossible to live up to that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YESS!! I think that’s why I felt so.. underwhelmed with the ACOTAR P1 ending… it left SO much open.

        Yes exactly!! The literally scream “the next book will start so action packed and blow you away” and then… it doesn’t :((((((

        Liked by 1 person

  9. So true!! Especially cliffhangers. I hate cliffhangers in all forms they present themselves! Even as I’m binge-watching a Netflix show, I’ll think about how lucky I am that all the seasons are already out because I know that I’d go crazy waiting for a whole other season to solve the cliffhanger in the last episode.😂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Argh! Open-ended ones. Not for me. I need a direct answer or I get frustrated thinking of a bunch of possibilities. Only few open ended ones have worked for me.
    I actually don’t mind cliffhangers, if another book follows it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lovely post! I love endings that provoke feelings to me: either warm, happy ones or frustrated, sad, touched feels. I actually loved how the ending of My Sister’s Keeper really evoked so many feelings for me. A book ending that’s wrapped up perfectly is also what I love, especially in a last book of a series, like the ending of Friends (the TV show) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I read a lot of books last year that had really underwhelming endings which was so disappointing, it’s definitely made me a lot more nervous to finish books! I totally agree about Everything Everything, that ending was ridiculous!

    Liked by 1 person

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