Jun 20, 2011

Posted by in Random | 10 Comments

Cliffhangers vs Happy Endings

So as I was falling asleep the other night, I starting thinking about books, about what I like and what I don’t like specifically about endings. I have to say, I probably stayed up for an hour just thinking about this subject, and I knew I had to write up a post about it.

Cliffhangers

Cliffhangers absolutely suck. They leave me up for hours just thinking about what could happen, why it happened, and why the author wants to torture readers like that! And the books with the worst cliffhangers are in a series that the author only releases once a year. I understand that it takes the writing process is LONG for authors, and that it is so hard to come out with more than one book a year, but I am left thinking about the ending for a whole year with no closure. That is pure torture!!

But you know what, the books with HUGE cliffhangers are the ones that keep me coming back for more. If the story is that good that the ending leaves you thinking about the story for hours and freaking out on twitter, facebook, or another social network, the author has done a great job. It is these books that end up as best-sellers and get people involved with the story. Even though I may hate the author for a few hours, days, or months, in the end I still go back for the next book and end up enjoying the next installment.

And this is the point where I start listing off the series that leave me hanging at the end, yet will keep me coming back for more with each release.

Fire Cliffhangers vs Happy Endings

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

HOLY. WOW. The ending to this one is sooooooooooooo bad, yet I love Sophie for that ending. I am even more excited to read Vanish because I just have to know what happens next. Now, if she would have had a nicer ending with just a few loose ends, even though I LOVE the storyline, I wouldn’t be as eager to get the next book as soon as possible.
En Cliffhangers vs Happy Endings
Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Ummm…..geez that ending threw me off! All I could think of was “Wait. You are just going to end it like that??? But I NEED to know what happens next. They just got here and this just happened, and you are just ending it now?? NOOOOOOO.”
Div Cliffhangers vs Happy Endings
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Why, why, why do I have to wait a whole year for the next installment? Couldn’t you have put a few more chapters in there to make it easier to wait for Insurgent? Really though, Roth ended it on a perfect note, even if it really sucks where she ended it.

“Happy” Endings

You know what I am talking about. Those books that leave just a few loose ends but wrap it up just nicely enough that there doesn’t have to be a sequel. But in reality, there does, because the author left those loose ends, and even though the characters are okay for the moment, you need those questions answered.

In my opinion, this type of series would be the hardest to write. You have to have a freaking fantastic storyline and loveable characters to get readers to come back with only just a few loose ends hanging. I appreciate these books when I don’t feel like being an emotional wreck afterwards.

Here are a few of my favorite series with “happy” endings in each installment (so far):

hour Cliffhangers vs Happy Endings

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

This is a phenomenal book and because of that, I will be the first one in line for the next book in the series. The ending is sweet, yet there are a few questions left to be answered that make it necessary for another book. Also, the characters are AMAZING, and I need more of them (especially Kaleb).
Oh Cliffhangers vs Happy Endings
Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

There didn’t have to be another book in this series, but because it was so awesome, I bought Goddess Boot Camp the very day it came out. I love the mythology and of course the characters, so it was a no brainer to buy the next installment, even if there wasn’t a cliffhanger in the previous novel.
GT Cliffhangers vs Happy Endings
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The story doesn’t really end on a “happy” note, yet I have to include it in this category. The ending wasn’t really a cliffhanger, and it left many of my questions unanswered. I will definitely be getting the next installment as soon as it comes out!

In the end, I have to say that even though I love the books above, I prefer books that have cliffhangers. They bring out such strong reactions in me and any book that can do that has done its job. Even though it is pure torture waiting for the next installment, I still love ‘em!


What do you prefer? And what are some of your favorite books that fit into both catagories?

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  1. i like books that has cliffhangers cause it makes me want to read the next book. and books that has cliffhangers are the books that I usually give a 5/5 star rating. :D

  2. We Heart YA says:

    We did a post on endings too! http://www.weheartya.com/2011/05/endings.html

    Basically we like a variety of endings, depending on what is best for the story. Like you showed here, there are good examples of each.

    What we don't like is when an entire first book in a series is slow b/c it's setting up some big cliffhanger, instead of being its own story IN ADDITION to setting up the cliffhanger.

  3. Fantastic post Bailey! I have to say, as much as I complain and despair of cliffhangers, they always do what they're designed to do which is get me to pine and then go out and buy the next installment immediately when it's released. I have to say the worst cliffhanger I've ever experienced was with Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning. I almost died after reading it and then had to wait 17 months for Shadowfever. 17 MONTHS! That's just cruel:)

  4. Loretta says:

    cliffhangers are the worst! Like, WITHER & MATCHED. OH MY GOSH.
    I like this post bailey, :)

  5. Cliffhangers are hella frustrating for sure but you're right, they definitely keep me coming back for more! I find it's best if I know a certain book is going to end with a cliffhanger to wait until a month or so before the sequel comes out so the wait is not as tortuous. I kind of wish I did that with City of Fallen Angels because, egads, was that a nasty cliffhanger!

  6. Lauren M says:

    Great discussion post!
    I'm partial to happy endings, but I agree that cliffhangers really leave you wanting more.

  7. Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) says:

    If it's a series, then I love a good cliffhanger. I know they drive most people insane, but I love them! A lot of people complained about the ending to Crescendo. Guess what – I loved it! :)

  8. J.J. Bonds says:

    Lol. I have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers! I just finished Enclave and am dying to know what happens next!

  9. Reading Angel says:

    I enjoy both types of endings as long as they are done well!! The only book I've read that you've listed is Hourglass!!!

  10. Shelagh says:

    Cliffhangers drive me up the wall, but if they are handled properly they do have me first in line to buy the sequel. But I find that once I have fallen for a series I am happy for the big cliffhangers to be replaced by unfinished business. If a book is a stand alone I expect at least some of the plot strands to be tied off – otherwise I feel cheated.

    Great discussion Bailey and good to meet you!

    Shelagh (New Follower)
    The Word Fiend

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