I’ve really been slacking on the discussion posts, guys, and I hope you’ll forgive me. It’s just been a rough few weeks and I haven’t felt up to posting anything besides the reviews I already scheduled. But I’m back and ready to share some thought provoking discussion posts with you guys once more 🙂
Today, I want to talk about something that has been in the back of my mind for awhile. Sometimes I’ll read reviews for books and they’ll be mostly positive, and then I’ll get to the end and the reviewer will say But I HATED this ending so I just can’t give it full stars! Usually, but not always, I see this with endings that are heartbreaking or otherwise soul-crushing. I totally get it–if my OTP was broken up, or a favorite character was killed, I would be super upset too. But if I loved the book otherwise, would I lower its rating?
Let’s discuss it.
Imagine this: a book is perfect in every single way. The plot is wholly original and engaging, you’ve fallen in love with the characters and the romance is to die for. The ending rolls around, and suddenly a wrench is thrown into your happy book place. Suddenly everything has gone to shit and the pages are running out. You furiously read on, hoping with all your might that things will get better.
But the pages run out, and your left feeling like someone has ripped our heart out of your chest and ran it over with a semi truck.
So–you loved the book up until the ending. The writing was still beautiful and the characters didn’t have a 180 with their personalities. It was still a good book, and you acknowledge that. But the ending broke your soul, so what do you do? Do you give it the full 5 stars, or are you knocking it down a half star? One? more? Or do you say “damn it all” and give the book a super low rating? Or do you do something like this:
I see a lot of people taking major points off for an ending, but personally, I don’t have to be in love with the way things ended to be in love with a book. A prime example of this is Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman. Talk about a cruel book–but it was absolutely amazing, and I loved every second, even when it was breaking my heart. Of course, if an ending is ridiculous and out of character and comes out of nowhere, then yeah, I might knock off a few points. If it’s lame or boring then I’ll definitely take away a half a star or two, but it’s one thing to hate the ending and another thing for the ending itself to be terrible.
I think that I also come from a different place, as I’m also a writer. I love writing endings that break your heart–in fact, I don’t believe in happy ever afters (at least not in the first book *evil laugh*). I see heartbreaking endings as great writing feats and something to aspire to be like. It’s a great thing, to leave a mark on someone with your writing. So props to the writers who have made me cry and curse their name. I hope I can be like you one day 😀
Happily ever afters are nothing to scoff at, especially when I love all the characters and want them to survive through the entire season *crosses my fingers and toes and hopes the raven king has a happy ending*. I love them too, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something special about a book that can make me care so passionately about the book. If anything, a heartbreaking ending makes me love it more, not less. But I’m weird and that might just be me *shrugs*
Love them or hate them, endings can make or break a book. It all depends on how you feel about certain aspects of it.