Discussion: Can You Love a Book but Hate the Ending?


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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 sayย 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 toย 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.

this has happened to me MANY a times

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 isย 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. Iย 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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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 itย 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.



15 thoughts on “Discussion: Can You Love a Book but Hate the Ending?

  1. Clare Farrelly says:

    This depends a lot on why I hate the ending, there are some endings that are just personal dislike and I don’t take stars off for those ones. Sometimes they are heartbreaking and I don’t like them as much as other endings but that is okay too. But I have taken stars off a book I otherwise enjoyed because of some endings that had twists in them which changed the meaning of the whole book in a bad way, so it was saying something I just could not agree with and if it just spoils the whole story before hand for me I will take off that star.


  2. hermionefowl says:

    I think hating an ending shouldn’t affect your rating at all! At least, not in the way you mean. A heartbreaking book can still be really good. It’s only if they kill off a character for the sake of excitement that I get mad. If there’s a genuine reason, like a brave self sacfrice, then I’ll still give it a high rating ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    Great discussion post! I have to say, I can love a book despite being a little mad about its ending, whether it’s a cliffhanger, or just not the ending I expected or wanted. I will give it a high rating if I loved the whole book. BUT hm, if my feelings weren’t too strong since the beginning of the book, and the ending just makes me mad, then I will say, it’ll make my rating lower a little bit! ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. hiraethforthepages says:

    Brilliant post! Personally, it really depends. What is it about the ending that I don’t like? Usually, if it breaks my heart in the death sense, then I’m still a huge fan – I don’t mind the crying-snot-waterfall endings at all.

    What I don’t enjoy however is when the ending feels rushed or if it isn’t concluded well – if we don’t get enough closure or it doesn’t make sense how it ends (this again depends though, if it’s a series than I’m can understand). This is when I might give it a lower rating but not by much – I might give it half stars down or maybe, if it’s not horrid or just mediocre I might not change my mind at all.

    Really great topic for discussion!


  5. Denise says:

    I honestly don’t know! I’ve read so many books that I’ve loved, but hated the ending. I didn’t like the ending to Ignite Me, so I did knock half a star off my rating. I do say I love the book, even if I hate the ending. It wasn’t wrapped up well enough, and I thought the action scenes were just skimmed over. I still class it as one of my favourite series though!

    Denise | The Bibliolater


  6. Sara @ freadomlibrary says:

    I think it all depends on the level on which I love it and on the level which I hate the ending haha. I don’t think this has happened to me, maybe it has and I don’t remember, but I usually just rate books by how they make me feel emotionally whether that’s in a positive or negative way


  7. Faith @ Faiths Bookspiration says:

    Love this!
    I don’t generally mark books down on a soul-crushing ending. If I feel crushed by what ends up happening that’s usually a good thing, the writer made me feel something. However, I will mark books down if the ending was lacking or it was just over all pretty meh *cough* Requiem *cough*
    Great Post!!!


  8. Anissa @ She Reads Too Much says:

    Ahh, I love this! I love happy endings, but not when they’re too happy. I love when an author makes me feel something about the characters, but I get really upset if the ending isn’t at least a semblance of happy because I’m such a softie haha. โค โค


  9. vivalabooklife says:

    this is an amazing discussion post! i think you can certainly love a book even if it has a heartbreaking ending. for example, clockwork princess. that ending killed me inside, but it seemed like an appropriate finale to the series. but let’s say the book has a stupid ending, such as someone gets killed off who certainly shouldn’t have- i could see how you could knock off a star or so for that, if it’s unnecessary.


  10. Nemo @ Young Adult At Heart says:

    For me, I will totally rate down a really good book if the author has tried to be sneaky and get a sequel in the works by chickening out on the ending. I believe each book should contain its own story, and if I’m going to sacrifice sleep by staying up late reading a fantastic book, I want most (if not all) of the plot and threads wrapped up and I don’t want to be left wondering, for example, who the murderer was in a murder mystery. I don’t mind cliffhangers but cutting a book off just so there can be a sequel is sneaky and underhanded and leaves me feeling very unsatisfied. Like I said, if I lost sleep due to a book and the ending cheated me out of a proper story I get mad.


  11. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight says:

    Hmmm, this is a hard one. I think it really depends. I had this kind of happen twice recently. One was the ending of a graphic novel series. I hated it, and I can admit that it might’ve been a very subjective kind of hate, that I just wanted it to be happy but it wasn’t, so I docked the rating. But the whole final volume went downhill and the ending seemed rushed and too easily accepted, so maybe I wasn’t being that subjective. Right after that though I read another book that had a depressing, heart-wrenching ending, and I still gave that book a good rating because it was a good book, even though I felt like I would’ve preferred the author take the happy ending route.

    I like happy endings, but an ending doesn’t have to be happy to be good. Or it doesn’t have to be *entirely* happy. It just has to fit the story. So if it does that, I usually won’t rate a book down for its ending. Great discussion!


  12. Tamara @ Tamaraniac says:

    I find sometimes that really sad endings make me love a book or series more, but only if the ending is sad for a reason, if you know what I mean. One of my very favorite series had an ending that left me sobbing, but I feel like I loved the whole even more due to it.

    Mainly endings I dislike are endings that don’t wrap things up well, or take a 180 at the very end, or just don’t make a lot of sense. Usually I don’t say I hated an ending, even if it was heartbreaking.


  13. Sarah Cone says:

    I can totally love a book or series and still hate the ending. Divergent and the Fault in our Stars are the first examples to come to mind. Though Tbh, it may take me a little bit of time to get over the ending that I hated to be able to admit that I still loved the book/series. In the Fault in our Stars, I pretty much knew that at least one of them was going to die but when it’s totally unexpected and imo, unnecessary to the plot, like in the Divergent series, I was SOOO pissed and was in a book rage (like, I wanted to chuck the book across the room & NEVER read it again)for a good 3 or 4 days before i calmed down enough to admit that OK, that’s not how I would’ve ended it (OMG,I feel the rage building just thinking about it!Sarah SMASH!) but it is still a good story and the good guys *did win so,no, It’s not on my book shit list.
    Since I’m just a reader, I admit I don’t think in terms of how I’d rate books I read, I just like it or don’t…so even though I’d like to say that I wouldn’t let the hated ending affect my rating, I can’t say for sure. It probably would also depend on how much & why I hated it.
    DISCLAIMER: No books were harmed in the making of this comment. ๐Ÿ™‚


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