Discussion Post: You Had Me Until the Ending….

Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 7.15.36 AMWe’ve all been there.  You pick up a book, one that has topped your TBR pile for months, you start reading and are instantly hooked.   After reading late into the night, sneaking in some pages on your commute, reading through dinners and television shows, you finally reach the conclusion of the story AND…. blah

I can’t even count how many books I have read lately that have “had me” until the ending.  In fact, I have made countless books recommendations to friends and family, raving that “you’ll love this book!” but adding the disclaimer “don’t mind the ending”

This really got me thinking.  What is the deal with book endings lately?  I narrowed it down into few hypotheses…

1. The “Gone Girl” Effect: I feel like after Gone Girl the “sneak attack” ending became the popular trend amongst authors- especially in the thriller genre.  You think you know what direction a plot is going but  NOPE!  WRONG!  GUESS AGAIN!   I feel like this “shock” tactic has ruined many book endings for me.  You think that the killer is the protagonist’s ex-boyfriend?  Well joke is on you reader.  It is actually an alien cyborg. I cannot count how many novels I have read this year with a “twist” ending that left me saying “SERIOUSLY??!!”

2. The “I’ll Never Tell” Effect: When I read a book, I want to know how it ends.  I am reading a 300+ page story about this character.  I become attached.  I want to see how they end up.  Instead, I am finding lately that I am given more of a “choose your own adventure” type of ending.  Does the character die at the end?  They swim out to sea, but do they die?  They walk away together into the sunset?  Does that mean it’s all good or did the world end?   I want some answers!!

3. The “Stop Rushing Me” Effect: I have found myself reading some really awesome books lately.  I am relishing in the stories, the characters and the writing style and then BAM it’s over and I have no idea how things escalated so quickly.  Ninety five percent of the book was build up and development and then *BAM* in the last five percent of the novel the bad guy is killed and the protagonist runs off into the sunset.  WHAT??!!

4. The “It’s Not You, It’s Me” Effect: Maybe I am the problem.  Plain and simple.  I read tons of thrillers and I want to be “wowed” but how plausible is that really?  How many endings can truly please me while offering me something totally new and exciting?  Maybe my expectations are too high?  Maybe I need to take a break and read different genres in between?

So, what do you guys think?  It is just me?  Am I the only one feeling especially picky over book endings lately?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


19 thoughts on “Discussion Post: You Had Me Until the Ending….

  1. Love this post!!! Yes, I hate it when authors lead you on until a disappointing ending. It makes me feel cheated when I get to the end and it falls flat. I have a few books that come to mind…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The number one reason a potential four or even five star book drops to a three is for me to be sorely disappointed with the ending. Unanswered questions, out-of-character actions, quick wrap-ups that stink… all these things drive me nuts! Perhaps I’ve just gotten more critical of endings since I started blogging, but it feels like this is happening far more than it ever did with books I read in the past.

    Great discussion post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This!!

    This is exactly why I currently stay away from psychological thrillers that state ‘WITH A TWIST YOU WON’T SEE COMING!’ as nine times out of ten, the twist is not a twist at all. It’s more of a small turn :/

    I don’t mind sudden endings, but only if I know it’s part of an ongoing series (for example the Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series by Val McDermid) where it’s then open to be carried on in the next book. Apart from that, I get the same rage you do!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I definitely agree with all your hypotheses EXCEPT for the last one. It’s not you, it’s the book. Never take responsibility 😂.
    But seriously, I love this post. Books that take the “Gone Girl” route tend to frustrate me the most because they would have been perfectly fine if they didn’t try to be all fancy. Sometimes, less is more, but not to the point where I have to make my own ending. I was cracking up at the “choose your own adventure” line hahaha.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post Sam! I don’t think it’s you, I think it’s the publishing industry and authors trying to write to accommodate them and forgetting about us readers. We just don’t need all the “twisty” out of the blue abrupt type endings. I consider myself also super picky and I have high standards for the stories I invest in and those gems with satisfying endings are still out there…I read 2 this week…Jar of Hearts and The Wife…both had great endings imo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree! I feel like they are always trying to be shocking and they end up coming across silly too often. I am going to read Jar of Hearts this week on vacation! I’m glad the ending wasn’t bad!!


  6. I agree with this so much, I like it when the book picks up pace at the end for the big finale, especially if it’s been a suspenseful book, but don’t rush me out door haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent post! I’ll give you my ultimate example of “you had me until the ending” which would be Under the Dome by Steven King. I read 1,000 pages loving every minute of it until he duffed the ending. I could have read 3-4 books in the same time I read that book…. but I’m not bitter lol


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