Unhappy Endings

Have you ever been unhappy with the ending of a book? I have. Not often but sometimes. It irritates me to no end. Sometimes I even rewrite the ending to come out the way I want. But that doesn’t change the fact that it was not written how I wanted and that it never will be. Now sometimes there’s an unseen reason for the ending being the way it is…and sometimes it’s just poor writing. But being unhappy with an ending is different from unhappy endings. An unhappy ending is a very sad and emotional ending and often is worse than is actually necessary.

Have you ever read a book that had such a sad ending you were very emotional over? I have. For example, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne has a very emotional ending.  It’s hard to read unhappy endings because in most books there is a “and they lived happily ever after” ending. In reality there are not lots of happily ever after’s in life, but that’s what makes them so important in books. Since books are our escape from reality and our friends…well we can’t put up with unhappy endings. We want as many happily ever after’s as we can get. Which means, unhappy endings usually are not received well.

Now some genres, like dystopian, i.e. Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, well, those are bound to have unhappy endings…but there’s always a silver lining in every book. Ok, that’s cliché, but still, there’s always a bit of hope left. You still have hope. And it’s in a series…it’s not just ending right then and there and that’s the end of your happily ever after’s for the people in the book. As Lucy Maud Montgomery once wrote, “Nobody but a genius should try to write an unhappy ending.”

 

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