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Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Spotlight: Mary Abshire

How important is a happy ending?

Just about every book I've read (paranormal romance, fantasy, and urban fantasy) has a good ending, even if it is only temporary (a HFN). I like happy endings. I want to feel satisfied at the end of the book. Even if the book isn't stellar, a happy ending can make a lasting impression in my mind.

In a series I read (I won't name it) the last book ended on an unhappy note. The books were good, different, and enjoyable. Then the author killed one of the main characters. I thought she'd bring him back by the end, somehow, someway. Nope. She got rid of him. Needless to say, I was very disappointed and my opinion of the book went downhill. I would go so far to say I don't think I'll read another book from the author. Amazing what a not so happy ending will do.

In a way, I feel the same with movies. I don't like unhappy endings. Sure, life is not perfect or fair and crap happens. But when I pay for a book or movie, I want a satisfying conclusion, even if only temporary.

I understand that sometimes a character should be taken out of a story/series, even if it is a character we like. But killing a major character is like killing the story/series if there is not a replacement to pick up the story (in my opinion). For example, in a series I like, the author killed a character that had been in several books. He was not a major character, but a strong one. His death, though painful, was absorbed by the protagonist turning to other solid characters. It worked and the series continues. The ending was not happy, but it had a satisfactory conclusion. It didn't leave me hating the story/series.

So, I'm wondering, does it bother you when a book has an unhappy ending? Would you continue to read the series? Inquiring minds want to know.


Amber said...

Happy endings are usually on my list of must haves when reading. However, if a book is really really good, sometimes an unhappy ending works and just makes it better. FOr example, The Forest of Hands & Teeth is one of my favorite books, and it has a very unhappy ending. The book was so good though that it just wouldn't have been the same any other way, so I was ok with it. I cried my eyes out, but I still loved it. So , I suppose it depends on the story, the authors writing style, and my attachment to the characters.

Teejaykash said...

I go as far as reading the back pages when buying books by a new auther just to make sure the ending is a happy one. Life is too full of unhappiness for me to want it from fictional worlds and all. The point of reading for me is to be swept into something other than the norm so nomatter the heartache a hapi ending is definately for me.