Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Unsatisfying Endings

***SPOILER ALERT-If you have not read the last book in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games Trilogy and do not want the end ruined for you, STOP***

As a reader, when I pick up a book I embark on a journey. I am sure my fellow readers can identify. I get to know the characters, love them, cry for them when they face seemingly insurmountable odds, and cheer for them when they overcome those odds. So when a book, or series, ends in a dissatisfying way...I want to violently rip the book to shreds. 

Don't hate. I never actually do worse than throw the book across the room, but oh how I long to obliterate it and then go after the author. *evil grin*

As you can guess, I recently finished reading a very popular trilogy. There I sat enjoying a glass of my favorite cheap wine*grin* and a hot bubble bath as I read the end of Mockingjay, book 3 in The Hunger Games trilogy. It was a divinely fabulous moment until I finished the end. 

I hated it. If I wanted to experience the disappointment of real life when I read, I would shut my book and open up the newspaper. 

Sure, Katniss is alive, gets to be with Peeta, and even has a safe life with her children, but she is shunned in District 12 by a people she motivated to overthrow an oppressive government and is so traumatized mentally that I didn't get the feeling she enjoyed her life at all. I closed the book and tossed it into the floor beside my bathtub with a loud thump. I hate feeling the hollow disappointment of an unsatisfactory ending.

So this got me to thinking about other endings that left me dissatisfied, or even angry. And books I have read from many different genre's came to mind. Beginning with some I read and disliked as a kid. You'll notice that I dislike anything where the hero/heroine dies at the end.

1)Charlotte's Web- I cried and cried when Charlotte died. She was my favorite character. To my 6 year old mind, Wilbur was just a pig. Charlotte with her soft, kind voice(that is how my mom read her) and beautiful webs won my young heart hands down. 

2)Old Yeller- I don't think I need to go into why the end of this sucked so bad. If you what to make yourself miserable, by all means, read it.

3)The Little Match Girl- I felt mixed on this one as a kid. I was happy she got to go to heaven with her grandma, but what a sad life she lived on earth. I still look to make sure there are no homeless children out in the cold when I go downtown in the winter. 

4)Gone with the Wind- Did anyone else but me think that Rett and Scarlet deserved to live happily ever after?

5)Message In A Bottle- Nicholas Sparks ticked me off so badly with this one that I am reluctant to read anymore of his stuff. Terrible ending!

6)The Horse Whisperer- And ending very similar to that of Message In A Bottle. What a terrible thing to do to someone when they have just learned to trust again. I hated this ending, too!!!

7)Romeo and Juliet- I realize this ending is what makes this play so memorable, but it still makes me so dang sad.

I am sure that you might not agree with me on some of these and that is fine. I also know that I did not name many of the other books I have read with bad endings. Do you have one that you particularly loath? One that left you feeling dissatisfied? Don't worry about spoilers, if they are that bad, I don't want to read them anyway.


Morgan said...

Ugh! I was extremely disappointed with Mockinjay too unfortunately... I mean, I get when there's a purpose to having an ending that isn't "perfect" but Mockinjay went too far for me. As a reader, I felt distanced through most of the book, but I thought I could get pulled in if the end concluded in a way that made it worth the journey. It didn't. Which was too bad! I was SO rooting for it!

Anonymous said...

Sabrina, I never cared to read the second and third books. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but maybe I was disappointed in how the first one ended. I loved the book, but I didn't care to continue on with Katniss' love live. I was also disappointed with the endings of "Charlotte's Web", "The Horse Whisperer", and, of course, "Romeo and Juliet".

David P. King said...

It all depends on how it's handled. I don't mind if the leads die, so long as it's not done in a way to just be different. I remember crying when I read Charlotte's Web, but it was the legacy the spider left behind that helped me be happy about it. Love the final line to that one.

Michael Horvath said...

I'm a dog person so I avoid Old Yeller like the plague. I understand exactly what you mean.

eluding justice said...

Big disappointment. The end couldn't have been worse. Did the author just want to get it over with? I think we need someone to re-write it properly.

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Agreed. I was depressed for a little while after shutting the book. I hate feeling like that over a book.

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Ah, a kindred spirit! Thanks for visiting, Linda!

Sabrina A. Fish said...

"It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both." ~E.B. White in Charlott's Web

I agree David. This is one of the BEST last lines. Which made me even more sad that Charlotte was dead.

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Worst ending ever. To go through all that only to have to shoot him. There are no words.

Thanks for visiting.

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Agreed! Thanks for visiting.