Lola’s Rambings is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me or ramble on about a book or non-book related topic. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are are personal discussions of a certain topic. Sometimes about book related topics and sometimes about non-book related topics. This feature was previously known as About Me. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from My Limabean Designs.
When I reviewed Killer Frost I mentioned how I thought the ending was perfect and it got me thinking about what I like to see in book endings. What makes a good ending and what things don’t I like? Then later a commentor adressed the topic of different kind of endings in reply to another series ending review on my blog, so I wanted to include that in this post as well. Today is all about book endings, so mostly standalones or last books in a series.
What do I think makes for a good book ending?
- Wraps things up. I like endings that wrap things up, or at least wrap up the most important plot threads. I don’t mind it if a few subplots are left open ended, but I prefer if most plots will be wrapped up and I don’t be left guessing. It can really me annoy me if an ending seems to forgot to address a certain plot or subplot and it doens’t feel resolved. So in general I vote yes for wrapping things up and I enjoy endings that neatly wrap up the plot and story.
- Resolution. I like for ending to provide some sort of resolution or solution to the main problems or storylines. If there is a main enemy or main problem, I like I when that’s solved one way or another towards the ending. I don’t like endings that bring no resolution to the main issues.
- Evokes Emotions. I like when a book ending evokes at some emotions. I am not a very emotional reader and probably aren’t going to cry or laugh out loud, but I love it when an ending can make feel something. I have read a few happy endings that give me a warm and fuzzy feeling or a book that just leaves me happy and content when I finish it, satisfied with how it ended. I prefer some emotions to an ending that leaves me cold.
- Ends with a bang. I often prefer endings that have some big event or bang towards the end. Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep did that very well, there was this big battle right before the end and the whole series was building up towards it and it was epic and really ended the series with a bang. I like that, although I don’t think every book needs to have it. For contemporary romance the bang often consist of the obligatory break up and make up, please I prefer a ending without a bang if that’s the alternative.
- Gives a feel for what the future will bring. I like endings that give a feel for what the future will have in store for the characters, a view of what happens next. Like they continue to train or they will live here and built a family, that sort of thing. I like to be able to picture their future and accept that picture as an ending and while the book has end know that their story continues and being able to form a picture of what that story will be. I like it when books go on beside the bang ending to let the reader know where the characters will end up. Jennifer Estesp does this really well in her books, showing the aftermath of the main event and painting a picture of what happens next to the characters.
- Happy Ending. Happy endings make me happy and are one of my favourite type of endings. While ofcourse they have to fit the book, but in general I think happy endings are a good thing and I probably will like an ending better if it’s an happy ending. Not everyone or everything has to be happy, but just the overal feel be happy or hopefull/ uplifting.
- And ending that fits the book/ series. This might be the most important one of them all, I want an ending that fits the book. Jennifer Etspe her Mythos Academy series features big battles and a sense of danger, so the big clash at the end and then wrap-up fits the series. On the other hand if you have a contemporary romance series where there’s suddenly a big battle towards the end and people dying and killing at the end, it wouldn’t fit the book. Or when a pretty despressing book suddenly comes up with an over the top happy ending. This one can pretty much veto all the other points, I want the ending to fit the book and make me happy because it fits, not jar me as the ending doesn’t fit the book.
I don’t think a book needs to have all of these to make for a good ending, I usually am already happy when an ending manages to do one of those. And in some cases it’s more what fits the book or not and all the other points are irrelavant.
Happy, sad, realistic and open endings
I think there are roughly 4 ways to categorize an ending and most endings fall in one or more of these categories: happy, sad, realistic/neutral or open endings. My preference goes to happy endings as I think everyone deserves a happy ending and it just maks me feel good when a book has an happy ending. Then after that I would go for the realistic/neutral ending, as with some books a happy ending just wouldn’t be realistic and I rather have a realistic ending in some cases than a forced happy ending that doesn’t fit the book. Then next are the open endings and my least favourite would be sad endings. Ofcourse this is very general, what I think is most important is that an ending fits the book, sometimes a slightly hopeful ending fits a series more than a happy ending ever would. And while I used to detest open endings I think they can be done well. I always used to dislike endings that leave too much open as I don’t like having to fill in all the blanks, I want some sort of closure. I recently read a book that had an open ending, which really worked and have since then I have come to belive that open endings can be done well. The ending ended on a hopefull note, but it wasn’t a happy ending, it left things open, but I liked it. I think it’s not open ending itself that bother me, but books that just seem to end suddenly without any resolution or wrapping things up. I don’t like sudden endings. The rearranged Life managed to leave things open, but wrap a few things up and end hopefully, so with some positive emotion. And sad endings can just make me sad, but now that I mention this I can’t remember a lot of books that really have a sad ending, so on the other hand it would be original way to end a series. It’s not that I hate sad endings, it’s just that I prefer happy endings as I usually have come to care about the characters by that point and want them to be happy. I also think that the more I care about the characters the more I want that happy ending for them, while a sad ending is easier to accept when I didn’t really care about the characters anyway. So I think all of these are good endings, it just matters how they are done and if they fit the book, but still I will always love happy endings.