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Historical Fantasy > Books With Unhappy Endings

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message 1: by R. (last edited Mar 12, 2014 09:51PM) (new)

R. (rholland) | 102 comments How do you feel about books with unhappy endings, where everyone loses and the evil prevails? Hate the author or love the author for the twist? I wrote my book Medieval Minds http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Minds-... with Flowers in the Attic and Brokedown Palace in mind. In my opinion, they still lost. Cried on both by the way. Would love to know your opinion on books with unhappy endings.


message 2: by Careese (new)

Careese | 3 comments Books with unhappy endings, have been great reads in my experience. It makes the story more realistic, and as a reader you get more emotionally invested, especially towards the character. It leaves an imprint, if it is sad enough, you'll never forget it. Burned by Ellen Hopkins was one of the saddest books I have ever read,I read it 6 years ago and i remember everything about it. Sad books can be the most exceptional reads, so long as there told right.


message 3: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments It's not my thing. Too many sad endings in real life, so I don't like to read or watch them. But that's just me.


message 4: by R. (last edited Feb 12, 2014 06:39PM) (new)

R. (rholland) | 102 comments Careese wrote: "Books with unhappy endings, have been great reads in my experience. It makes the story more realistic, and as a reader you get more emotionally invested, especially towards the character. It leaves..."
I agree Careese. Not saying I don't enjoy the happy endings. But I must say any author that has told an amazing story then leaves me thinking about the characters night and day (as if they were real in the first place and need their own obituary in the local newspaper)...I curse them under my breath and then say: "Well-played"


message 5: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Holloway | 393 comments I don't like books with unhappy endings. They may be more realistic, but books are an escape for me. There are enough unhappy things in real life. If you're old enough, you'll remember the anti-hero movies of the seventies, They were so depressing! I was glad when the happy ending ones came back.


message 6: by R. (new)

R. (rholland) | 102 comments R.A. wrote: "It's not my thing. Too many sad endings in real life, so I don't like to read or watch them. But that's just me."
I've heard that before R.A. "I don't read horror because life is scary enough as it is" as one person told me. But to me, that's the beauty of reading. The one place I can escape and know that's it all fiction. I can't stand to read the story about a mistress or a man cheating on his wife. For some reason I take that to heart. But if zombies(for example) take over and everyone is eaten. I'll still cry for the main character, but I can tell myself it's not real.


message 7: by R. (new)

R. (rholland) | 102 comments Peggy wrote: "I don't like books with unhappy endings. They may be more realistic, but books are an escape for me. There are enough unhappy things in real life. If you're old enough, you'll remember the anti-her..."
LOL! Anti-hero? I'm so sorry. I think that would depress me as well. Although, I have found myself rooting for the villain if the good guys are plain idiots. Does anyone else do that...root for the winning team when the good guys seem to suck? Or is it just me:)


message 8: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Holloway | 393 comments Rolanda wrote: "Peggy wrote: "I don't like books with unhappy endings. They may be more realistic, but books are an escape for me. There are enough unhappy things in real life. If you're old enough, you'll remembe..."

I know what you mean, Rolanda, I recently read a book, where the main character was such a victim, that I almost found myself rooting for the bad guy. It was depressing as well. I like for the characters to be human, to make mistakes, and to learn from them. I like for the characters to grow as the book progresses. I don't have to like the main character at the beginning of the book, but if he/she learns and grows then I like the book, usually. the characters are as important as the plot, to me. But I still want a happy ending.


message 9: by R. (new)

R. (rholland) | 102 comments Peggy wrote: "Rolanda wrote: "Peggy wrote: "I don't like books with unhappy endings. They may be more realistic, but books are an escape for me. There are enough unhappy things in real life. If you're old enough..."

Thanks Peggy! I LOVE when a character evolves, matures, or changes for the better and I don't always want to like them in the beginning. But when times get tough, they better learn to suck it up buttercup or I'm rooting for the villain.


message 10: by Shannon (last edited Feb 13, 2014 06:10AM) (new)

Shannon Pemrick | 55 comments I can't stand them. Like others have said, I read a book to lose myself and I'd like to read something different than what always seems to happen in the real world. That doesn't mean the MC has to be perfect or the world needs to be perfect, but I'd like to see something good come of the book. Even an open, neutral ending is better than an unhappy ending

A few months back I read a book series that I loved and invested fully into until the last book. The main character, after struggling his whole life to make it better (he was an orphan), lost everything he ever loved (his wife being the big one and their story was a touching one to begin with so losing her was hair pulling) in one go and he was forced to keep facing reality (was even force to take a new wife only hours after losing his first) when he had been shoved into the situation due to someone else's carelessness. I wanted to just throw the book and scream (the book ended with him unhappy and that made me unhappy since he struggled so hard to get everything right).


message 11: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) I suppose it depends on how 'unhappy' the ending is. I loved Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series even though the hero (somewhat of an anti-hero) dies in the end. On the other hand, I've never reread them, which I normally do with books I like. Just not the sad ones.


message 12: by R. (new)

R. (rholland) | 102 comments Shannon wrote: "I can't stand them. Like others have said, I read a book to lose myself and I'd like to read something different than what always seems to happen in the real world. That doesn't mean the MC has to ..."
Shannon, now I'm sad. That book sounds like real life. Really, I can definitely see all points here. In the end, I think we agree that if it's done, it has to be done just right, with some dignity and not carelessly. The author has to keep the reader's commitment to their characters in mind. But...Hate them or love them...it does seem that those books stick with us as well.


message 13: by Darlene (last edited Feb 14, 2014 10:07AM) (new)

Darlene Deluca (darlenedeluca) | 105 comments Rolanda wrote: "How do you feel about books with unhappy endings, where everyone loses and the evil prevails? Hate the author or love the author for the twist? I wrote my book Medieval Minds http://www.amazon.com/..."

Books (and movies) with unhappy "a handful of sh*t for everyone" endings really annoy me. They make me feel that I wasted my valuable time!


message 14: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Pemrick | 55 comments Rolanda wrote: In the end, I think we agree that if it's done, it has to be done just right, with some dignity and not carelessly."

Yes, I can agree with that, but it's also hard finding a book that does it right. The book I mentioned sorta does it right. The ending it a bit open so there's a possibility for the MC to have a new happy ending if he works hard again and no one gets in his way...again...but you're not sure if he'll be able to do it so it's only half well done in my opinion.


message 15: by Emma (new)

Emma Iadanza (emmaiadanza) Im not a big fan of unhappy endings, but I have two problems with my statement: 1) I like opera and tragedies are not uncommon; 2) tragedies ate real. So... That's all I have to say


message 16: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) The only book I remember reading that had a sad ending, but was so well done that it left the reader satisfied anyway, was a story that probably all of us read as a child -- "Charlotte's Web," by E. B. White. But I also remember an English Lit book in high school with an entire section of stories that ended in futility (included Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher) -- completely turned me off those type stories. My own novel has a reasonably happy ending, but not exactly the one that the protagonist wanted. That's life.


message 17: by R. (new)

R. (rholland) | 102 comments Thanks Ken. And of course I remember Charlotte's Web. Some books that leave us with an unexpected ending or evoke a strong emotion leave a lasting impression on us. Either we hated it because of it or loved it because of it. It still sticks with us.


message 18: by Nihar (new)

Nihar Suthar (niharsuthar) | 386 comments I think books with unhappy endings could possibly be good, but they don't provide the closure and the satisfying feeling that a lot of readers like to have at the end of a book. Writing an unhappy ending is definitely more unique in a book, but I think it's more of a risk as well. It can work, but I would get feedback from some of close friends and family first before publishing or anything like that.

-Nihar
www.niharsuthar.com
@NiharSuthar


message 19: by R. (new)

R. (rholland) | 102 comments Nihar wrote: "I think books with unhappy endings could possibly be good, but they don't provide the closure and the satisfying feeling that a lot of readers like to have at the end of a book. Writing an unhappy ..."

Thanks, I have to agree with you Nihar. So far, I have had readers tell me they want more and they cried towards the end, but overall they loved the story. It was a risk, but I didn't leave them unfulfilled, but wanting more in a good way. They didn't feel cheated, which is what I was worried about with the ending. With unhappy endings, I didn't want a reader upset with me for killing off some characters. So far I have gotten four Five Star Reviews. Even a Beta Reader here was nice enough to tell me what she liked and didn't but she didn't complain about the unhappy ending. Just that she would have liked one character to realize just how evil the other character really was. It was a stretch, but I think in this case it worked. Until I get a review that says otherwise;)


message 20: by R. (new)

R. (rholland) | 102 comments Thanks Chris! So far, I have gotten a lot of positive feedback and reviews on the book as a whole and the ending itself. Something must have worked. I agree with the above comments. It must be done well. Most books that stick with me were the ones that had a twist at the end. I do enjoy books with happy endings but I like a different taste every now and again. Not sure if this link works or not. Here is a newer one.
http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Minds-...


message 21: by Bianca (new)

Bianca Harrison | 22 comments "Someone To Call My Own" official book trailer.

http://youtu.be/kfuBs2POeEY

A widow, Camille Young, wants nothing more but to have someone to call her own; with the right man of course. Just when she thinks she found him in
Greg Langston – a smart, sexy, and brilliant attorney - who is very married and expecting his first child with his wife Michelle, their future gets put
on hold. When things don’t go Camille's way as she hoped, the pain of her past resurfaces.
Camille has a plan that will affect everyone around her. When Greg's wife is targeted, Greg turns to Camille for answers. Was this part of her plan?...Suddenly Greg finds himself in a situation with a woman who will stop at nothing to make him her own, even if it means destroying his family and her own life.
Camille's entire world seems to unravel as she spirals out of control, not letting anything or anyone get in her way. Someone to Call My Own is a compelling story of lies, desperation and betrayal, and the consequences that follow when an encounter with the wrong woman has a man fighting to save the lives of the ones he love.

Rated *****5 stars (Amazon)

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message 22: by Regina (new)

Regina Castañeda | 1 comments Our life does not always has a happy ending


message 23: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Ah, what is happiness...


message 24: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I don't look specifically for books with unhappy endings, but I have really enjoyed several books that had them. I think it depends on why the ending is unhappy. So long as it fits with the story and is done well I can still enjoy the book. Not all authors can pull off an unhappy ending and make it so it seems right for the story.

Charlottes Web was one of my favorite books growing up.


message 25: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) | 362 comments Why pay to read something with an unhappy ending? If I want that I just pick up my newspaper.


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