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Questions & Debate > Cliffhangers. I Don't Like Them.

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message 1: by Tony (new)

Tony Bertauski (jadedreader) | 5 comments Any thoughts on cliffhanger endings? I realize many YA books are part of a series, which I often like. However, I object to unsatisfying cliffhangers. I thought JK did a good job avoiding them, as do other authors.

Short list of books I didn't care for cliffhanging conclusions:

The Maze Runner
Pod
Malice
The Knife of Never Letting Go(Have to admit, I didn't mind this one as much as others, don't know why)


message 2: by Irene (new)

Irene (wingdesilverii) It's a love hate relationship for me. I hate being clifhanged, but if it is for a good reason (ie adds info to the story or expounds on a characters character) I don't mind it in the end and actually enjoy it.


message 3: by cy (new)

cy Irene wrote: "It's a love hate relationship for me. I hate being clifhanged, but if it is for a good reason (ie adds info to the story or expounds on a characters character) I don't mind it in the end and actual..."
excacery


message 4: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 4295 comments Mod
Eh, I dont mind cliff hangers. It makes you realize just how much you like the series. Also, I try not to read series unless all the books are out (or the last one is almost out), that way I dont have to wait forever, like I did for Mockingjay.


message 5: by Irene (new)

Irene (wingdesilverii) ★ Jess wrote: "Eh, I dont mind cliff hangers. It makes you realize just how much you like the series. Also, I try not to read series unless all the books are out (or the last one is almost out), that way I dont h..."

In the end I don't, after it is all said and done.


message 6: by £mily (new)

£mily (3mily991) | 1107 comments Cliffhangers drive me crazy when there is a years wait for the next book! Otherwise I don't mind them when the next book is lined up on my shelf, waiting to be read....


message 7: by Kate (new)

Kate | 8205 comments I find cliffhangers to be INCREDIBLY annoying. The main thing is just that they drive me crazy because I want to know what happens, but they also kind of insult me, like the author thinks I won't read their book otherwise.

Jess, you said that it makes you realize how much you like the series. For me, it actually makes me like the series less. My opinion of Suzanne Collins went down at the end of Catching Fire.

It's also not a complete book if you don't have an ending. It makes me feel like the author may be skilled enough to create a story, etc. but they don't know hoe to wrap it up, ergo they're not a very good author. (And yes, I know that some cliffhangers are written by very talented authors, but that's the sort of feeling it gives me-either they're bad, or they're lazy)


message 8: by Irene (new)

Irene (wingdesilverii) Kate wrote: "I find cliffhangers to be INCREDIBLY annoying. The main thing is just that they drive me crazy because I want to know what happens, but they also kind of insult me, like the author thinks I won't r..."

That too bothers me about them sometimes but I guess it doesn't bother me too much because sooo many authors do that.


message 9: by Lily (new)

Lily (lilyjpine) I like cliffhangers, only because it makes me want to read the next book that much more. (Does that make sense?) If the ending is resolved fully, I sometimes forget about the series.


message 10: by £mily (new)

£mily (3mily991) | 1107 comments But I think cliffhangers have to be used well, not just to make you keep reading the series because the actual book is really bad.


message 11: by Irene (new)

Irene (wingdesilverii) Emily wrote: "But I think cliffhangers have to be used well, not just to make you keep reading the series because the actual book is really bad."

Correct.


message 12: by cy (new)

cy I mean, you would like to think the book is good enough to not have to have a cliffhanger to keep you going, but in real life, somethimes that isn't the case..


message 13: by Maddy froehlich (new)

Maddy froehlich | 26 comments I think often times authors must have cliff hangers and I'm not sure if they have any choice in the matter; and face it, it doesn't matter how bad the book if their is a brutal cliff hanger you have to get your hands on what happens next so it is an extremely sucessful way to get more profit.


message 14: by Megan (new)

Megan Ayres I have a love-hate relationship with cliff hangers. Fair enough if it's a stand alone and we're meant to guess. Or if it's a short series or whatever. But with books like, for example, the House of Night series (which don't get me wrong, I love. I wouldn't have them all otherwise) always end on some sort of cliff hanger. Which I know is a trick to make you buy the next book, but after nine books it's a little tiring.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

I love cliff hangers I like still having to think about the book when its done.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

It's a love hate relationship for me too. I hate it because I'm usually dying to get the next book and sometimes it's not out yet. But I do think they're pretty key to getting fans. Plus, they're kind of fun.


message 17: by Kyle (new)

Kyle LJ (kylelj) I don't mind cliffhangers, as long as I have the next book at hand. If I don't though, it can be a bit unbearable.


message 18: by Malia (new)

Malia | 4 comments Cliffhangers...terrible things authors give to their readers to have them waiting forever for the next book. Author notorious for them? Rick Riordan in his Heroes of Olympus series. I love the books, but the first I read them, I was shocked and sad that I would have to wait another year for the next book..and that was repeated again after the second book came out. Then again, the waiting part is the only thing I don't like. Once the book is out, everything is peachy.


message 19: by £mily (new)

£mily (3mily991) | 1107 comments A lot of them are just endings to crappy books to make the readers buy more. Like if a books last sentence (s) is 'Everything was fine and dandy until I turned around, and saw the burning, sparkling bodies of the whole Cullen family. The whole darn lot of them, including Bella Swan. I begin to laugh.....' (This is what would have happened if I was narrating Twilight) you really would want to know what happened next..


message 20: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Cliffhangers are not too bad as long as they are used in the right way. One book that did this terribly was Legacy by Cayla Kluver. As long as everythin but that one aspect is resolved, it can work.


message 21: by Christine (new)

Christine (christinenc22) | 93 comments Kate wrote: "I find cliffhangers to be INCREDIBLY annoying. The main thing is just that they drive me crazy because I want to know what happens, but they also kind of insult me, like the author thinks I won't r..."

Or maybe the book was supposed to be one long book, but she instead just did it two...


message 22: by Artemisia (new)

Artemisia Sage (bookworm56) Oh My gosh, the knife of never letting go made me cry, the cliffhanger was just awful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Keeping The Moon, Sarah Dessen. The cliffhanger hardly made any sense to me.


message 24: by Zohal (new)

Zohal | 18 comments I understand why author's use cliffhangers but personally I never like them.. especially if you have to wait a while for the next book. In my opinion it is better to end on a tragedy but not an actual cliffhanger


message 25: by Anya (new)

Anya Allyn | 3 comments I have to say I don't like being 'cliffhanged' - I like the story wrapped up and complete, though don't mind if some aspects of the story are left on cliffhanger status (if it's a series).


message 26: by Ann Ross (new)

Ann Ross (badasswannabe) | 37 comments I neither like nor hate cliffhangers. I just don't dwell on it and patiently wait for the next chapter (or the next book in some cases). And I cannot blame the authors because they're doing it commercially.


message 27: by Katrina (new)

Katrina Welsh (katrinawelsh_) It really depends on the series I'm reading but usually I despise them. Also, the next book will more likely be released the next year and by then, I've lost interest in the cliffhanger.
I did not like the cliffhanger ending of Catching Fire especially after reading about what Mockingjay's course was.
I wasn't really bothered with the cliffhanger ending of The Knife of Never Letting Go. I didn't like the two main characters all that much. And by the time I finished The Ask and The Answer, I had no motivation to find out what happens next. My favourite character had just died.
I think the way J.K. Rowling ended her books was done really well. The story felt complete but at the same time, the reader was motivated enough to want to read the next installment.


message 28: by Isabella (new)

Isabella (booklion1023) | 23 comments i hate cliffhangers with a passion!! they keep you just well hanging there so you can go read the next book which sometimes doesnt come out till a year or more!!! it is just cruel although i have to say clever on the authors part. making the reader by the next book.


message 29: by cy (new)

cy I think if its just the one book (letters on the inside!!!) then it is really annoying if there is a cliffhanger!!! arrrgghhh!!!!!


message 30: by Zohal (new)

Zohal | 18 comments oh I hate books where it is a cliffhanger and there is no second book. Like Zombie Blondes


message 31: by Megan (new)

Megan | 158 comments If their is another book than I like cliffhangers because they make you want to keep reading. But when there's only one book it makes me mad.


message 32: by Jeanine (new)

Jeanine Carstairs (daechwita) | 589 comments Kate wrote: "I find cliffhangers to be INCREDIBLY annoying... It's also not a complete book if you don't have an ending. It makes me feel like the author may be skilled enough to create a story, etc. but they don't know hoe to wrap it up, ergo they're not a very good author... "

I totally agree! I understand the need for cliffhangers, but I find them annoying. I was really disappointed when I got to the end of Divergent, finding it end in a cliffhanger!!


message 33: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Land I just read Hero and there is this HUGE cliifhanger ending. I looked up to see if there a sequel since i really liked thebok and needed to know what happen, and he DIED. I.Was.Pist. He died while writing the sequel and making a film out of the book. So i was really sad. It was drug overdose.


message 34: by kathrine (new)

kathrine  (scarlettshea) | 391 comments Ya, The Maze Runner has big cliffhanger endings...I like it though, it makes me keep reading.


message 35: by Lucy Qhuay (new)

Lucy Qhuay I love cliffhangers, though the wait for the next book kills me.


message 36: by Snowballina (new)

Snowballina | 20 comments Oh my gosh! I know exactly what you are saying. The problem is that as soon as i read a book that has a cliff hanger i can't stop thinking about it! I just keep wondering and imagining...........


message 37: by Liam (new)

Liam O'Donnell (liamodonnell) I'm with love/hate crowd on this one. Done right, they're great. But cliffhangers can be annoying if it's more than just the action/plot that's left hanging. If the character hasn't completed a stage in their character growth and it's just cut off, I feel a bit ripped off. Stories can arc over several books and so can character development, but if the growth just stops without being resolved at the end of the book - ie lessons are learned by the main character, etc - it's just an excuse to sell you another book.

Great discussion here - btw!


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

I like them, but I don't. A cliffhanger builds up the suspense, and everything, but it still leaves you standing there staring at the page like, "What? That's it?!"
They tend to bug me.


message 39: by Taylor (new)

Taylor I don't like cliffhangers! They just keep me wondering what happens. But then I will definitely read the next book in a series, so that's probably what authors intend to have people do.


message 40: by Tahlia (new)

Tahlia Newland (tahlian) | 20 comments I love this thread because this is something I feel passionate about. I really hate them. They're a cheap trick to get you to buy the next book. I believe that every book, no matter where it is in a series, should have a conclusion. Of course you can leave threads open and lead in to the next book, but not a cliffhanger, that's just mean to the readers. I set up a poll on this, so if you want to vote please pop along, I'm finding the results really interesting.
http://tahlianewland.com/2011/09/16/w...


message 41: by Tahlia (new)

Tahlia Newland (tahlian) | 20 comments Olivia wrote: "I just read Hero and there is this HUGE cliifhanger ending. I looked up to see if there a sequel since i really liked thebok and needed to know what happen, and he DIED. I.Was.Pist. He died while..."

That really is a bumma.


message 42: by Tahlia (new)

Tahlia Newland (tahlian) | 20 comments Ann Ross wrote: "I neither like nor hate cliffhangers. I just don't dwell on it and patiently wait for the next chapter (or the next book in some cases). And I cannot blame the authors because they're doing it comm..."

I agree Katrina, except for the Knife of Never Letting Go, the end of that really bugged me, it made me feel as if reading the book was a complete waste of time. All that they went through and then....I never bought the rest of the series.


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm kind of sitting on the fence with them... I have a love hate relationship with many.

I recently finished reading Catching Fire. I'm annoyed because now I have to go find a copy of Mockingjay.
"Katniss there is no District 12."


message 44: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (pineappleperson) | 61 comments i don't like them but i like them as well depending on the book and how much they author is holding back but some stories fanfiction try to explain them so that makes up for it a little but not much


message 45: by £mily (new)

£mily (3mily991) | 1107 comments It really depends on how they are used.


message 46: by anilee (new)

anilee (anileesghost) | 46 comments I think that books in series should successfully wrap up their individual plot arcs. However, there still must be loose threads; otherwise, what's the point of there being a sequel? But then, I'm not a huge fan of series; I think that authors have become too dependent upon them and draw out dull storylines into multiple books for no good reason other than they can make more money.

However, when I think about this from a storytelling perspective, I do understand why cliffhangers happen. I think they could be integrated more skilfully, but I have such little faith in most writers today. Anyway.

If I were to plot a series before I started writing any of the books, I'd first want to figure out what my overall plot arc was and how it was to be broken up over the course of the individual books. Each book then gets its own arc, and these will have to be somewhat major arcs, big enough to carry a book while still contributing to the main story. So I write the first book, and I near the end. I need to wrap it up. I know where it's heading, what happens in the next book, so I need to finish the first book with the second kicking off. I need to find the best stopping place. The best stopping place is probably right after or shortly after the catalyst that brings about the second sub-arc, which will probably mean the ending is a cliffhanger.

Anyway, my reaction to each individual cliffhanger will probably depend upon my impression of the series. I also like open endings, so sometimes "cliffhangers" can be satisfying enough, since I can imagine what happens next.

TV series do this too. Season finales often end with some sort of new major development that will set the stage for the next season. Sure, they want you to keep watching but introducing a new twist, but it also, from a writer's perspective, often makes the most sense as a stopping point.


message 47: by Kal G (new)

Kal G I hate them!


message 48: by literariel (new)

literariel Hate to love.


message 49: by Sophia (new)

Sophia They're okay if the cliff hanger is only at the end of a chapter, because it happens all the time. At the end of a book though, it's just lazy writing. Get the character in a safe place or something, we just need a conclusion. A good book won't need a cliffhanger.


message 50: by Roy (last edited Jun 26, 2012 09:41AM) (new)

Roy Lee | 18 comments Yes, cliffhangers are annoying, but when you come to think about it, cliffhangers are one of the main factors why we continue on reading the next book of a series, trilogy, etc.


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