The Not-So Austen Bookclub discussion

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Bookworm Debates > Happy Ever...or Never After?

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message 1: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Are you sappy like me and like happy endings?! Or, do you also like those endings that leave you hanging, or are thriller/horror like (like Sixth Sense the movie?!)? What makes a happy ending?

Personally I like/love the Disney, sappy endings in books, but every now and then I like to be surprised. Your opinion?


message 2: by Claire (new)

Claire (claireplusone) | 676 comments I love both. I need to have a mixture or I would go crazy!


message 3: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda | 1903 comments Dear Claire and Booknut,
I would have to say both as it can be nice to have a change at times and be suprised, as if one only just read books that ended like Cinderella then after a while things would become a little too predictable and you might just start pulling your hair out. A lot of romantic comedies films that my mother watches (as an example) all seem to be and end the same, which i personally find a bit dull, predictable and boring; i.e man meets a woman and eventually they fall in love and live happily ever after...again and again. It is nice to have a little bit of variety at times.
Lucinda Xx

P.S- I am DYING to ask you all, if anyone is watching on television at the moment a series that is new & that is utterly FANTASTIC. It is about a place called 'Storybrook' and is called "Once Upon a Time" and is a farytale with a twist, as farytale characters get lost within our time...but it is very realistic and good so if you can online see it?! or in your own country i would definately recomend it. It is on every Sunday on 5* at 8pm and i am loving the series as a farytale lover, book lover and fantasy fan! Xxx


message 4: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Lucinda wrote: "Dear Claire and Booknut,
I would have to say both as it can be nice to have a change at times and be suprised, as if one only just read books that ended like Cinderella then after a while things w..."


OMG, I have been dying to find time to watch it - I can't wait to!!


message 5: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda | 1903 comments Booknut wrote: "Lucinda wrote: "Dear Claire and Booknut,
I would have to say both as it can be nice to have a change at times and be suprised, as if one only just read books that ended like Cinderella then after a..."


It is an increadible series and i am enjoying it so much at the moment; it makes my weekend special with something to look forward to Sunday evening. Xx


message 6: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (Lauren0924) | 68 comments I agree with you Booknut. I adore the Disney-esque endings in books. I don't like to read books that don't end well. Definitely prefer the happily ever afters. Also, I agree with Lucinda that Once Upon A Time is a great show!


message 7: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda | 1903 comments Lauren wrote: "I agree with you Booknut. I adore the Disney-esque endings in books. I don't like to read books that don't end well. Definitely prefer the happily ever afters. Also, I agree with Lucinda that Once ..."

Once Upon a Time is brilliant & i am constantly willing the daughter of Snow White to realise the truth and to 'beleive'!! Xx


message 8: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (Lauren0924) | 68 comments me too!!


message 9: by Zohal, Co-Moderator (new)

Zohal | 1418 comments Mod
I only like endings which leave you hanging if there is another book to resolve it.
otherwise I love a good happy not too sappy ending.
Hopefully the ending in the Clockwork princess will be happy but not too sappy


message 10: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) There are enough bad endings in the world. Just pick up any newspaper and start reading. I don't need to read this in a book, even when the writing it very good.


message 11: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (Lauren0924) | 68 comments I agree with Stan


message 12: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda | 1903 comments Dear Stan,
That is very true as all one hears on the news is some trajedy or in a newspaper, it seems to always be horrific or upsetting. The more that i seem to see of the world the more i don't understand it and hence it is nice to have that escape from reality within a good book.
Lucinda Xx


message 13: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) Lucinda and Lauren, there are certain authors in SciFi that I avoid like the plague even though they are good authors. Card and Donaldson come to mind. Some romances back in the 70's and 80's amazed me with their descriptions of violence toward the heroine and worse it was often perpetrated by the so-called hero. What was the point? There are authors that can write happy endings or at least satisfying endings even in mystery novels with gruesome murders. MC Beaton, JD Robb (Nora Roberts) and Lindsey Davis come to mind. I would rather read those.


message 14: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda | 1903 comments Dear Stan,
Thank you for the advice as i enjoy reading Fantasy fiction and sci-fi. I have herd many people talk about those particular authors but i have never read any works by them, but i shall definately keep an eye out for those mystery authors as that is another genre that is most enjoyable to read!
Lucinda Xx


message 15: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (Lauren0924) | 68 comments Thanks for listing those, Stan. My boss (who also loves to read) was just telling me that she likes JD Robb because of the happy endings. :) And once again, I agree with Lucinda - I like to escape in books.


message 16: by Olivia (new)

Olivia (DrBrennan17) | 1948 comments Lucinda wrote: "Dear Claire and Booknut,
I would have to say both as it can be nice to have a change at times and be suprised, as if one only just read books that ended like Cinderella then after a while things wo..."


I looooove that show!!!!!!!! And I need variety. Yes, I like happy endings but sometimes I want to be surprised, sometimes I want to cry, or get mad, just so it's not the same as everything else. (Books are definitely my escape.)


message 17: by Anne (new)

Anne (Cinderella16) | 173 comments I am a sucker for a happy ending. (That's why I love fairy tales. *sight* The good guy always triumphs in the end. But don't you love it when it's not predictable? When you're not sure how everything is going to turn out?


message 18: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (theycallmebookworm) | 21 comments Anne wrote: "I am a sucker for a happy ending. (That's why I love fairy tales. *sight* The good guy always triumphs in the end. But don't you love it when it's not predictable? When you're not sure how everythi..."

Yes- I really love the unpredictability of good endings. I like bitter-sweet endings where everything turns out right but at a cost or just a few things when wrong etc. Then you get to feel happy and sad. Just as long as it is not totally see it coming.


message 19: by Anne (new)

Anne (Cinderella16) | 173 comments Yep, a really good book is one that (even if you know there will be a happy ending) keeps you so interested that you HAVE to find out how it all happens. My favorite author is like that. All of her books have happy endings, but she keeps you so enthralled that you are unsure of how it's all going to turn out. She always keeps you guessing.


message 20: by Anna (new)

Anna Wood-gaines (AnnaBanana13) | 1674 comments I LOVEEEE Once Upon A Time!!! I cannot wait for the second season! :D

And I am such a sucker for Happy Endings! I just love them!!! But I also like unpredictability! I don't want to know the ending of the book at the beginning/middle! I want to be surprised! But then again I love the sweet sappy endings...well I guess I like a mix!


message 21: by Olivia (new)

Olivia (DrBrennan17) | 1948 comments Anna wrote: "I LOVEEEE Once Upon A Time!!! I cannot wait for the second season! :D

And I am such a sucker for Happy Endings! I just love them!!! But I also like unpredictability! I don't want to know the endin..."


I agree! It's such a fantastic show!


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

I love happy endings. You know, the hero and the heroine ride off into the sunset on a magnificent white horse and the world is perfect.
But at the same time, I love those endings that jolt you right down to the spine and make you completely LOSE IT because the author killed off one of your favorite characters. (*cough*Fred...*cough cough*)
However, if the jolt endings are badly written, it's disappointing. (MOCKINGJAY)

A mixture of both is perfect.


message 23: by Olivia (new)

Olivia (DrBrennan17) | 1948 comments βιβλιοφάγος (a.k.a. Cat) wrote: "I love happy endings. You know, the hero and the heroine ride off into the sunset on a magnificent white horse and the world is perfect.
But at the same time, I love those endings that jolt you rig..."


I agree. It depends on the book and the way it's written.


message 24: by Anna (new)

Anna Wood-gaines (AnnaBanana13) | 1674 comments βιβλιοφάγος (a.k.a. Cat) wrote: "I love happy endings. You know, the hero and the heroine ride off into the sunset on a magnificent white horse and the world is perfect.
But at the same time, I love those endings that jolt you rig..."


Totally agree!! I adore the sweet stereotypical ending, but sometimes it's amazing to just be totally shocked!! But it definitely depends on the book (Mockingjay!)


message 25: by Olivia (new)

Olivia (DrBrennan17) | 1948 comments Anna wrote: "βιβλιοφάγος (a.k.a. Cat) wrote: "I love happy endings. You know, the hero and the heroine ride off into the sunset on a magnificent white horse and the world is perfect.
But at the same time, I lov..."


For sure!


Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) | 97 comments i like writing downer endings sometimes, but i hate reading them. /hypocrite writer

but generally, i feel that an ending should suit a story. i hate it when a story NEEDS a sad ending in order to be realistic, or complete, or meaningful, and the author chickens out and writes a totally out-of-the-blue deus-ex-machina type ending just so everything can be all hunky-dory.


message 27: by Anna (new)

Anna Wood-gaines (AnnaBanana13) | 1674 comments Nenia wrote: "i like writing downer endings sometimes, but i hate reading them. /hypocrite writer

but generally, i feel that an ending should suit a story. i hate it when a story NEEDS a sad ending in order to ..."


Agreed! I love a happy ending, I mean who doesn't?! But sometimes it just doesn't fit the story unfortunately :(


message 28: by Anne (new)

Anne (Cinderella16) | 173 comments I've been in that situation, but I've also been in the reverse; where a story needs a good ending, but doesn't get one. (Those make me super mad.)


message 29: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments I think if I ever became a writer, at least in one of my books, I'd have to kill off a beloved character. Nothing is ever completely happily ever after. It's an incorrect concept, except in fairy tales.


message 30: by Anna (new)

Anna Wood-gaines (AnnaBanana13) | 1674 comments Anne wrote: "I've been in that situation, but I've also been in the reverse; where a story needs a good ending, but doesn't get one. (Those make me super mad.)"

*groans* I hate that!!


message 31: by Anne (new)

Anne (Cinderella16) | 173 comments @Anna: I know!

@WordlesslyAmazed03: I agree, it would be completely fake to have nothing bad ever happen, but I have to have a happy ending. (I'm a sucker for fairy tales, btw.)


Ʈʜэ MɐÐɲΣ§Ꭶ ᏊརƭᏲƗϞ (DeAtH_oF_tHe_ReBeLz) | 33 comments In my opinion, either ending will suffice if placed correctly. I tend to not force myself to prefer one or the other. I have pondered it on many endings that I did not deem worthy of a book. Even so, I have read many books that placed an ending so precisely, it seemed without flaws. Either way, if not placed correctly and with the proper resolution for the character of the book than it is an unworthy ending. So, I suppose I could be swayed either way in this conversation.


message 33: by talltyrion (new)

talltyrion | 708 comments I think that books should end the way Clockwork Princess did, as my review of it states. When they leave things unfinished, it's hard on us readers, even if we don't always realize it. I have read books that leave a series gaping open (Requiem, looking at you), but some of those have been satisfactory, even if they don't end the way it should have.


message 34: by Lady Poppy (new)

Lady Poppy | 367 comments It depends on the story/type of book for the ending.

Cliffhangers - These belong only in the middle of a series to keep you on the edge of your seat for the next book. If this ends a single book or entire series, that's just horrible. You'll never know what will happen.

Cinderella-esque - These endings are always acceptable, especially to end a series that has grown close to your heart. It can be used for novels, but not everything is completely perfect all the time. You gotta find a balance.

Sad endings - I personally like sad endings on novels, particularly captivating and well-written ones. Once you've grown close to the characters, it becomes a hard task to see one die, like losing a family member or close friend. A sad ending to a series is a giant let down because you walk away with a crushed heart from a group of books that you've grown fond of.


message 35: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 04, 2013 02:14PM) (new)

In real life, there's no such thing as a completely happy ending or a completely horrible one. There's always something to redeem it or bring it down. Obviously, most fiction books are meant to take you away from the horror of reality and shove you into a world you never would've known otherwise. Things can end however the author wants them to. But it needs to go with the story. Endings are the end. The bottom line. Last stop on the literary train. Give me a satisfied feeling. The whole book (or series of books) should lead up to this ending. What were you building up to? If I felt that you were building up to a happy ending, why is everybody dead? Unless there was an underlying feel that the book would end that way, it not only shocks me, I feel like I missed something - like a giant piece of the puzzle is hidden under the couch. If it seemed like a gloomy and horrible book, unless it had an underlying feel that things would get better, when everything turns to puppies and rainbows I'm gonna get reeeal confused.

Follow the books!


message 36: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
I like endings that feel complete.

Gloom and doom is great. So's happy. But the ending, for me, has to balance out the rest of the story.

Don't give us a tragic ending, when you've written three other books in the series, and have made us root for these two characters to get together/defeat the evil person. Don't kill off random people when it has no merit to the plot.

Also, don't add in random proposals and pregnancies and weddings! Happy is great. Cheesy? Not so much. Have a happily ever after that is balanced with the style of the rest of the story. If your story is a fantasy one, get creative. Feel free to take the fairytale route. If your story is contemporary fiction, feel free to have a raw, uncertain but positive ending, that reflects the realism of the genre.

To me, all elements of the book should work in harmony. The ending is the last piece of the puzzle. But all because it's the last, doesn't mean it doesn't have to fit in with the rest. It still does.


message 37: by Anna (new)

Anna Wood-gaines (AnnaBanana13) | 1674 comments Booknut wrote: "I like endings that feel complete.

Gloom and doom is great. So's happy. But the ending, for me, has to balance out the rest of the story.

Don't give us a tragic ending, when you've written three..."


Agreed!! Beautifully said booknut!


message 38: by Booknut, Head Moderator (new)

Booknut (booknut101) | 4592 comments Mod
Thanks, Anna! <3


Theodosia of the Fathomless Hall (TaelianaoftheWind) | 21 comments For me the perfect ones are happy endings tempered with tragedy or surprise: I say the perfect ones, not my preferred ones. A happy ending "And then they lived happily ever after" is darling, happy, heartwarming. Beseechingly, don't make it too happy though. If you have a book with a catalyst at its heart, or at least a mildly climatically-based work the ending can't be just "happy, perfect, the end" it's finished. It must have drama.

Of course, drama is the heart of all fiction!

Preferably the book should have a...a... correct ending--one which does justice to the work which it completes. Some sad endings (The Book Thief/The Hunger Games, er, subjectively for instance) are unnecessarily tragic, but maybe correct. Other sad endings (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) -- better termed bittersweet -- are some of the best in my estimation, they almost always due justice to the work.

Essentially it varies on the tone, subject, and genre... placement in the series too! Plus foremost what the author likes!


message 40: by Jazzy (new)

Jazzy (stairstepjitters) | 62 comments Align with the tone and composition of the series and go from there. If it's been a sad series that has gradually gotten happier, a happier ending with bittersweet memories of the past is accurate and satisfying. If the series has just been fluff and giggles the whole way through, don't kill off three characters at the end as a "twist" when in reality you're just not going through with the job. Endings are every bit as important as the rest of the books so don't get lazy just because you're in the home stretch.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Generally I enjoy happy endings. I am a sucker for happily ever afters, but in some cases, the story just can't end that way. An example of where a happily ever after couldn't exist is George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. Those books have no room for a happy ending! If the action is that intense, and the characters that gritty and realistic, there is no such thing as a happy ever after. The same goes for "The Hunger Games" books. In a world that dystopian and characters that truly flawed, no TRULY happy ending could exist.


message 42: by Moa (new)

Moa (The Reading Faery) (moa-reading-faery) | 3 comments I think it's important with different types of endings. I love Happy Ever After endings, but just because an ending isn't happy doesn't mean it's not a good, or even great, ending, as long as there is a clear point to it. An obvious example is - SPOILER ALERT - Allegiant. The ending broke my heart, but it made sense. We all understood it, even if we cried like crazy. I think it would get boring eventually if there were no sad endings, and pretty predictable, which would make the reading experience boring.


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