I’ll be honest. Not a fan. I was relieved when I finally read Hunger Games (due to impending movie release and no other reason) that all the books were out when I read it. It was recommended to me years ago, but I rejected it because the concept grossed me out. All this said, let’s say I did read them as they came out. I would have been one pissed off cookie (or whatever I am.) Especially the ending to Catching Fire. Like, that’s so messed up to end a book that way! But I didn’t care because I had book 3 ready to go.
So, to me a cliffhanger ending is when the main plot line isn’t resolved by the end of the story. I’m totally okay with everything not being tied in a neat bow, leaving subplots open, and leaving room for a sequel. I’m not okay with the book ending and the bad guy is still running around. Imagine ending The Little Mermaid right after Ursula shows up at the castle as Vanessa! OMG! NOOO!
Back in the day, my endings would go something like this: BIG fight scene, villain falls, MC looks down at dusty corpse and shrugs, and then goes inside for some iced lemonade — the end. In fact, when my friends would ask to read my stories, I had to warn them that the endings were crap. Yeah, I knew it. And they all agreed. Lol! But it was SUCH a freaking struggle for me. How to wrap things up. I didn’t want to go on too long because that drove me crazy, but there’s a happy medium, you know, between long, drawn out endings and books that just…end.
And then there are the books that don’t end at all.
And OMG, I just now realized that I ended my last vampire story (almost 3 years ago!) on a cliff hanger. Lol! That’s funny. ^_^ In my defense, the objective of the story was to get the special magical object thing and they did that so…totally different, right? No? (I’m slow.)
Anywho, this is why I love Harry Potter so much. True there are loose threads dangling from book to book, but at the end of the book, the main plot point is wrapped up and there’s a satisfying wrap up chapter after the dust from all the action has settled. I wasn’t left like, freaking out, you know. I felt like I could wait for Book 7…kind of. And it helped that in the meantime I could reread some of the other books to keep me from forgetting stuff.
I wish I could write endings like that. I wish everyone was so thoughtful.
The thing about cliff hanger endings though (and cliff hanger chapters)…I feel like I’m being manipulated. So I immediately rebel and hate it instead. I’ll show THEM to manipulate a manipulator. ^_^
Really though, if I’m reading a book that does that. I immediately have to put it down because I’m mad and that might affect how I perceive the next installment. Hint: it’ll be negative.
I understand if people have a sweeping series planned (not my forte, I’ll admit), certain plot lines are going to be left hanging. They are. But at least, for the love of God, make it satisfying! The ending to Hunger Games Book 1 pissed me off. In a strange turn of events, I thought the ending to Catching Fire was AMAZING! I literally said, out loud to my cat, “That was Awesome.” I might would have felt different if I didn’t have Mockingjay waiting for me on my Kindle app though. I might have cussed a book out.