All the Endings: Books Finales that *WOWED* Me

orangutan list

So I mentioned yesterday that I’m being a bit introspective at the moment and thinking about endings. A lot of books are about the journey- but let’s face it, the ending can often make or break a book. Since I’m upto that stage in my WIP, I started to fret about the kind of endings that leave me dissatisfied, but while I was writing the piece I realised there are a lot more endings that blew me away than let me down. And since this seems to be such a great procrastination tool, I decided I should do a counter-post and share some endings I’m utterly enamoured by:


Poison– no spoilers, but loved the inventiveness of the book and unexpected ending blew me away.

emperor of thorns

Emperor of Thorns– completely bold, completely perfect- this ending was everything you could want from a series finale.

golden son

Golden Son– I love a good cliffhanger- it’s a special kind of torture to have to wait between books when everything’s on the line- I’m weird I guess 😉


Heir of Fire– what was I saying about cliffhangers? 😉 It was an emotional end to an emotional book. This happens to be my favourite of all Maas’ books- and that’s cos the drama didn’t let up for even a second. And while the conclusion resolved a lot that went down in the book, it set up plenty for the next instalment.

broken things

Broken Things– kind of spoilery, but this is kind of my answer to the issue with TFIOS ending. I love when books are a little meta- especially when that means they mirror an aspect of a book within the book.

harry potter and the chamber of secrets

Chamber of Secrets– this is my favourite HP ending. It has the best mystery and reveal in the series in my opinion. And I simply adore how it was executed.

daniel deronda

Daniel Deronda– I love how realistic this felt at the same time as meting out justice for the characters. While the flawed heroine didn’t get exactly what she wanted, it made sense to me. And the perfect hero got exactly what he deserved. It felt so right.


Persuasion– I’m a sucker for a happy ending and no one does that quite like Austen. This for me is the most perfect of all her creations in that regard, because it feels the most earned.

memoirs of a geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha– in a similar vein this appealed to the romantic in me. I love how this book is devoted to the idea that love can work out in the end.


Tess of the D’Urbervilles– I also really appreciate books on the other end of the spectrum and frankly this is that. It’s perfectly tragic.

we were liars

We Were Liars– this heartbreaking finale made me absolutely break down- and I can’t say anymore because of *spoilers*- it’s best to go into this book blind and see for yourself.

count of monte cristo

Count of Monte Cristo– not only does this deliver exactly what you want, it also deals with a complex moral in a clever way.

shades children

Shade’s Children– this is the kind of ending that I used to just pick up and read on its own over and over. Because it’s just perfection. The twist towards the end was great, but really the best moment in the whole book is that flash forward.

anansi boys

Anansi Boys– I always love the way Gaiman shifts the story around a twist- and this is no exception. In fact, this was the book that made me fall head over heels for Gaiman’s work. And that ending- I wasn’t expecting that at all- *mindblown*.

noughts and crosses

Noughts and Crosses– it kind of had to end this way- but OH MY HEART! I will never be over it.

strange the dreamer

Strange the Dreamer– of course, Laini Taylor had to make it onto the list- because this is how to do an ending. I love how it felt both foreshadowed and sudden!

And that’s all for now! Do you agree or disagree with any of the books on this list? And what’s your favourite endings? Let me know in the comments!

(Re)entering the Chamber of Secrets

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*Somewhat spoilery*

harry potter and the chamber of secretsLet’s get straight back into the world of Potter with the Chamber of Secrets. I love the start to this one- specifically because it is so horrible. Okay, that sounds wrong, but the dreadful Dursleys and Dobby’s cruel-to-be-kind schtick always make me feel so sorry for Harry. And while there is a recap, which I’ve never been crazy on, this was such a strong start.

In fact, book 2 takes everything that was awesome about book 1 and builds on it. The details are *amazing*- especially since we get to go to the Burrows and see what a wizarding household is like. I adore the immediate contrast between the rigid order of the Dursleys with the healthy bit of chaos at the Weasleys. Most notably, I love that moment when degnoming the garden is described as “boring work”- which expresses a gulf between what’s normal for wizards and what’s normal for muggles. Plus we get so much more in the way of world building thanks to this visit to the burrows, such as the use of Floo Powder, which ends up contributing to the Harry’s-suspicious-of-Malfoy subplot (I love how he’s both right and wrong on that score).

Everything about this plot is watertight and well thought out. With the introduction of Lockhart, there’s an expansion on the theme of celebrity, which really sets things up nicely for later books. Even more importantly, Chamber of Secrets adds to the topic of discrimination in a chilling way. I know that a lot of people view the later books as much darker, yet for me personally, this one is twisted in a way that makes me somewhat queasy. And normally that would make me dislike a book, but here it only enhances how I feel about it. There’s just something phenomenally on point about a narrative that focuses on the beast in the belly of the school rising up to create chaos (again, thanks Dr Peterson for that). It can be exceptionally fun to do a psychoanalytical reading of the basilisk and the clever messaging of “see no evil” (or at least don’t look directly at it), which it carries.

And as you might have guessed from my last review, I enjoyed psychoanalysing the characters too. A lot of the characters are expanded so well here. One thing that leapt out at me this time was how resentful Filch was because he’s a squib. I did make a note that Ron laughed at him for that- which definitely gives an insight into wizarding attitudes. On the flip side, he does stand up for muggleborns for the whole “mudblood” thing, even though he doesn’t get anything out of it (in fact he gets to eat slugs for his trouble), showing a more noble side. Still, I couldn’t help but love Hermione more for her principled stance in this one, coming up with sophisticated and brilliant plans to take on the heir of Slytherin.

Harry Potter, on the other hand… man, he can be a bit of an idiot. I know it was Ron’s idea to fly in the car, but on one level he certainly likes the idea of getting attention and is a very show-off move. Even if it does look great on the cover of the book, there were far better solutions other than, you know, casually breaking the law for no good reason. This may sound like an odd thing to say if you haven’t read/don’t remember the book, but it’s almost like he’s not smart enough to be the villain. The reason I mention it is because one of the best parts of this one is where Harry spends a huge amount of time worrying if he’s the heir of Slytherin. What I love about that is not just the friction it creates in the story where everyone (including Harry) is wondering whether he’s evil, but how it resolves with him proving his Gryffindor credentials once and for all. Even better, it undermines Voldy’s view of the importance of lineage (in fact, people who’ve read the rest of the series know exactly how it came about), because he has the capabilities to be the heir of Slytherin. And yet he chooses not to- in the wise words of Dumbledore: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”. As far as I’m concerned, this is exactly right and is the perfect messageif only it had stuck with that *sigh*.

But rather than getting bogged down with what is to come, I have to say that this is quite possibly my favourite of all the books (though it’s pretty hard to choose). Yes, it may be spine-tinglingly scary at times, but there’s something to be said for a story that has me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Frankly, as grim as it gets, it reminds me why nothing makes me happier than books.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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So what do you think of Chamber of Secrets? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one!