All the Endings: Books Finales that Disappointed Me

orangutan list

So I don’t know how much I mentioned it this month, but I’ve been doing a casual version of Nano and am currently at that stage of wrapping things up in my WIP. Which means I’ve naturally been fretting about it *a lot*. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I love endings and obviously I want this to be the culmination of everything I’ve been working on (although obviously first drafts suck and can’t be perfect… more on that another time…). My biggest fear is that I’ll have built up all this whole story and it won’t pay off- or worse, that the idea I had in my head was too crazy to begin with… Because we all know that feeling when you’re invested in something completely and then- BAM!- the ending just ruins it all. You know, the HIMYM standard of finales. Well, I decided to torture myself and think about all the ways an ending can go wrong:

captain corelli

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin– this, in my opinion, is an example of making a bad book worse. Even if you liked this book, the ending will make you want to scream loud enough to shake the Greek islands. It was so frustratingly unsatisfying.

thirteen reasons why

13 Reasons Why– again, it’s no secret I’m not a fan. That ending though- I genuinely felt like the book was building to a crescendo and it ended up turning down the volume. I also think blaming the counsellor was one of the worst “reasons” on the list and it did a genuine disservice to the profession (and people seeking help who fear they won’t be listened to).

Breaking_Dawn_cover

Breaking Dawn– this book in general is *gagworthy*. There’s a werewolf falling in love with a baby, the most perfect of all the special snowflakes Bella turning into an even more perfect snowy skinned vamp and a lot of sitting round waiting for the scary, scary villains to turn up. But even with all that buildup, spoiler alert- though who even cares at this point- the big fight doesn’t happen. It’s the kind of ending that will make you want to smash it up and burn all the little pieces (incidentally that’s how you kill a sparkly vampire- you’re welcome for the tip 😉 )

ashes to ashes

Ashes to Ashes– this isn’t the worst book in the world- but GAH! What a flaming mess that ending was! Such a letdown! I very rarely think an ending ruins a whole book- much less a series- but this did just that for me. I don’t want to get into spoilers, so you can read more on why that was here.

stags

STAGS– while the ending didn’t totally ruin my enjoyment, it was completely ridiculous. Some of this comes down to execution, but also the twist was a shade bonkers regardless.

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Caraval– I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book- but one of my biggest issues was that the last twist was a twist too far. At one point every page turn was another acrobatic turn and that last one just landed badly for me.

The_Fault_in_Our_Stars

The Fault in Our Stars– now this is far from the worst ending on the list, however, I make it no secret that I always found the twist too obvious from the first chapter and consequently didn’t find it impactful. Also, I know this would have been a bit on the gimmicky side, but I *loved* the enigmatic ending in the book Hazel loves and thought that was gonna be how the book ended the whole way through. This comes down to personal taste, but I was disappointed that never happened. If Green had gone there, I’d have been sold.

safe haven

Safe Haven– I actually liked this book- yet there was one major flaw with it that I couldn’t get behind and that was the so-called twist. Even though it was foreshadowed, it didn’t blend well with the kind of book it was and was frankly just a bit silly.

the wasp factory

The Wasp Factory– I liked this book overall- rating it 4*- nonetheless, I couldn’t get behind that ending. It didn’t work for me. It felt like a betrayal of a lot of the themes it was working towards. Again, I don’t want to spoil it, and wouldn’t have room to discuss it at length anyway, so you check out my review if you’re interested as to why I didn’t like it.

great expectations

Great Expectations– this one might seem a bit bizarre, because I don’t totally hate the ending and this is possibly my favourite Dickens… BUT the ending as we know it is not what Dickens intended and having read the original ending I have to say, I thought it fit better with the themes of the book. Still wonderful though.

So do you agree or disagree with the choices on this list? And which endings really didn’t work for you? Let me know in the comments!

Superlatives Tag

Hello all! Phew, it feels like I’ve not been on in ages, because I’m falling so far behind with comments and bloghopping- all I can do is apologise profusely for that. I’m juggling quite a lot at the moment and at the same time I feel at this point peppering every post with excuses will drive everyone (including me) mad. So just consider me the *most sorry* monkey on the planet. And that’s a nice segue into…

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how happy I am to do the Superlatives Tag! Thank you so much Kelly @Another Book in the Wall for tagging me! Now, I’m not exaggerating at all when I say Kelly is absolutely lovely and makes such an interesting wide range of topics- I’m constantly blown away by how awesome her blog is!

#1 Most Likely To Be in the Movies: the Book That Would Make the Best Movie

Red Rising Pierce Browns

Red Rising! Can you imagine how good this would be? Roman culture *in space*- I’m imagining this in my head right now and it’s amazing.

#2 Biggest Drama Queen/King: The Most (Overly) Dramatic Book or Character

thirteen reasons why

Thirteen Reasons Why– *Very* unpopular opinion, let’s not start a row in the comments section about all the various controversial aspects of this book (I’ve made my opinion on it clear years ago and I stand by pretty much all of it) but I’ve been watching thirteen reasons why and it’s reminded me how much I hated the mc. She’s not actually nice to *anyone*- ever. Not to her parents, not to her friends, not to potential bfs. And she takes rather drastic means of revenge, which ends up hurting people who didn’t deserve it and psychologically damaging them (I mean, didn’t Jessica suffered enough?! Why torment Clay when he wasn’t a reason?) Of course, people are free to reach entirely different conclusions, I just really didn’t like her.

#3 Best Dressed: The Book With the Best Cover

hazel wood

Hazel Wood- ahhh- I read it recently (review coming soonish) and I LOVED every second! I can happily say this is gorgeous both inside and out.

#4 Most Creative: The Book With the Most Unique Plot, Characters, & Structure

eleanor oliphant is completely fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine- tempted to use We Were Liars like Kelly, but I talk about that a lot anyway. This is so different to anything I’d ever read- in every area! I was thinking I was in for a fluffy contemporary, but I was wrong, in a good way! And there was no way I was expecting that ending. This book certainly kept me on my toes!

#5 Most Popular: The Book With the Most Ratings on Goodreads

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_Cover

Harry Potter- erm pretty sure Harry Potter’s pretty popular and justifiably so 😉

#6 Most likely to succeed: The Book That is Going to be Appreciated For Many Years to Come

homegoing

Homegoing– I actually mentioned this in my mini review– it’s a remarkable book and I’d be surprised if it isn’t a future classic.

#7 Class Clown: The Book That Made You Laugh Out Loud

the light fantastic

The Light Fantastic– really I could have said any of Pratchett’s books, only I read this the most recently (I’m all over the place with Rincewind books) and yeah, as per usual with Discworld books, it made me laugh out loud 😉

#8 Most Improved: The Book That Started Off Slow, But Really Picked Up

magician's guild

The Magician’s Guild­- this started off so s-l-o-w. Grinding through infodumps and non-action, I really wanted to DNF it. But my friend told me to power through because it gets better. And do you know what? To my amazement, it did. In fact, I ended up loving that series. So I guess I’m grateful to my friend for the heads up (I also blame this book for me forcing myself through so many books that *do not* get better).

#9 Cutest Couple: Cutest Couple in a Book

carry on

Carry On– okay, I wanted to be all original, but really, it’s got to be Baz and Simon!

#10 Biggest Heartbreaker: The Book That Broke Your Heart

words in deep blue

Words in Deep Blue– I spent the vast majority of my time reading this in floods of tears. I need to sort out my thoughts and do a review soon, but it’s gonna be hard, cos this book is *emotional*.

And on that note, I tag: Bethan May, Jill Jemmett, Lit Crit Pop, Kat@Life & Other Disasters, Samantha@Modern Witch’s Bookshelf, Sam@Rivermoose Reads, Bookish Owlett, Journey into Books, Angelica, Howlin Books, The Sweaterist and The Readers Bay

So what do you agree or disagree with the *most*? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

13 Reasons Why I Had Problems With This Book

***Disclaimer: suicide is a serious issue- I in no way take the matters this book deals with lightly***

thirteen reasons whyA lot of people loved this book- I mean the book has over 400,000 ratings on goodreads and an average rating of 4.05. So I’m pretty sure I’m going to be in the minority for not liking it. But that’s okay, as Greenday said “I wanna be the minority” :p

Now while I found Thirteen Reasons Why compelling in parts, I just had too many issues with it to enjoy it. So here were the 13 reasons why I had problems with this book:

Invisible

Invisible

  1. This book was not a believable representation of suicide. I did not buy her motivation or even believe she was depressed. People do not kill themselves for “reasons”- depression is a mental illness and much more complicated than that.
  2. Even if you’re going to accept the whole “reasons” thing, her reasons sucked. Most of the people on the list did not deserve to be there. Not least of all Clay. The only one that deserved it was the peeping tom and the rapist- who wasn’t on the list because he wouldn’t have passed it on
  3. In fact, the whole plot hinges on something that does not make sense. I mean, let’s start with the fact that there’s no way a lot of these people would actually bother passing this cassette on. Least of all Clay- who shouldn’t have been on the tapes in the first place. I also don’t get why Tony would enforce this either- I mean what was she to him? There were a million better ways of doing this idea. I liked the premise but it was just not done well.
  4. A lot of the incidents in the book were unclear and did not make sense. For example, I spent huge amounts of time wondering why Jessica thought she had stolen her guy and why she didn’t bother correcting her. And what did Courtney actually do wrong in the first place. I mean, so what if she wasn’t really a friend?
  5. Because of all these inconsistencies, the whole thing came across as petty and juvenile. One of the main reasons for this was because, like I said before, she every single insignificant person- and I know that was the point of the book- but it made her come across as petty and vindictive rather than depressed and suicidal. I felt like she was killing herself out of spite more than anything else- which makes no sense, because suicide is far more personal than that.
  6. This did not sound even remotely like a suicide note. Firstly, the whole tone of Hannah’s voice was angry and not depressed. But more importantly, the whole thing was too well-structured and thought out to resemble a suicide letter. Clearly, the author has never written a transcript- and especially not one of someone in extreme distress. Those things are far messier than this book represented. Now, I’m not saying I wanted this book to be all over the place structurally, but it would have been far better if it had least shown *some* raw emotion.
  7. I’ve mentioned this quite a few times now, but just in case it was not totally apparent: I did not like the heroine. I could write a whole list just on how much I hated Hannah. She came across as self-righteous, childish and self-centred. The author tried really hard to make her seem like this super empathetic person, but in reality she commandeered victimhood of other people’s suffering. Take, for instance, when she claimed that watching other people fist fight made her sick. Or, even worse, when she witnessed a rape and didn’t do anything- but had the audacity to use it as a reason for her own suicide. And I don’t buy that she felt guilty about it- because then she wouldn’t have broadcast it on the tapes and made the real victim listen. I hated that she somehow commandeered other people’s pain and twisted it round so it was all about her. It kind of reminded me of 17th century Sentimentalism: where the well to do would go and watch people suffering in mental asylums so you can have a good cathartic cry over it. It’s beyond a shitty thing to do.
  8. With that in mind, I have another charge to level at this book: it exploited serious issues and turned them into melodrama. In a blatant attempt at being a serious book, the author felt like no incident was out of bounds. But the fact that it was all handled so badly just made it feel tacky and cheap.
  9. It was also trying too hard to be clever. Case and point was the car accident- which was tangential and loosely connected at best to the actual plot. It just made the whole message of the book- that everything is connected- just seem silly.
  10. In fact, the whole book rammed a lot of messages down my throat. I hate books that moralises in a really blatant way because messages like that have a way of backfiring. For instance (and this is where it gets really controversial) she retroactively played the “victim blaming” card to ward off any criticism over the Peeping Tom incident. This just didn’t work for me, because she actively chose to play the guy at his own game and plot her revenge from a rooftop- rather than doing the sensible, sane thing and PHONE THE POLICE!! (Incidentally the whole incident actually brought flashbacks from Pretty Little Liars– when will fictional people learn to close their blinds and phone the damn police!?!)

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  1. And speaking of blaming people- I hated the whole blame game the main character played throughout the entire book. Not only did a lot of people not deserve the blame, but I hate the fact that this book encourages people to feel guilty when someone kills themselves. It talks about victim blaming- well how is it right to blame everyone else? Why would she even want to make everyone feel guilty? I hate when people blame people for committing suicide- but this takes it to the other extreme. I mean she even blames her teachers for not realising that having a haircut was a warning sign! Give me a break. *Newsflash- people have haircuts all the time!* Unless they actively handed her the bottle of pills- it’s not their fault!
  2. By blaming everyone for her suicide, this book took a dangerous path. Instead of bringing to light the dangers of suicide, the irrationality of it, and even the devastating after affects, this book turned suicide into performance art and glamorised it.
  3. And just like this book, I shall end with the most anti-climactic of issues: it fizzled out. I expected this book to build to a crescendo, but in the end… nothing happened.

So after all that, bearing in mind that it was a compelling read and I liked the idea, I’m giving it:

2/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

Agree? Disagree? Have you read this book? What did you think of the way it handled suicide? Let me know in the comments!