Monday, May 9, 2011

Freaking Cliff Hangers

Guess what?!

I love to read.

Furthermore, I love reading series ... I feel like I'm catching up with old friends. I enjoy finding out what type of adventures my familiar characters are going to get into this time.

HOWEVER, I hate when a book ends on a cliff hanger! HATE IT.

Not just because I'm impatient and I want to find out what's going to happen - - but more importantly because I feel like it is a marketing ploy to get you to buy and read the next book in the series.

I truly believe that if the writing and plot are great, the reader is going to feel compelled to read the next book in the series simply because they love the writing. My favorite series are the ones that each book feels like a stand-alone book. The plot is complete. At the end of the book, I can set it down and favorably reflect on the writing.

Books that end with a freaking cliff hanger tick me off to the point where I want to chuck it across the room! Some series, I've stopped reading because this happens with every book. Now, granted, I will probably go back and read the series again later - - but not until a ton of books are already out or the series is complete.

That's what I did with Hunger Games. I had heard from so many people that there were cliff hangers at the ends of books one and two ... I figured I would just wait until it was all available.  And granted, we were told that was a trilogy. So, I was totally fine waiting until the third book came out. But endless series that have a cliff hanger at the end of every book - - - it drives me crazy!

What do you think? Am I over reacting?

How do you feel about cliff hangers at the END of a book?


  1. i think it's a cheap trick but one that often works. If a writer is good enough they don't need to do it, but not everyone is that good. Mind you most books aren't written as serials so it doesn't make much difference.

    Chapter One Analysis: Hunger Games

  2. If all the books in the series are readily available then cliffhngers aren't such a bad thing. However, there are so many good books out there that I don't see myself waiting with bated breath for the next one in the series to come out.

  3. You might be over-reacting a little. I think it's human nature to have a few thrills here and there and the idea of craving for more, but I can picture you throwing the book across the room though! I throw all sorts of objects whilst watching football!

    Duncan In Kuantan

  4. HAHA. Okay - Duncan, truth: I've never actually thrown a book.

    Maybe in my over-reacting, I exaggerated a tiny bit.

    But, I still don't like cliff hangers! BLECH.

  5. Cliff hangers drive me crazy! If I've invested that much time into a book, I want it to wrap up the endings.

  6. Ugh, cliff hangers. I like them in TV shows, but in books, not so much. I did the same with Hunger Games; I waited until all three were out to read them.

    The worst kinda-cliffhanger ever was Goblet of Fire-- it's a standalone book, of course, but the ending made me scream, "That's IT??" And then we had to wait something like 2 1/2 decades for the next one?? (Okay, maybe it was 2 1/2 years-- time goes by so slowly when I'm waiting on a new book.)

    Also (this is getting to be a long comment, sorry), I was wondering about the City of ... series. One review I read said it was a trilogy that has been extended? Is that really the case? I have them on my to-read list based on some good reviews, but that particular one was kinda confusing.

  7. SU - Yes, there are actually five books now in the City of... series (if you count Clockwork Angel, which is a prequel).

    I will post my review of City of Fallen Angels tomorrow on the blog. Or you can read it now on (click link on side bar of this blog)

  8. It only ever annoyed me twice. Once, I couldn't find the sequel, and now, I don't remember the series. I do remember how it ended though, the guy was looking out the window and he saw... yeah. (what kind of freaking end is that?)

    Another was the Fever series, only because it was book four. By this time I was a huge fan, there was no need for the cliffhanger. I was buying the last book. Promise. Now, not so sure. I was pretty ticked at how it ended. The others didn't end that way. Now that the book is out, it's not a big deal, but... I still haven't read it. Which tells ya something about how annoyed I was. Hopefully I'll get over it because those were some good books, and I need closure...

  9. I prefer some sort of closure. I'm okay with knowing there is more to come, but so not okay with just darkness at the end, however, maybe I am a masochist at heart. I do read more series than not. Yep, self suffering fool over here.

  10. I didn't start reading Catching Fire until a week before Mockingjay came out, because I heard of the wicked cliffhanger at the end.

    As far as cliffhangers in series go, I think the first book should definitely have its own legs to stand on (half of the reason I'm so frustrated with my 'book one' right now). For the later installments though, I've come to accept the fact that if I'm still reading the series I've bought in both fiscally and emotionally.

  11. I prefer my books to be complete stories on their own. If there are some hints as to what might come in the next book, that's fine, but blatant cliffhangers tend to bug me. Especially if there's no closure at all, and just the lead-in to the next in the series...

  12. When I am loving the book, then yes, it can be extremely irritating. I simply move on to something else so I don't do something drastic.

  13. Since I somehow manage to find a series by reading the third or so book first I like them to stand alone.
    I find when I go back I end up not liking them so much.

  14. I do love cliffhangers, but like you said, only when I have the next book there ready to read. LOL.

    I'm reading the first Cassandra Clare book right now. I need to buy the other(s) in preparation!

  15. Lol. Margo, I wrote a post on the no cliffhanger rule a couple of weeks ago, and it was just after I'd finished reading City of Fallen Angels. I'm glad I'm not the only one!