Friday, May 16, 2014

Discussion: On Endings

Last year was met with a few disappointing endings to well-loved trilogies--specifically the Delirium and the Divergent trilogies. Both were met with disappointed responses from fans, and it got me thinking about what makes a ending "satisfying"? And is it right to hate a series you once loved, simply because the final book was disappointing?

To the second question, I think your opinion of the series can most certainly be shaped by the ending. Books, individually, can be ruined within the last 20 or so pages. I don't think that I will ever reread Divergent with the same mind-set, knowing what happens in Allegiant. In fact, I don't know if I will ever reread the trilogy. 

As a solitary book, I think Allegiant is weak and nowhere near as good as Divergent. As a series, though, I respect Roth's decision. In fact, I find the ending fitting. My issue with Allegiant is that the writing felt sloppy, I did not enjoy reading from Four's perspective, and the explanations given were weak and underdeveloped. The spoiler that has readers so upset? It doesn't upset me as much as I would imagine.

Requiem is another conclusion that was met with disappointment. Many people griped that it wasn't "enough". That there was more story to tell. I agree, but I can also see why Lauren Oliver chose to leave it open. 

Neither book, I noticed, has a "happily ever after" ending. I also noticed that both books were dystopians. The world of dystopian tales are bleak, and far from perfect. I would not want to live in the world of any dystopian book, and we aren't meant to. We're meant to fear those worlds, and to look at the world around us. I think this is why most dystopians (including The Hunger Games) have bittersweet endings. And I'm okay with that. In fact, I think that a happy ending would be a disservice to the genre. I also think it's why I was disappointed with Ignite Me (and most recently, The One).

It's also why I think so many other people loved it. 

We all want our main character to survive and be happy. We want everything loose end to be tied. We want to feel satisfied. Do you think, though, that dystopians should have happy endings? Do you prefer happily ever after endings, or bittersweet ones? We're all entitled to opinions, and I wanted to see if anyone else out there felt the same way. I feel like, regardless of how things turn out for characters in a series, there needs to be that ray of hope. People gripe about Mockingjay, and while its the weakest of the trilogy, I still love it and I am satisfied with how things ended. Bittersweet with a ray of hope.

People will disagree, I'm sure. I just wanted to voice my appreciation for books that don't always have satisfying endings, and the brave authors that listen to the voice of their characters instead of their readers. 

1 comment:

  1. My biggest thing about endings is I want to see a complete character/story arc, and want there to be some sense of hope. It doesn't have to be happy, but I don't want it to be hopelessly miserable either. I just need to know things might be a little better for someone somewhere because of everything that has happened.