In the past week I’ve read three books with wholly unsatisfying ending. Each one left me hugely irritated and by the third–I’m just plain pissed off.
These three books were romances. Now one of the reasons I was reading them was for the happily ever after. I wanted something I knew would end in a light way. Two of them did. (I’ll get to the third in a minute). Of those two, the endings were really wrongly written. At least for me. Incredibly unsatisfying. One might say, aggravating. Why? Let me explain.
One of the books was a historical novel. It had an intriguing set up, interesting characters, and an interesting plot. But the ending? Here we come to the crescendo of the conflict and . . . . the point of view changes. All of a sudden the narrative is told from the perspective of another character altogether. We get nothing of the emotional crescendo of the resolution for the main characters. Of their angst and struggles and that moment when things turn out all right. It’s SUCH a letdown. Such. It reminded me of the Booth and Brennan romance in Bones where their moment of getting together happens off screen. We’d been waiting years for that moment of realization where they give in to their feelings, and nope, didn’t get it. I gave up watching the show at that point.
The second book’s crap ending was too fast. The hero says nasty things to the heroine in a fight, and then when he comes to apologize, he barely apologizes (and not very well–kinda of the ‘I’m sorry but you deserved it’ sort of apology). I was so irritated. At that point, the heroine felt like a doormat. Not that I wanted him to grovel endlessly, but a more seriously apology and a little groveling would have made me understand her forgiveness better. Or at all. Especially given that she essentially gives up her whole life for him and I’m not even sure he’s all that good a guy at that point.
Between those two endings, I was feeling like I had sand in my shorts. I’d invested time and emotional energy into the stories and it so felt like it wasn’t even worth it. Gah. But that wasn’t nearly as bad as the third book.
This one was really really good. Lovely characters, amazing setup, incredible building of the plot . . . It was all going so well. I so trusted the author to end it well. I was fairly wriggling in my chair to find out how she’d pull it together. And then—
What did she do? She cliffhangered the ending into a part two book.
Yes, an unexpected part 2 and the second book is not available. I had no idea. None. I was so pissed I don’t know if I’ll even pick up the second book. I feel like I’m paying double for a single story. I feel that I’ve been scammed in some fashion. Now, had I known it was a duology in the beginning, I might still have read it. But part of the issue is that there’s no resolution whatsoever to the book. The romance is the main plot. The other plots are tied to it. So it’s really like watching a movie halfway through and just stopping abruptly and saying, wait ‘til the next one. It even ended mid-scene.
I don’t really have a point to this. I just want to bitch. I am so tempted to read the endings of books first just to be sure that they will pan out. One of the authors who pulled this ending was one that is usually tried and true for me. I just want to bang my head.
So what about you? What makes for an unsatisfying ending for you?