Chat Between Chapters: Should Books Have Closure?

March 22, 2015 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 34

chatbetweenchapters2

 Should books have closure, even if they have a sequel or are in a series?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

YES! I absolutely prefer each book in a series to have their own ending, and then a set up for the following book. I hate cliffhangers – really not a fan. Also, can’t stand books that just STOP. That’s not a complete book, that’s a ploy to sell more books.

Rose review avatar Rose:

Yes, Yes, Yes. Books should definitely have closure. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a book ends where there is NO real ending. I like cliff hangers for the most part. I am not talking about that. I also tend to be fond of both tragic and ambiguous endings. I am not talking about that, either. What I truly can’t stand is when a book ends and book two begins and really all that was needed was a new chapter, possibly only a new paragraph.I feel like a lot of indie published e-books tend to do this and basically let’s be honest… it is all about money. This absolutely fricken (rhymes with chicken) annoys me!!!

LynnpicLynn:

Yes. Most assuredly, yes. I need closure with each story. I’m fine with setting up the next book of the series. But finish the story line for the current book first. I don’t necessarily always need a happy ending. And I’m fine with a cliff hanger. But stopping in mid though only to stretch what could be one book into two, or three, for that matter, makes me very frustrated.  And I might not even read the next book in the series.  



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34 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Should Books Have Closure?”

  1. Nish

    Ugh! I hate non-closure and having to wait for ages for the next book in the series to find out a plot ending. It seems though that more authors are opting for cliff-hanger type endings to keep readers vested, I so hate that.

    • Julie

      It does seem like a ploy to keep their readers hooked, not by their writing style or characters, but with a cliffhanger. Kind of a cheat.

  2. Jamie

    If the book is part of a series or has a sequel then no, I can wait until the very end. But the very end must have closure. Standalones need closure for sure. I hate being left with what-ifs. my biggest gripe is authors who start a series, leavign the ending open and then never finish the series or wait so many years fans have given up. That is what I cannot stand. If you are not willing to put immediate time into the next book (even if it is not very popular like one hopes) then round off the book, leaving room for another book but not mid-story or at a cliffhanger. And I don’t care for open endings where fans guess how things turn out. Grrr.
    Jamie recently posted…The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank (review)

    • Jamie

      Ugh, so I first try to comment and it says it is doubled, so I go back and refresh the page, see no comment from me so I repost and then NOW it shows again. Sorry. Not sure what all happened here.

  3. Jamie

    If the book is part of a series or has a sequel then no, I can wait until the very end. But the very end must have closure. Standalones need closure for sure. I hate being left with what-ifs. my biggest gripe is authors who start a series, leavign the ending open and then never finish the series or wait so many years fans have given up. That is what I cannot stand. If you are not willing to put immediate time into the next book (even if it is not very popular like one hopes) then round off the book, leaving room for another book but not mid-story or at a cliffhanger.
    Jamie recently posted…The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank (review)

    • Julie

      Agree that the final book needs to have a satisfying ending. OOh yea authors that give up a book mid-series, that’s just too bad. I get that sometimes their contracts end, but now with the Indie route they can keep going.

    • Julie

      Yea, you’ve brought up a good point, if the author doesn’t satisfy with one book, I might not want to read any other books by that same author.

  4. Grace

    The ONLY time that I think cliffhanger endings are okay is if the publisher goes out of its way to make sure the books each come out within a month or two of each other so that readers don’t have to wait years between books, at which point they’ve forgotten what happened in the first one when they pick up the second.

    My favorite series are ones in which each book can act as a standalone, but that are connected by an overarching plot.
    Grace recently posted…“Shadow Scale” by Rachel Hartman

    • Julie

      Ha! Most books take a year to release from the previous book’s release date, so yea, forgetting what happened in the previous books happens too often. Do they really expect us to re-read everything? I so agree with you – love the individual story line books that are like TV show episodes.

    • Julie

      AGREE! What was the point if the story doesn’t wind down and satisfy in the end.

    • Julie

      Ooh yea, when an entire series ends but doesn’t really end, that makes me mad too. Why did I invest in this series when it didn’t deliver, right?

  5. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    YES! Well, for a standalone or end of series, yes. It irks me so, so much when they don’t. Because if I wanted to make up what happens next, I would have just made up my own story in my head! I need closure, people! It doesn’t have to be completely wrapped up, or happily ever after, or any of that but just give me SOME kind of resolution, or I will go insane forever trying to figure out what happened- even if it is just in the author’s mind! It’s hard because you get SO invested, and when you don’t find out what happens, it is a real let down!

    BUT- I can deal with a cliffhanger if and ONLY if I know there is another book coming. Though I may not be happy about it 😉 Great topic!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…April 2015 New Release Giveaway Hop Sign Ups!

    • Julie

      YES! We want closure, that’s why we read books. They are expected to have nice endings that make sense to us 🙂

  6. Donna

    Yes, every story should have a satisfying ending. If it’s part of a series then the overall questions can be left partially unanswered, but we need an ending. There is nothing more frustrating than a book that cheats the reader without a conclusion of some sort.
    Donna recently posted…Sunday Song|New Beginnings

    • Julie

      Yes! It is frustrating, and it does feel like we’re being cheated. Thanks Donna 🙂

  7. Karen Blue

    I am torn on this. I like a good running series, but I definitely see it as a ploy to just sell more books. If a book was good enough, I don’t mind a cliffhanger. I usually get to books late, so I am assuming I have the whole series available. It would be nice if authors just published the whole series at once and let us have at it. Not practical, I know. A book should be able to stand on it’s own, but leave some questions.

    • Julie

      Yea, still have some questions to answer over the series, but feel like an ending is adequate too.

  8. Cynthia

    I think I am in the minority because I don’t mind a book not having closure. If it is in a series, I kind of expect the cliffhangers. If it is a stand-alone, it really depends on the book. But really, I don’t mind an open-ended book. I do agree with Terri though. It does appear there is a trend to turn books into a series that could have been just one book. I think authors do it for more money. Take Maze Runner, for instance. The first one was so incredibly slow. I honestly think that series could have been one book.
    Cynthia recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: Taken and Frozen by Erin Bowman

    • Julie

      Ha, I agree books that are dragged out just to sell more books are no fun for anyone. That’s great that you’re so patient and are ok with non-endings.:)

  9. Missie

    This has been one of my platforms when it comes to series. I really want each part of the series to be a complete plot and then whole series as a bigger plot in the whole. I feel like TV shows do a good job with that.
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    • Julie

      Ooh yea, TV shows can be a good example of how a book series should go. Some episodes are cliffhangery though, like True Blood always was.

  10. Ramona

    I dislike being left hanging, but I can appreciate en elegant way to wrap up things in such a manner that it’s pretty much guaranteed I’ll buy the next book. So … not sure 🙂 I guess it depends on the author and the quality of the writing. I don’t like cliffhangers that are JUST that; they should be a part of something, or make sense in a way that I can’t deny. Does that make sense? Lol. Excellent post.
    Ramona recently posted…#PitMad

    • Julie

      I agree, there is an elegant way to do a cliffhanger that makes you want more rather than just making you mad 🙂

  11. Terri M., the Director

    I’m not sure. I like the way Eleanor & Park ended as well as Gone Girl (after about 2 years of reflection and discussion). However, what I’m sick of right now is the ploy to make every YA book a series of some kind. The first book is usually stellar and then either the 2nd or 3rd book falls short (sometimes both).

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews
    Terri M., the Director recently posted…Scenic Sundays 27: The Beautiful World and Thornton Wilder

    • Julie

      Ha, see I didn’t like the way E&P ended. I did think the Gone Girl ending was fitting. And YES so many trilogies only have a good first book.

  1. Shopaholic to the Stars | Nishita's Rants and Raves

    […] a couple of weeks ago, I and other bloggers had ranted about the lack of closure in books and cliff-hanger style endings in series books. At that time, I wasn’t thinking about this book, but now after reading […]

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