Thoughts on : open endings

Hi friends, how are you? Today, I’m coming to you with a new book discussion. I’m planning, and will definitely try to do more of those in the future, so if you have any subjects you’d like to talk about, let me know in comments! 

 ” I wouldn’t say that I love cliffhangers, as much as I love endings with possibilities…” Lauren Oliver *

More than often , when we read a book, we get carried away. Into the pages, into a whole new world, surrounded by new, interesting, intriguing characters. Pages go by fast, too fast and suddenly, you’re at the last pages, reading the final words of this story. Whether it’s a story we will soon forget, or one that swept us off our feet and will certainly leave a mark forever, how the plot is made, and, most importantly, how it’s wrapped up, is capital to the story, and surely influences our opinion on a book.

Three paragraphs left to read, and then…wait, what? Confused, you’re reading the ending of this book again. And again. And again. No, this can’t be right. Ever felt this before? This is the struggle of open endings. It happens most of the time when you’re really into a book, and suddenly, it stops. You’ve reached the end, and below is only darkness, questions, and only more questions piling up on top of it.

The whole story is yours.

As frustrating, nerve-wrecking and heartbreaking can open endings be, I have to say that, sometimes, it’s really, really good. Because it leaves us hanging, wondering, keeps our minds wondering as we try to figure out the right answers, make out the right from the wrong. Because sometimes, it leaves us wondering about what could happen next. When we really enjoy the character, it makes us think about where they will be, in one year, or two. Because, the story isn’t finished, not really. Even when you’ve reached the last pages, read the last word over and over again, you know that things are still going to happen, next. When it’s a standalone, you don’t get to read it. And, sometimes, it’s good. The characters keep on living their lives, and you can choose how it can be. What they become, the whole story, is yours. This is what I love the most.

Sometimes, a book just ends abruptly, and you’re only surrounded by darkness, drowning in questions you can’t answer.

However, I can understand, and sometimes I am in a place where all I feel after closing the book, is frustration. Why leave us like this? We feel like something is missing. This, honestly, is the wrong kind of open endings, if you ask me. Sometimes, the story is well wrapped up, the plot well done, and everything fits until the last lines, where it fantastically leaves you with a good sense of undone. You can own the story, now. However, sometimes, you’re left with only frustration, and many, many questions are still left to be answered, that you can’t answer on your own. Because sometimes, plots are complicated, and we can’t be in the author’s mind. I get that the ending story belongs to the reader, but not at the price of the original author’s story. Leave us with answers, at least, the most important ones, so we can perfectly go on with our lives.

In the end, it’s all a matter of how it’s done. The ending, open, or closed, happy, or sad, with questions, or with everything answered, has to follow consistently what the plot wanted to say, and fit into the continuity of the story, to give us some kind of satisfaction, at the end. To leave us, with the book in our hands, thinking about this story, its characters, and most of all, leaves us in the world a little more by some words and some well-done end that will leave us thinking for a while, not quite believing this amazing ride is over…unless, it’s not. If it’s a book series, then the whole story isn’t really ending…or, is it ?

 “No story is ever over, because every human life ripples into every other one, and there is no way to end a story definitively and the search for a definitive end is (imho) the wrong search.” John Green *

Let’s discuss ! Do you like open endings, or not? What makes it good, or bad? Do you like being left with questions, on a big cliffhanger? If it’s a series, is this engaging you to pick up the next installment? Or, on the contrary, do you sometimes feel forced to read, just to see where it goes? Does the ending of a book affect your opinion on the whole story?

What’s the most beautiful, and most frustrating open ending you’ve read so far? Tell me all about it! 🙂

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

18 thoughts on “Thoughts on : open endings

  1. I’m conflicted on open endings. There are many instances where open endings leave me sad and upset and a little frustrated because I need those books to have closure. Then there are other times where the open ending leaves me exhilarated, invigorated and happy! It all depends on the book for me. Great discussion post, I can’t wait to see more! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you, I like open endings, but only if we’re left with the main questions answered, because otherwise it’s driving me crazy! You’re right, damn, if I ever read a book ending in the middle of a sentence, I would really go crazy, haha!
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have mixed feelings about open endings. If I’m really into the story and it ends abruptly, I’d be a little bit annoyed, but at the same time, having an open ending sort of allows you to make your own ending to the story, you can devise how YOU want the story to end, which is very satisfying. But for me the case is always that the author wrote this fantastic book, I want to know how the creator, the author wanted it to end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you! I’d always want to know how the author of the story really wants to end it. I appreciate it a lot, however, that authors allow us, with open endings, to be the own actors of this story they created, and to make it our own, too 🙂
      Thank you so much for stopping by! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great topic! I always feel so unfulfilled with open endings. Like I know it’s so I can use my imagination but why don’t your just tell me?? Preferably tell me that everyone lives happily after forever and ever *sobs*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same way sometimes, why would you leave us like that, it’s kind of mean, and sometimes I just stare at the ending of the book in frustration, willing for some more words to come up, haha! 🙂
      Thank you so much for stopping by! 😀

      Like

  4. I’m not a huge fan of open endings. I like to know what happens to my characters after spending so long with them.

    HOWEVER, it really depends on what type of story it is. If all my questions are answered regarding the plot, I can deal with an ending where I might not know what the characters are doing at the end of the story. Under the Never Sky is one such case because the whole build up to the end was so beautiful and all the plot points were wrapped up so neatly that I didn’t really care that it lacked an epilogue.

    But when that doesn’t happen, I get really frustrated. Down to You was one where I really felt like we were left hanging. And looking back on it years later, I can see why we have some things unanswered because they really weren’t part of the main message of the story. Lauren Oliver’s Requiem is another case…I hate that ending haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You perfectly summed up what I think about open endings! I didn’t read Under the Never Sky (is it good? :D), but I did read Requiem, and I understand your frustration about the ending, haha, it was a little bothering! 🙂
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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