January 19, 2014

Sunday Spiel: Happy vs. Sad Endings


Hey guys! Today I'm going to talk about something that I have mixed feelings about - sad endings versus happy ones.

Before I get into this, I'd just like to say these are my opinions. I am in no way saying that you should have these opinions or that mine are correct. This is simply a post open to discussion, and you're free to share your opinions as well. :) I love hearing them!

I'm going to jump right into this. The issue of happy endings versus sad endings is a constant struggle for me. If you asked me outright which one I prefer, I would immediately tell you sad endings. But it really depends on my mood and the type of book I'm reading. Sad endings, I feel, are more realistic. 

That actually sounds terrible, as if I think life is or should be sad. But I think it is - at least, sad endings are more realistic than fairy tale ones. Fairy tales are fairy tales for a reason.

That being said, most people read books because they're fairy tales. They want happy endings, they want to read something that won't happen in real life. I think that's the reason why most people enjoy both reading and writing the unrealistic happy endings. Why write or read something that already happens in real life? We read and write as an escape.

Still, I'm not always in the mood to read a fluffy book. Sometimes I want to read something that will understand me, something I can relate to. Other times I just want to get lost in a quick, cutesy read.

Overall, I really like sad or bittersweet endings - even though that doesn't make much sense - over happy ones. But I do enjoy fluff every once in a while.

What about you? Do you prefer one over the other, or do you like both? Is there one you can't stand?

9 comments:

  1. I'm actually fine with both - as long as the author has established the ending in such a way that it makes a lot of sense that the story would end that way. I hate it when things end so unrealistically, whether it is happy OR sad.
    Nice discussion post! :)

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

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    1. I feel the same way! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

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  2. I definitely have to say that I'm fine with either- at times I just want a happy ending and other times I feel like the sad ending is what makes the book. To me as long as the characters remain true to themselves and aren't made to do something crazy either type of ending is great!

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    1. Same here. As long as it fits with the story, I don't mind either one. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. I'm good with either or I suppose as long as it makes sense and fits with the story. I don't think happy endings are unrealistic though. It all just depends on what and how you write an ending. I do think that the great majority of readers are used to having the happy endings they wanted and that these somewhat new sad or kind of middle ground endings are putting some people through the ringer (Not a Drop to Drink and Allegiant to name a few in my opinion).

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  4. I'm pretty much the same, actually! It does depend on the book and my mood, but there's something about a somewhat sad or bittersweet ending that sticks with me. It's like. . . You don't want an ending that you can predict before starting the book. I like a happy ending with a sadness to it. Like, the character has learned something, but things still aren't perfect. Like the ending to Michael Scott's The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flammel series. It was good and AWFUL at the same time. It was such a twist and bittersweet. It fit the books so much and I didn't see it coming. On one hand, I hate it. But it's also one of my favorite and most memorable endings. I'm disappointed that we didn't get the answers to everything, but it was right for some reason. Like we weren't supposed to have those answers. The story ended there and it was just. . . Beautiful. Maybe that's why I like things more bittersweet. They have a kind of beauty to them.

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  5. Great discussion topic. I prefer endings that are fitting to the story. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a really emotional book, and that usually doesn't have an HEA. Other times, I just want something simple and positive. But the ending has to fit the book.

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  6. I'm the same way. I just prefer a real ending. Typically, endings are wrapped up with a pretty bow out of no where and I HATE that. I'd rather end a book with someone crushed.

    Yeah, I'm hard on my characters. Lol.

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  7. I totally agree with you! Sometimes I crave happy endings for certain books, but I usually like books to have a more realistic, maybe kinda sad ending. I don't always want something sugary sweet...I want the ending to fit with the story, and I want to be able to easily picture the characters going on to live the rest of their lives in whatever situation the book ends. What I don't like is books that leave everything to the imagination, though. But I don't like everything to be completely wrapped up either. What works best for me is some kind of happy medium where all of the important things are taken care of in the end, but we don't get to find out everything that happens, so it leaves a little bit to the imagination.

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