Hello my name is Bec and I have an unfortunate love of cliffhangers. L O V E. I like them so much that it is actually concerning for my mental wellbeing. And I have a feeling I might be somewhat alone in this.
Normally when you mention the word cliffhanger in a review there is a collective groan among readers. I get the distinct feeling that many many bookworms don’t like them, and I can certainly understand why. They often end and mid scene and leave you desperate for more. Particularly when they end after a really shocking plot twist.
Typically there’s also a year long (minimum) wait involved. That’s a long time to wait for answers, yet something I’ve grown used to with the number of series I read. It’s the wait for more that’s the hardest part. (This made me think about the whole instantaneous gratification aspect of our society but I’m not smart enough to fully write about that)
Sometimes cliffhangers can be extra frustrating when they’re completely unnecessary and the book could easily have wrapped up and the cliffhanger was added in an attempt to build suspense. It’s also annoying if I’m not enjoying the book at all, or when it ends in a really strange, non logical moment or in the middle of nowhere.
These are all things I can understand when it comes to cliffhangers. There’s certainly been a few that I’ve read that frustrated me. Yet all those bad cliffhangers have not turned me off them. Still 90% of cliffhangers leave me screaming in awe.
What do I like about the good cliffhangers? Mostly it’s the feeling it give me. That suspenseful build up, the feels, the shock. The moment when I read the last sentence and go “OH MY GOD” and go to scream on the interenet. Those feels, the need to scream, the excitement, the disbelief. I love the fact that I connected with the story and the characters enough that such an ending could drag out all those emotions. I like being shocked, I like having my feelings manipulated. It’s what the best books do. And series that have twists that surprise me and leave me screaming are THE BEST.
Some of my favourite, and most frustrating (but so good), cliffhangers include:
– CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J Maas. Even though I predicted that final twist in book one, the build up to its reveal was amazing. That book ended in the perfect place and psyched me up so much for HEIR OF FIRE (which ended in a similarly epic way).
– THE IRON TRAITER by Julie Kagawa. This ending was just cruel. Cruel. And the title and summary of the third book was finally announced on the 24th of Feb (there was nothing when I first wrote this post)! THE IRON TRAITOR was released October 2013 and we’ll finally get more in October 2015. This wait has been torturous.
– THE ETERNITY CURE by Julie Kagawa. I’m pretty much ready to dub Kagawa the queen of cliffhangers. The feels I experienced with this one! I really should read THE FOREVER SONG so my heart stops hurting.
– THE FALCONER by Elizabeth May literally ended mid battle scene. It was such an epic build up that stopped right at the climax.
– The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater. She likes to give you last lines that make you go WTF WHAT DOES THIS MEAN.
– The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski likes to rip your heart out and make you cry before ending in a really painful way that has you terrified for THE WINNER’S KISS. THE WINNER’S CURSE ended in a similarly painful way, but wasn’t as much of a cliffhanger.
Basically, I love it when I enjoy books so much that they cause me actual pain and end in shocking ways. That is the moral of this post.