Ranty Pants: Resolution (or lack thereof).

29

September 15, 2012 by Heidi

So there I was…innocently reading a book and there’s all this build up and then this climax but then…wait.  No!  That can’t be the last chapter…is my copy faulty?  *Flips frantically forward and back.* Oh.  That’s it?  Really?!

Darth Vader Nooooo

Needless to say, cliffhangers leave me a bit miffed.  I could have reacted like this:

Tobias sobbing from Arrested Development

But instead I reacted more like this:

Hermione punching Malfoy in Prisoner of Azkaban

Here’s the transcript of my Gchat conversation with the bf immediately after finishing:

11:57 AM me: my book just had the WORST ENDING EVER
  I can’t even
  I’m so mad right now
11:59 AM C: Hahaha
  awe
  was this the iPad book?
 me: yes
  omg
  so mad
  cliffhangers and lack of resolution make me want to punch babies
12:01 PM C: Sometimes I’m so glad that I don’t just leave babies lying around the apartment
12:02 PM me: well
  Wocket’s just lucky I’ve developed a bond
  or that he’s no longer a kitten
  because I’d take a kitten in lieu of a baby atm
12:16 PM C: Awe, I feel bad for you. I know how much you were enjoying it too
12:18 PM me: OMG I’M SO MAD
  I can’t remember the last time I was THIS MAD at the end of a book
  I’M DONE WITH SERIES
  NO MORE SERIES
  UNLESS THEY’RE ALL PUBLISHED
  THIS TIME I MEAN IT
12:19 PM C: that doesn’t sound familiar at all
 me: I MEAN IT

 

Okay so backstory to explain his not taking me seriously–in 2011, my New Years resolution was this: I will not start reading a series unless all of the books are already published.

All right, I realize this was a little far fetched for someone who reads as much as me, but I hadn’t yet discovered the book blogging community, and I fared pretty well for about 3/4 of the year before I caved.  Since then I’ve been RAMPANTLY NEGLECTFUL about my series reading.  For example, here are some of the books I’ve read in the last year that I wish I hadn’t:

Fury by Elizabeth Miles
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan–THE book that made me put on my ranty pants today.  Um…I ‘might’ have tweeted Sarah and told her I wanted to punch her in the face, but I put a nice little <3 by it and told her Unspoken was awesome, so I think she took it in stride (and probably cackled manically because she is clearly evil).

Did I hate these books?  NO!  I really enjoyed every single one of them and can’t wait to read the next books.  What I DID hate about them were the endings.  Some were more cliffhangery than others, but all in all, there wasn’t much resolution throughout.  I’m not one of those readers who gets a little thrill from that ‘What’s going to happen next?!’ feeling.  I hate it.  I detest it.  I loath it with the power of a thousand firey suns.  I fear for the pride of my love ones and safety of any nearby candy when I experience the sheer fury that these endings bring.

So here is my call–nay–plea for public accountability.  I am not going to start any more series until they’re all released unless:

1. I already have accepted the ARC for review.  This includes:

  • Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  • The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  • Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
2. It’s too late, I’ve gone and started it.
3. It’s a series where each book is it’s own complete story with resolution such as:
  • Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
  • Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
  • Seven Kingdoms by Kristin Cashore
4. No fewer than three trusted sources read it first and tell me that there’s enough resolution there to make me happy. Examples:
  • Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
  • The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielson
Now.  If you see me reading the first book in a series over on my sidebar, or on Goodreads, or on Twitter, please:
Hermione smacking Harry in Half Blood Prince

Because I like delayed gratification–it may be one of my favorite things in books–but not that delayed. If I’m going to go through the pain of waiting, I’d just assume do so in ignorance.

Here are a couple of the upcoming series starters I have on hand, but am officially terrified to read (despite the fact that I’m really excited for them).  Please tell me if my worries are valid:

  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
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29 comments »

  1. Huh, The Raven Boys doesn’t exactly end with a cliffhanger, but not everything is resolved. Maggie is fond of such endings. I’ll let you know about The Diviners, I have a review copy on the way. :)
    And I totally get you, I loathe cliffhangers. In fact, I never even started Unspoken, precisely because of that.

    • Heidi says:

      Yeah, you really shouldn’t. It’s one of those books that’s really hard to put down, which would be great if the ending didn’t make you want to throw it against the wall (a habit that is really testing my restraint since the advent of e-readers).

      If The Raven Boys has as much resolution as Shiver did, I think I’d be happy reading it. I don’t trust Libba Bray as far as I can throw her. I’ve read all of her books thus far, but was happy that I only started Gemma Doyle after they were all published.

  2. Steph Su says:

    Fortunately, Stormdancer has a pretty satisfying ending. I’m in the middle of The Diviners right now (literally the middle: 50%) so I’ll keep you posted on how that goes. 😉

    • Heidi says:

      Thanks, Steph! Bray’s Gemma Doyle series didn’t have terrible cliffhangers, but I was still happy that I didn’t read them until they were all released, and I just don’t trust Libba one bit. She seems like the type of author who would love to torture us poor readers. Good to know about Stormdancer too, thanks!

  3. Cat says:

    Very well said! And the images are spot on.

    I’ve been eking out Juliette Marillier for years, ever since I finished book 1 and… that was it… *weeps* 😉 Sign of a good book though, I think?

    • Heidi says:

      Oh goodness, yes! Honestly, it takes quite a LOT to make me cry at books. Julliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters books? I’ve cried in multiple places with every one I’ve read so far. Now, I’ve only read 3 of hers so far, but from my understanding Shadowfell is the first book she’s put out that didn’t have a full and complete story in just one volume, BUT, there was still enough resolution there to make me all warm and fuzzy inside and I can happily (rather than angrily) wait for the next installment.

  4. Oh this is such a fantastic post. Maybe these books should come with stickers: “WARNING: NO RESOLUTION.” I read all of the Hunger Games together but I can’t even imagine having to wait a YEAR between book 2 and 3. It gives me nightmares to think about.

    I agree with what you said about Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Cinder. But I thought The Name of the Star ended in a great place to set up for book 2.

    Also, endings must all be in how you perceive them. Because Heather @ Flyleaf review told me just yesterday that The Raven Boys has “the mother of all cliffhangers.” Still I’m going to read it (plus I’m going to see her next week), but I think knowing it ends that way ahead of time is going to help me. But even the ending of her series tend to be are all open, so I was figuring she’d do us even worse at the end of each book.

    My big issue is that I’m in the middle of over 25 series and it’s starting to get ridiculous. I need to finish all the ones that I’ve started that have been released in total and be careful at what I start next. I mean if The Raven Boys is 4 books and it’s one book a year, that’s the next 4 years of a relationship with this series. It’s a big commitment. These are things I think about.

    • Heidi says:

      Ooooh, I like the warning lables. 😛

      And yeah, Catching Fire is one of the books that prompted me to make my initial resolution a couple of years ago. That wait? Killed me. Honestly, it’s probably why so many of us who read that series as they released were so incredibly disappointed in Mockingjay. I’m just not sure it was worth that painful wait. I’d rather just read them all at once and be happier with the series as a whole, you know?

      Hmm, I think you’re right about The Name of the Star having a good amount of resolution. I have to give you that. I think I was more upset that it was going to be such a long wait (like 2 years) for Book 2, but it would probably fit my criteria for books I’d still be willing to start.

      Hmm…so that’s one vote for The Raven Boys, and one against. We shall see. *Makes tally.*

      And yeah, I don’t like to read series books bam bam bam, but I do like to read them all close together (like with 1-2 books in between). I’m pretty good about it honestly, for example I waited till I caught up on the Kate Daniels series before I’m just now starting the October Daye. But I agree, it’s a long term commitment to read a series as it comes out, and I just see myself losing interest in a lot of them if I have to do that.

  5. Oooh, I’m so thrilled to see the ranty-pants make another appearance! :) You know, I think the only time that cliffhangers really bother me is when they come at the end of a book that has absolutely no progression at all. That’s just insulting. But if it’s a cliffhanger that makes me want to immediately jump into the next book because I’m so at the edge of my seat and so excited about continuing, I don’t mind that. I haven’t read any of the ones that you’re wondering about. I can completely assure you though that the second Fairyland book has a really nice amount of resolution. You’re completely safe with that one. Also, you’re fine to read Finnikin of the Rock but I’d wait to have a copy of Quintana of Charyn in your hands before you even start Froi of the Exiles. That one was killer. But in a good way.

    It’s so cute that your boyfriend is your best friend. :)

    • Heidi says:

      You know me, I do love my ranty pants. 😛

      See, I don’t mind a cliffhanger that makes me want to jump into the next book if that book is there. When it’s a year away I get angry. And you won’t like me when I’m angry. (Okay some people think I’m a bit funny when I’m angry, but don’t tell me that when I’m all ‘HEIDI SMASH’).

      OMG THANK YOU for the Finnikin info. Actually, the reason I haven’t started that series yet was I was kind of holding off for Quintana, but it’s good to know that I can at least read Finnikin while I wait.

      And yes, he is. 😀

  6. Oh my gosh, I get so frustrated with cliffhanger endings! I recently read a book with that kind of ending, and was so annoying! Actually, I’m getting a little sick of series! So many books published are series, and it makes me want more stand alones. But some series I do love!

    • Heidi says:

      MMhmm, I’m right there with you. You’ll often see me say things like ‘YAY!!’ in my reviews when I point out that a book is a stand alone. I love stand alones. I do like me a good series, but not everything needs to be one, and it’s really gotten out of hand lately. For me they’re just more enjoyable as a whole if I can read them as one big volume rather than wait years. In fact, if I have to wait, I’m much less likely to ever finish the series.

  7. This is clearly one of the greatest blog posts I’ve ever read. First of all, I have those same convos with my bf (and his name starts with C too!). I also HATE cliffhangers! However, I don’t think I have enough willpower to not read series books unless they’re all out. For example, you should NOT read Delirium and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver until Requiem is out. Holy cliffhangers, Batman! I was cranky when those ended for sure.

    Also, thank you for talking up the Sevenwaters series; I can’t wait to read the first one when my hold comes in!

    Last thing: I assume you know about the noooooo button? http://nooooooooooooooo.com/ Seems appropriate for now :)

    • Heidi says:

      Hahaha, thank, Kyle! I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who has these conversations. I’m actually not overly interested in the Delirium series, but there are a number I have not started for these reasons. For example I haven’t read Divergent, Legend, Cold Fire, Finnikin on the Rock, etc. because of my ‘issue’.

      I am always happy to talk up the Sevenwaters series! And intend to do so often. Also, NO, I had not seen that button, but it IS appropriate, and totally made my morning. 😀

  8. Aww, Heidi! I feel your pain. Series have been making me very angry recently because I also feel like lots of times they’re cop-outs and authors are only continuing stories to make more money and buy more time and all. And cliffhangers are generally just not a good mark of writing in my book if basically nothing’s then resolved.

    I actually was fortunate in not really learning about The Hunger Games until Mockingjay came out, so I got the trilogy all at once and had no waiting issues, which was nice.

    I guess I’ve been believing that series are unavoidable. I mean, they’re so annoyingly prevalent, especially in YA lit so I’ve been just grumbling and putting up with it. But I’m glad to see you’re actually trying to take a stand here!

    • Heidi says:

      Hehe, yeah, there are so many series out there that are complete that I haven’t read, that I’d rather spend my time reading those than reading new ones coming into play just now. I don’t really mind not being in on what everyone’s talking about until way after the fact, but I can see why it’s really hard not to pick them up sometimes.

      I really think Mockingjay would have been less of a disappointment if I hadn’t had to wait so long for it…I think that’s the way with series in general for me.

      I totally agree that some (not all, but some) series really don’t need to be. Many trilogies could be duologies, or even just stand alones but they try to stretch out the story for the full thing and that’s why so many second books end up terrible.

  9. Brandy says:

    I had a similar reaction when I hit the end of Unspoken. And when is the second book even coming out????

    Just a warning about The Assassin’s Curse: It is not as much of a cliffhanger as Unspoken but it is unresolved. I didn’t want to track down the author and shake her the way I wanted to Sarah Rees Brennan, but I’m still left desperately wanting the next book.

    • Heidi says:

      Ugh, thanks for the heads up on Assassin’s Curse. I actually was going to be good and not request it, but then all of these awesome reviews came out and I caved without even thinking of how unsatisfied I might be with the ending. *sigh* We’ll see how I take it. Maybe knowing that going in will give me less rage face. 😛

      Goodreads has predicted the second Lynburn Legacy will be out next June, but I’m not holding my breath and banking on September. I’m sure I’ll want to shake SRB at the end of that one too.

  10. Heidi, I LOVE THIS POST! I spent the whole of today morning smashing things in my house and stomping around like the raging lunatic that I am all because of the ending of Unspoken. Although, looking at your list, you’ve reminded me that Daughter of Smoke and Bone was even WORSE. I don’t mind open endings – like Gone With the Wind although I think I sulked and sobbed for about two weeks after I finished that one – but cliffhangers are just EVIL! I know I held off on reading Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series because of those cliffhangers and I had to make sure I had the first two Jessica Darling books before starting them and Cassandra Clare makes me want to strangle her with her cliffhangers at the end of all her books, so I know exactlyyy what you mean. I love that you have so much self-control to resist books though. I knew Unspoken had a cliffie and I told myself I could handle it – as I tell myself every time – and of course, I find that, every time, I am WRONG and then I die a little inside until the sequel releases. It’s a horrible – but strangely addicting (or am I just a masochist?) – process. I wish you the best of luck though in keeping away from any future cliffhangers! :)

    • Heidi says:

      Right! There is such a difference between open or vague endings–which I actually love (like This Is Not a Test) and flat out cliffhangers. Daughter of Smoke and Bone was even worse for me as well, to the point that I keep debating holding off on reading Days of Blood and Starlight until the third book is out just so that I don’t have to deal with it again.

      Hehe, I’m not happy to see people as upset as me, but it’s good I wasn’t alone at the end of Unspoken. It honestly is easier for me to keep away than deal with the rage. Hopefully I’ll be able to manage it in the future!

      • Hey, I just came back to let you know that I finished The Raven Boys and there wasn’t a cliffhanger ending. Instead, the ending was just confusing and didn’t make any sense, so I don’t quite know if that’s better or worse. I re-read it three times and still have NO IDEA what it’s supposed to be about, so we’ll have to wait for the sequel for answers, but I don’t feel any dying sense of need or urgency for it…just mild irritation. I thought I’d let you know so you could decide whether or not to pick it up then!(:

        • Heidi says:

          Hmmm…interesting. Now I’m getting curious. I do keep hearing people talk about THAT ENDING so I was assuming it was cliffhangery, but apparently it’s just confusing. 😛

          Still debating–we’ll see! I appreciate you stopping by for the update though.

  11. This rules. You rule.
    The end.

  12. Ahahahahaa. Omg I hate lack of resolutions, it makes me rage like nothing else. Like, when I read a book, I want it to be self-contained or have enough resolution where it doesn’t feel like the book has been literally cut in half.

    Also.

    The Diviners does have a satisfactory resolution, like it could be self-contained if need be. Like the plot line thread is resolved, but there’s a larger story, if that makes sense?

    • Heidi says:

      Yes! Thank you for your words on The Diviners, that’s precisely the kind of ending I can handle. She was kind enough to do that with Gemma Doyle, but I still wasn’t ready to trust her on this new series. Libba just comes across as the type of author who might revel in torturing readers. 😛

  13. You are hilarious. And also you have a point.

    There are two series that I am refusing to start due to what I have heard about painful cliffhangers and my allergy to them:

    The Delirium books by Lauren Oliver
    The Mara Dyer books by Michelle Hodgin

    This is quite painful when these books/ARCs are released because they are ALL that people are talking about. I find it hard not to cave. But I am trying to remain steadfast. I’ve kept at it this long, so I think I’m gonna be okay. Right?

    Also, I LOVE the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare so much but they started getting cliffhanger-y after a couple of books so I stopped where I was within the series. That was like three books ago. So when they are DONE, I’ll probably just re-read them. I cannot deal! It hurts too much to get to the end and run off of the cliff or run into the brick wall.

    I don’t, however, mind being in the middle of a bazillion series. I like series. I just don’t care for painful cliffhangers. UGH UGH UGH. (sometimes I find myself with one by accident and get frustrated with myself)

    • Heidi says:

      Yeah, I totally feel ya. Falling to that pressure of ‘everyone else is reading this and loving it, I must experience it now!’ is pretty easy…it’s part of what got me into this mess! For example, I’m pretty sure from the reviews I’ve seen I don’t want to read Raven Boys yet. Only I so do. Luckily, I’m also easily distracted by all of that other awesomeness on my TBR, so it’s not so bad putting things off.

      I know what you mean about Cassie Clare, that’s how I feel about Laini Taylor right now! Like, I love Daughter of Smoke and Bone more than I can say, but that book broke me, and I am literally afraid to pick up Days of Blood and Starlight before the third book is out. We’ll see what happens.

      I don’t mind being in the middle of a bunch of series, I usually am, but at the same time if I start series that aren’t finished, I’m less likely to ever finish them. There’s always the chance I’ll get distracted before they’re all released and just never come back to it.

  14. […] so it’s been a few days and I think my rage face has worn off a bit and I can talk to you all about all of the things I absolutely loved about Sarah […]

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