Monday, March 7, 2011


You're reading a book. It's a really good book. The closer you get to the end, the more exciting it becomes. Your eyes are flying through the words because you just HAVE to know what's going to happen! Is someone going to die? Will they be caught? Will he pull her into his arms for one last kiss? Who's going to win the big fight? All these questions whisper in the background of your mind while you read because it's KILLING you to know what's going to happen next.

And then it ends.

You look for another page because this can't be the end.

Only it is.

The book has just left you on the biggest cliffhanger EVER.


I get leaving off in a spot where the reader needs to know what will happen next. Something big that makes you mark off days on the calender for most likely A WHOLE YEAR until the next book will come out, but I'm curious how YOU, the readers feel about major cliffhangers at the end of a book.

Do they just rock your socks because it gives you something to think about until you get your hands on the next book? OR, do they make you want to throw the book across the room, muttering a few four letter words and vowing never to read the series again, even though you KNOW you will because HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN? LOL. Or do you fall somewhere in between?

It feels like I'm reading more and more cliffhangers. As a writer, I'm really curious how readers feel about them. How they affect you and your book buying/reading.


  1. If it's the first book, I hate them. Often it makes me not want to read the next book. Ihave always felt like a book should stand on it's own, leaving satisfied AND hoping for more. If it's a later bok in the series, I don't mind as much, as long as there is some kind of resolution.

  2. I agree with Sarah. There needs to be an overall story arc within each book, regardless of whether or not it's part of a series. It's bad enough when there's not a "Happily Ever After", but when there are several loose-ends and everything is left up in the air, I most likely won't pick up the 2nd book, just out of sheer annoyance. There needs to be some sort of closure (happy or not), no matter how slight, and some of the mystery presented in the story must be concluded. Otherwise there is no satisfaction in the read, for me.

  3. As a reader, I LOVE cliffhangers. As a writer, I HATE them. As a writer, I think a book in a series should always have a self-contained plot as well as a part of a bigger over-arching story arc.
    As a reader, I just want something to get excited about.

  4. Kathryn,
    That's interesting that you feel differently as a writer compared to a reader. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sarah and Wendy, I agree. It makes it much worse when it happens during the first book in a series!

  6. I have a love/hate relationship with them. A part of me loves the fact that I'm left needing to know what happens, but that part usually doesn't evolve until I've thrown the book across the room and vowed never to pick up another book in the series.

  7. I like cliffhangers. I don't love them, haha. I like that they keep me thinking about the book and the sequel's possibilities. But I agree that a book should be able to stand on its own because sometimes a sequel doesn't happen.

  8. I have a love/hate relationship.
    Love when I'm writing, hate when I'm reading. When I'm the one writing, I know what will happen next :)
    So, I guess I'm opposite of Kathryn.

  9. I kind of agree with Sarah. For instance, I loved the ending of The Hunger Games. I had no idea there were any more books coming and so as I drew closer and closer to the end I was sure that Collins wasn't going to be able to solve all the plot lines (Katniss and Peeta, basically) by the end of the story. Then when she didn't, and I saw there was another book... I was so happy. :)

    If it's a trilogy, I'd say that it should work pretty much like The Hunger Games. The first book should pretty much stand alone, but it gives a nice transition into the second. The second and third work much more as a single entity, probably divided only by some great catastrophe, one of those huge cliffhangers. I wouldn't like a giant cliffhanger after the first book, but one after the second is okay.

  10. Awesome thoughts everyone. Thanks for weighing in!