Book Endings We Love and Hate At The Same Time (or we just hate…)

Does anyone remember the movie City Of Angels with Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage?  If you do, then no doubt you remember the incredible story line of a love that is so strong it conquers all obstacles.  In the end, all is looking so wonderful and then…

the unspeakable happens.

Shock.  Despair.

This is a movie I own and love, but can not watch it due to the ending.

While biking today my friend Amy and I were talking about this movie and she said she hated that ending.  Well, so did I, but on the flip of it, it was a powerful way to end the movie. 

This made me think of books.  Are there books out there that we have hated the ending?  And by hate – is that a real “throw the book across the room” hate, or do we secretly love to hate them… they make us mad in an infuriating an awesome way.

While thinking of this today, the book that came to mind for me was Jodi Piccoult’s My Sisters Keeper.  If you have not read this, really you must.  Of all of Jodi’s books I think this one impacted me the most.  SO the basic story line is that this Anna’s older sister Kate is very sick with leukemia.  Anna, is a bone marrow match for Kate and so Anna is constantly in the hospital giving of herself under her parents requests to help Kate.  Anna, who loves her sister very much but is tired of being a pin cushion for her sister and seeks out a lawyer to help her win rights to her own body.  The story is brilliant, and I wont give it away but the very end = explosive.  Maddeningly so. 

Note:  If you have seen the movie and not read the book, it is not the same – the move does not even end the same as the book, and that is another rant for another day… 😛


My question before you today is this.  What books have made you mad with how they ended?  Was it a serious I am so mad, or was it a “that made me mad but I love it anyways” read?  I am coming up blank for more books that did that to me but I know they are out there and I hope you can help me get the juices flowing. 

24 thoughts on “Book Endings We Love and Hate At The Same Time (or we just hate…)

  1. Barring the ones with great big ol’ fat cliffhangers on the end, I’m having trouble thinking of one. Wait, no. Anna Karenina, I was so PO’d by that ending. I didn’t care much for the book as a whole, but ending put me over the edge.

    On the other hand, I was peeved at Peter Jackson for leaving off the scouring of the Shire in the Return of the King movie. One of my favorite parts of LOTR, and he leaves it off because he didn’t care for it. But he clearly is a fanboy of Frodo the emo hobbit, and I think Samwise is the better hobbit

  2. One Day by David Nicholls. UGH that ending. I still feel anger well up in me just seeing the cover. I’ll be happily minding my own business, browsing through the book store when suddenly WHAM there’s One Day sitting on a We Recommend This Book! shelf. And suddenly I’m yelling ‘Why did you have to do that to me, David Nicholls?!’

  3. While He Was Away by Karen Schreck. I read it yesterday actually and when it ended I turned to my husband, so angry my skin was hot, and gritted out, “I am seriously contemplating throwing this book at that wall.”

    The problem is I thought I was reading one book based on the title, cover, and synopsis. But the book is really about something else entirely and the questions you thought you were going to get answered (that are on the back cover!!!) don’t get reconciled. VERY frustrating. If they would have marketed the book differently, I probably would’ve enjoyed it more. Although, the pacing is too slow in some parts.

    Great post, Sheila!

  4. I can’t think of one off hand, either, but it will probably come to me in the middle of the night…because I know there are those books that have affected me that way.

  5. I’m going for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I was ready to throw it against the wall! I did slam it down on the table! To kill off…well, you know…!!!! I couldn’t believe Rowling’s nerve.

    Cliffhangers in general have me ready to throw the book but that’s just because I’m sick of them.

      1. I don’t even remember how close the death was to the end, but that might as well have been the end of the book for me. I was in shock after that.

  6. That happened for me with the Atonement, the movie (haven’t read the book, maybe it’s different). It’s a brilliant ending, and I love it, but it’s so the wrong ending for the story you’ve been rooting for!

  7. My sister made me watch City of Angels once… it wasn’t for me because I hate depressing endings.

    As far as book endings that I don’t like, it mostly bothers me when books leave off with a cliffhanger, especially when the next book in the series hasn’t been written/published yet. It’s incredibly frustrating.

    1. Oh City Of Angels…. how I love you…. how I hate you….LOL

      I agree about series… I get to the point where there are so many books that I ma waiting for the next one to come out it gets confusing.

  8. goodness, we are almost neighbors. I hail from Litchfield MN. so nice to come across your blog.
    I hope to get into more reading; and now I am reading ‘breaking silence’ by Linda Castillo, an
    Amish mystery. I prefer lighter mystery. Now, to check out more of your book choices, congrats on the biking journey. My grandson is here from Illinois with family, and wiped out on a gravel BMX trail as he races, and he looks tough, and is feeling the bad scraps, over a large poertion of his body, poor darling

  9. The I Am Number Four book ending is nowhere near the movie. We covered the ending, which made us rethink the movie ending.

    We plan to look into The Walking in Black book ending soon. We heard the book ending is better than the movie ending. Thanks.

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