Cliffhangers – Love them or hate them?

I just finished reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth, the sequel to Divergent.  It was an amazing read, just as good as the first one!  Something about the way she writes is so expressive and unique, not to mention the extremely creative plot that is almost as ingenious as the plot of The Hunger Games!

However, there was a major cliffhanger at the end of the 2nd book that left me frustrated.  I was reading on my phone on my kindle app.  After reading the last page (not realizing it was the end because the text came down to the bottom of the screen), I flicked to the next page and started reading random thank yous for a few seconds before realizing I was, in fact, reading the Acknowledgements section and that the book was, indeed, over!

Ahhhhh!  I literally screamed in frustration and said, “What?  Are you kidding me?  You’re really going to end it like that?!”  My husband looked at me like I was crazy.  But he understands the love affair I have with some books, so he just rolled his eyes and went back to what he was doing.

Anyway…it got me thinking.  How does everyone else feel about cliffhangers at the end of books in series?  Obviously authors want you to keep reading, but how much resolution is enough to satisfy the reader so that they don’t feel cheated.  Or is the frustrating sensation of not knowing what happens also a fun, exciting sensation…in a strange, sadistic kind of way?  I enjoy the desire to read more in a series, but I also enjoy a strong, satisfying resolution.  So I guess I’m torn.

I’m also curious about this from an author’s perspective.  I feel like Shadow Eyes (the first of a planned series) has a pretty good resolution – enough to satisfy the major questions and resolve the main issues, but also with some minor cliffhangers or loose-ends – enough to keep people wanting more.  I’m wondering about the future books in the series and also potential books or series I’ve thought about writing.

What do you all think about cliffhangers?

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~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on May 7, 2012.

5 Responses to “Cliffhangers – Love them or hate them?”

  1. Cliffhangers: When reading a book I do like to have some type of resolution to the current story line so that I can feel somewhat satisfied until the next book comes out. I like to be left with the feeling that I want more but I don’t want to have to wait for major answers for 6 months to a year until the next book comes out. Most of the time I seem to have forgotten where the last book left off and it takes a little bit to get caught back up while reading the next installment. I too was disappointed with the way Insurgent ended. I would much rather see an ending such as the one in Shadow Eyes or The Hunger Games. It is better to feel as if the story could end if you only read the current book but the characters and the writing make you want more.

    • I like that! It should be more of the characters and the writing that makes you want more! That is your hook. Well-put! 🙂 Honestly, the way Divergent and Insurgent were written, I would have had no trouble wanting to read the 3rd one, even without the cliffhanger.

  2. I think minor cliffhangers are okay, but not big ones. The only time I like there to be a big cliffhanger is when you will be seeing or reading the next part very soon. For example a miniseries on tv. Then the whole next day all you can think about is 7pm when you get to see what happened. I would even be okay waiting a month to see or read the resolution. But usually you end up waiting for a year. That is not good because we end up forgetting about it by then so it looses it’s appeal.

  3. that is fine

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