Skip to main content

Teen Board Question - April 2018, Part 1

Teen Board Monthly Question

Teen Board Question - April 2018, Part 1

An ending can make or break a book. There are some endings that leave you completely breathtaken and others that leave you asking "What in the world did I just read?" We know that every reader has a different style, so we asked our Teen Board members if there were any books or series they have read where they wished they could change the ending. For those members who have enjoyed all of their books' endings, we asked them what makes a perfect ending, whether it is a great character arc, a happily ever after or something more open-ended.

SPOILER ALERT. If I could, I would change the ending of ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth. While I appreciated Roth's efforts to create a dramatic and unforgettable ending, I just wish Tris hadn't died. I have to admit I prefer happy endings but also think it would have brought more closure to the series if Tris had lived to fulfill her potential and destiny so we wouldn't have been left wondering what if. --- Alice D.

I can’t recall any books at the moment where I really wanted to change their endings (I read a lot of series, and usually the endings of those are pretty good). But in terms of endings in general, I love to see character development! I think it makes for a fantastic story when a protagonist is initially flawed in some way, but they develop and become a better person thanks to other characters or challenges present in the book. While I am a huge fan of happy endings where we get to see how the character’s life ends up and everything is really concrete, I have recently been really liking a more open-ended (but still happy) ending. I like to be able to imagine whatever future I want for the characters and a lot of the time I feel like those kind of endings are more in line with the story itself. Overall, I’ve definitely read some books where I was saddened by the ending, but for the most part, the books I’ve read have had pretty great endings (even if they’re not always happy)! --- Ansley K.

If I could change the ending of any book, I would change the ending of PAPER TOWNS by John Green. *Spoiler* I would have Margo go back with Q instead of staying behind. Q traveled all that way just for Margo. *End of Spoiler* I like endings where just about everything is wrapped up. Small questions are okay, but not knowing whether or not someone is alive drives me insane --- I have to know! Happy endings are my favorite endings, but sometimes you need a sad ending to keep your reality in check. --- Ashley D.

Although I can't think of a specific example, I don't like bittersweet endings in books. You know, the ones where it's like some of the characters are happy, but some are dead, or where none of the characters are dead but they're all sad and not friends. Personally I'd rather have a real conclusion where I know what's going to happen to the characters after the book ends, instead of leaving it up in the air. I'm way too attached to my babies for that!! --- Becky N.

While it’s a bit cliché, I definitely wish I could change the ending to THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green. There are very few books I’ve read that caused me to ugly cry so intensely, and it certainly didn’t end the way I was expecting it to. Considering the book is about teenagers with cancer, I should’ve known they weren’t going to get a happy ending. However, this will never stop me from wishing that Augustus would’ve lived and been happy with Hazel Grace! --- Breck G.

My first instinct is ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth, but since that’s probably everyone’s first instinct, I’m going to go with both of Becky Albertalli’s books that I’ve read so far, SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA and THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED. Of course, I love these two books with all my heart, and they are both in my top 10 favorite books ever. BUT Becky Albertalli tends to end books right when the character gets what they have been searching for. And I need more! I want to see what happens next. Because of this, I would happy if an epilogue was added to the end of each book. One can dream. --- Bryn D.

I tend to really like how my books end no matter how that is. There are some things in particular I like to see though. Happy endings are always nice, I really enjoy seeing characters having all their problems resolved. Open ended endings are great too, but for me they have to follow a book of serious character growth. If the characters develop throughout the book, I feel like an open ended conclusion is best. It makes me feel like these characters I’ve learned to love, and watched them grow, will continue to grow and change, which I always enjoy. --- Caitlyn K.

There are definitely plenty of books where I was not 100% happy with the ending. Unfortunately, none of them are coming to mind as I am typing this. However I can definitely describe what makes a perfect ending. For me, any book that ends in a cliff hanger (provided that it has a sequel coming) is by far the best ending ever. It leaves the reader on the edge of their seat and builds up anticipation for the continuation of the series! --- Danielle F.

I honestly cannot think of any specific book where the ending left me disappointed and that I would want to change. Even books with sad or unexpected endings (I’m looking at you THE FAULT IN OUR STARS) I wouldn’t change because the ending contributed to the book being so fantastic. However, one series that I would like to alter the ending to is the Harry Potter series. I would alter it so that it never ended. I don’t care what it is, I just want more stories by JK Rowling set in the world of Hogwarts! --- Ellie T.

I don’t think I would change anything about the endings of the books I have read! The things I like to look for at the end of the book is closure (unless it is in the middle of a series of course!). There is nothing that annoys me more than when I don’t feel like the characters or storylines are completely wrapped up. I can’t be alone in this right?!? There are some characters that I do think deserved better, but I guess there is nothing we can do to change that. --- Emily F.

If I could change the ending of any book that I have read, it would without a doubt be EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J. Maas. Without giving too much away, the ending to the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series is very similar to the ending of A COURT OF MIST AND FURY, the second book in Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses Trilogy. When I read the ending, I was extremely disappointed. It felt as if Maas had just copy and pasted the ending from ACOMAF and refitted it to the Throne of Glass world contextually. As the sixth Throne of Glass book, KINGDOM OF ASH, has not been published yet, it is difficult to determine the best way to change the ending of EMPIRE OF STORMS in order for the series to still continue the way that Maas has planned. In general, I would simply want to see more of a distinction between the two series Maas has created. --- Gabby B.

I tend to want my endings wrapped up in a nice bow, but I recognize sometimes that can limit the story and what readers can infer on their own. Of course, with any good book, I am left wanting more of the characters, world, and writing style. Sometimes I wish I had a happy epilogue that was a full-length book. It all depends on the book, I guess. Recently, I finished Alwyn Hamilton's Rebel of the Sands Trilogy and loved the ending. I thought it was the perfect mix of satisfying while still honoring the mystery of the characters' fates. The ending was told in the third person instead of the first person like the rest of the book was (for the most part). Hamilton was able to retain the storytelling theme in the end, and even if I did not know every single thing that happened to the characters after the story ended, I had a pretty good idea or at least some real hopes! --- Grace P.

The first thought that jumped into my head when I read this question was the ending of ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth. It's the third book in the Divergent trilogy and the ending was so different from what I wanted it to be. For me personally good endings leave the reader with enough questions to warrant a spinoff series or another book but with enough information to properly end a book. I love happy endings but I also love bittersweet unhappy endings, but only if it's written right. Some of my favorite endings, though they leave me screaming for the next book, are written by Sarah J. Maas, Rick Riordan and Marissa Meyer. I have a love-hate relationship with cliffhangers but I do love when things all of a sudden start to click at the end of the book for readers. --- Ilona K.