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Teen Board Question - April 2018, Part 2

Teen Board Monthly Question

Teen Board Question - April 2018, Part 2

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.


My answer is probably one a lot of people have. ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth. Now, without getting into spoilers, it’s not just because the ending made me sad. The ending was just truly a bad choice. It almost felt like the author thought “this is almost at the end... what should I throw in to give it shock value.” I don’t feel as though the ending had some big message or moral, it just should have been a lot different. --- Jessi H.

For the most part I have loved the endings to almost all the books I’ve read, but there’s the special few that really killed me with the ending. One of the worst ones was ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth, the third and final book in the Divergent series. I still love this series to this day, but the final book ended with Tris, the main characters death. Although I definitely understand the impact this death has on the book, and the appeal of it as a writer, the reader in my is very against this ending. If I could change it, I would have Tris come close to death without actually dying. Having the main character that I had become attached to die was just too much and possibly one of the saddest endings I’ve ever read, so I would have to pick that book. --- Jessica K.

One book that I wish I could change the ending of is TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. Towards the end of the book, Tom Robinson is shot trying to escape prison before he can appeal his case. The end was tragic for both readers and main character Scout, who witnesses racism in her town but still has hope that there is some good left. However, when Tom is killed, the audience and characters lose hope for a relatively happy ending. This has stuck with me since freshman year, when I first read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and it became one of my favorite books. --- Juliette G.

One series that I would change the ending to is The Maze Runner. I loved that series so much up until the very end where I loathed the ending. There was so much that happened all at once and so much left unexplained and I hated it. I especially hated how Thomas's relationship with Teresa ended, and I would definitely go back and write them in some real closure and stop Thomas from moving on literally two seconds later. --- Katie T.

It's not necessarily the perfect hook or beginning of a story that has me fully mesmerized and left in utter awe, but the way that the perfect ending is constructed. Personally, I believe that are many things that make for a good conclusion such as seeing how the  character’s growth throughout the story reflects how they finally reach their happy ending as well as seeing how it allows for a new beginning to happen. Overall, as long as the world is left in good terms and the characters are content, then I’m happy and that’s all that matters. There are so many books that have such wonderfully sculpted endings such as THE LUNAR CHRONICLES by Marissa Meyer, MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN trilogy by Ransom Rigggs, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS series by Stephanie Perkins, SIX OF CROWS duology by Leigh Bardugo and the list goes on. But there is one book series that no matter how much I try not to think about it, it always manages to find a way into my mind for having such an unjust and  unsatisfying ending and what other series can that be besides DIVERGENT by the amazing Veronica Roth. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed that triology but the ending to ALLEGIANT was so brutal and horrible that it really made me angry and left in me in so much agony. So without a doubt, I would change that ending to have a much more positive one leaving the world and all the characters all thriving and well instead of left to recover as well as for letting those who caused harm to get the punishment they deserved for their inhumane actions. --- Laina Q.

 

Most people already know that I love the HARRY POTTER series; also, out of the entire series, my most favorite chapters are the last two. They are written beautifully; the second-to last chapter is tense yet exhilarating as triumph is close at hand; the final chapter bringing closure to all conflict, letting the reader know that the characters they have come to love are finally at peace. They have changed, yet they are still themselves. The details that J. K. Rowling drops regarding the future of the characters are both comforting and exciting --- seeds of fan fiction definitely sprouting! There have also been a few books that I have wanted to change the ending; DIVERGENT, for starters. While I will not give away any spoilers, I was shocked with the ending, though later I could see what Veronica Roth was trying to convey in her decision. The ending I was most upset by was THE FATE OF TEN, by Pittacus Lore. This is the sixth book in the series, and I have to admit I was definitely a little frustrated when I found out that this was not the last book of the series, as I had been told before. The ending was abrupt, and left me feeling in the dark searching for a light. It would have been easier to deal with had there been another chapter to bring the book down from its climax point. A part of me wanted to stop then --- just for a little bit --- but a larger part of me was still invested in the characters, so I did finish the series after all. --- Lauren C.

You know who deserved better? Primrose! I love the Hunger Games series and thought that ending was pretty realistic considering the setting of the series but Primrose did not deserve that! I loved how she softened her sister and though I know it symbolizes the end of some childhood innocence and a sense of Home for Katniss I thought that the decimation of district 12 was enough. Anyways, you probably did not ask for all of this but there you go. --- Lauren H.

I have read many books where I loved the story but wanted to throw the book at the wall for a bad ending. Usually, it’s because the characters didn’t end up at peace, or it was too vague. I feel like unless the book will lead to a series, it isn’t fair to leave the audience with nothing to think about! Even though this isn’t a book, I’d like to reference to one of my favorite shows, Friends. The ending was perfect, it left me with enough events and happenings but still led me to think about what the characters could have done later on.  I think a good ending should have something big, a good plot twist that will captivate the readers to think about the book for as long as possible. However, the book shouldn’t be too much of a cliff hanger if it doesn’t lead to a series. As for the characters, I don’t like it when they are too mellow or depressed. The ending should leave the story with a feeling of content, comfort, and a little bit of captivation for the story after the final page. --- Lillian B.

One ending of a book that I would love to change is ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth. This is the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy. I had loved the first two books and was extremely excited about finishing the series. However, ALLEGIANT really did not impress me. The ending, especially, did not feel thought out. Instead, I felt that a very important scene was placed in the book just to get a shock factor. I do not need a perfect, happy ending, but I enjoy a logical and purposeful conclusion to a book that I spent time reading. --- Mackenzie P.

 

The one series whose ending I wish I could completely change would be the Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. While I did enjoy the majority of the last novel in this series, THE HEART OF BETRAYAL, the ending left me so underwhelmed. I was not happy with how the love triangle ended up, and I felt that things wrapped up too perfectly in a way as Pearson gave each of the main characters an ending that was difficult for me to believe. Another series that I was not content with the ending of was the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This series was captivating to read; however, I wish that Collins expanded the end of MOCKINGJAY a bit. There were so many characters that I cared a lot about yet I don’t know how their stories ever really wrapped up. --- Makayla H.

When I think of a perfect ending for I book, I often think of Adam Silvera's books (keep in mind this is a little biased because he is my favorite author of all time). What I love about Adam Silvera's endings to his books is that they have a balanced mixed of closure along with leaving a bit out for interpretation. Book endings can tend to be too open-ended or not open-ended enough for me at times, and I feel like Adam Silvera does an amazing job of mixing these two together. This is especially true for THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END and MORE HAPPY THAN NOT; both of those novels contain sci-fi and dystopian elements, which I feel like makes it easier to balance these types of endings. This is not to say his book HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME had a bad ending, it just wasn't one of my favorite endings ever. --- Marco M.

I would go with the fault in our stars. This may be one of the easiest answers but I stand by it. When reading it, I was really really hoping for a healthy happy ending, which I knew was not coming. I would change it to exactly what I wanted. They would both battle their cancer and win the fight. They would make new metaphors happy together. I like books that ends the way I was not expecting, which doesn’t happen that often. Books by Dan Brown are an example of this. When reading I am not able to pin point what the ending is going to be. They intrigue me a little more than those who are predictable. --- McKenzie S.

Any book series written by Marie Lu. I love her writing style and how her endings are apt to the storyline, but I can’t help resenting them. They are always bittersweet and make me cry way too much. Specifically her ending to THE YOUNG ELITES series. I won’t spoil THE MIDNIGHT STAR too much, but let’s just say a certain villainous character who I admire dies. --- Melat E.

I can honestly say that I don't believe I've ever read an ending I hated. Any that do come to mind belong to books that as a whole, I did not enjoy. It's hard to say what makes a perfect ending. I don't have a preference over fairytale happy endings or bleak realistic ones. I have a track record of really enjoying endings that everyone else seemed to hate (Eleanor and Park, Paper Towns, etc.). Even if an ending isn't exactly what I wanted, I couldn't imagine changing it. I think that we need to have endings we don't necessarily love. If every story ended happily-ever-after, they'd be the same; or it would compromise the integrity of the whole story. I think that what makes a perfect ending perfect, is the trust you as a reader place in the author. I trust authors to write the ending they think best for their creations. Authors treasure and know their characters more than any reader could. I know that they have their characters best interest at heart and I trust them to write the necessary ending. --- Olivia W.

 

I loved reading EVERY DAY by David Levithan, but when it came to the end of the novel, I was disappointed. Perhaps I was expecting the book to have some larger-than-life moment where the main character got to materialize into their own body, but I was let down. Sometimes I prefer happy endings as opposed to ones that make sense, and this is one of those cases. Usually, though, it is books whose endings I wish I could change that I end up treasuring. --- Rachel D.

I can't think of any specific books that I'd like to change the endings of, but I know that I hate when the closure is open-ended --- I like knowing exactly what's going to happen to the characters when the story ends. I know some people enjoy wondering about what happens after the book finishes and trying to come up with their own endings, but if I come up with my own ideas, they just don't seem official --- a small part of me (or maybe a large part) refuses to really accept the ending I created, knowing that the author might have imagined it a different way. Overall, I think that an author ends a story well when the characters have learned something --- about themselves, about their society, about someone they love --- that leaves them stronger, wiser, or more compassionate by the time their story has ended. I don't think it always has to be about overcoming a major flaw --- it can also be simply becoming a better, truer, or fuller version of the person you are. --- Rachel R.

I did not care for the ending of RUIN AND RISING. I felt like it was a little anti-climactic as all the books were leading up, up, up and then the ending was not satisfying to me. I think a good ending has to match what the book is. The ending has to make sense, otherwise, it’s not going to feel right. --- Rebecca D.

In my opinion, a good ending to a novel is when the characters fully develop and there is a clear story arc. Whether it be in a coming of age story where the teen gleans insight into society, or a fantasy novel where the main character completes their task and grows from their odyssey, these both embody an ideal and fulfilling ending. I would prefer there to be clear growth in the characters, which doesn't mandate that there be a happy ending. As a reader, I like to relate to the characters and be invested in their journey even if it entails that the ending might not be an optimal one. --- Ryan H.

 

While it may be one of my favorite books, I feel like I would slightly alter the ending of MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins. I loved where the plot left off, I just felt like it was to abrupt! The ending made sense and I enjoyed it, but Katniss felt so different. It was like she lost so much of the spunk and fire that made everyone love her. Romantically I was happy with the conclusion, I really just felt that the character of Katniss was so complacent when she used to be so strong and steadfast. However, I firmly believe that a strong conclusion is difficult to make, so I'm quite forgiving. Regardless, I love complete endings. I want to know that the characters I love are safe and sound. --- Savana W.

A book I would change the ending to would be ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth since if you’ve read that one you understand exactly what i’m talking about. Others would include HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer, BE TRUE TO ME by Adele Griffin, and FIREWORKS by Katie Cotugno not because they were disappointing but because they made me SO EMOTIONAL. For real — be sure to grab some tissues for those reads! --- Taylor F.

The one book that stands out in my mind is NEVERMORE. My best friend Jenna and I loved Maximum Ride. She was one thing we bonded over. When this book came out, we were psyched. I read it before her, and I remember complaining about the end. It felt unfinished and awkward. The book did not feel like a Maximum Ride book. I wanted something more fulfilling. Fang and Max together forever probably. I would probably have a happy ending with rainbows and flowers than how that book ended. --- Wren L.