Monday, May 27, 2013

Top Ten Books Whose Endings I'd Rewrite If I Could
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Endings are the trickiest thing in books. Great books have been ruined by sub-par endings, while average books can suddenly level up into AWESOME purely because of what happens in the final fifty pages. I've definitely come across some endings that I'd give anything to rewrite or change or just completely do away with. Here are ten of the book endings that made me rage the hardest.

Warning: Mild to moderate spoilers.

1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


 Well, I might rewrite a whole lot more than the ending. I actually like the epilogue, and the very last romantic development, but... Oh, man, did this book BREAK MY HEART. I was completely depressed by the end of it. I had cried so much I was just a numb and empty shell because half of my favorite characters were dead. There are like eight deaths I would force Suzanne Collins to take back if I could. Part of my brain is still like, "NOPE, NOPE, THEY'RE ALIVE, LA-LA-LA," fingers shoved in my ears et al. In my brain, SPOILER Finnick and Boggs and Prim SPOILER are happily alive skipping through meadows and being perfectly happy.

2. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
NO NO NO A THOUSAND TIMES NO. So I'm reading this book, right? And it's about cancer and family, so you know it's going to take a pretty heavy toll, emotionally, but you're braced for it.You're prepared for it to end, and it's ending. You've done your crying. You've reconciled with it and it's even moved you. And then there's ten pages left in the book and all of a sudden WHAT THE WHAT THE WHAT and I was so mad and horrified and weeping so copiously that all I could do was fling the book across the room. I did. I flung it. I actually FLUNG it.

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
And then Jo and Laurie run off together and have awesome adventures and are married forever THE END. 

4. The Subtle Knife The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman
Saying why this book has the most traumatic ending of my childhood would be a mega spoiler, but I swear it's the reason that I DON'T BELIEVE IN HAPPINESS ANYMORE. 

5. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

6. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. 

7. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Really? Really? We don't even get a pretend battle like in the movie? I've read four Bible-length books of mooning and angsting and celibacy waiting for a damn battle! Pfft. At least they finally slept together.

9. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
Everybody should read this book, because it's awesome, and while the final tragic event is only vaguely alluded to--it's implied that you could interpret it either way-- I wish it hadn't been alluded to AT ALL because it SUCKS.

10. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Bradley Cooper said it better than I ever could:

This is actually the book he's reading and reacting to in the movie.

WARNING: Big spoilers in the video clip.

Seriously, Ernie, I get nihilism and all that jazz, but GOOD GOD, you've got to believe there is at least ONE happy person in the world out there somewhere. A person who has never read this book, most likely.

Honorable mentions:

Books whose endings I LOVE but they hurt my heart and so part of me wishes they were different:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, only because SOBBITY SOB SOB; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling, DITTO; Atonement by Ian McEwan
(I wouldn't actually rewrite this beautifully sad ending for the world, but when I read it, I literally said out loud, "You. Are. Kidding. Me."); Life of Pi by Yann Martel;Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan;

What bookish endings do you wish you could rewrite? Leave me your links if you've got them, please! I can't WAIT to find out what topics people chose for this week's freebie.


  1. As usual, you make many a brilliant point. MANY. Ugh. Books. Endings. Death. x.x

  2. For serious!!!! What a great topic and ummm yeah freaking Mockingjay and Where the Red Fern Grows. I'd definitely add Requiem to the list too since that was so not an ending

    My Top Ten

    1. I've heard that about Requiem, that it's totally open ended. I hate those kinds of non-endings. I like closure! I like epilogues!

  3. haha excellent tie into silver linings. And I so very much agree about My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult has a tendency to give tragic endings that come out of nowhere and terrorize her readers. They make me angry just thinking about them now.

    1. I don't think I've ever been so made at a book in MY LIFE as I was with My Sister's Keeper. UGH.

  4. Great list! Guh, is it bad that I'm racking my head here trying to remember which part you're referring to re: The Subtle Knife? I remember the end of The Amber Spyglass was pretty bittersweet...'twas so long ago since I read it *blushes*

    The ending of Atonement gets me every time ;_;

    And I think that's the reason why I've never touched Hemingway. I think I need to be in a particular mood to read his books. I am however slowly getting there with Thomas Hardy. Ever so slowly, lol.

    My TTT

    1. D'oh! I meant The Amber Spyglass. Good catch.

      Also, I LOVE Thomas Hardy, but I DON'T recommend Jude the Obscure. Not if you value joy.

  5. JO and LAURIE TOGETHER FOREVER! I swear... I cried when he and Amy got together. I just... I was SO SURE that he and Jo would be happy. It devastated me. One of the first books I can remember getting furious over. Before it I don't think I ever disagreed with an ending of a book before.

    Mockingjay... I have a dream that Prim and Rue ran a bed and breakfast together near the beach. Finnick catches fish that Annie cooks for tourists at her fish and chip shop. And Peeta bakes the bread for everyone. Katniss paints caricatures on the pier for tourists...

    1. Your dream just made me gasp and then moan with pain. Because it's so beautiful. *SOBS*

      AND YES. Little Women was the first book I remember being like, "No, she got it wrong. Louisa May Alcott got it WRONG." So, yeah. In my head, Jo and Laurie ended up together, and they went off and did super adventurous things like she always wanted, instead of settling down and popping out babies and never writing anymore.

  6. Ah, love this idea! I SO agree with Mockingjay. I wanted to just puke in frustration. And Breaking Dawn. I'm not even going there.

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl (And The Broke and the Bookish). Visit my Top Ten Tuesday!

  7. Ha! I like your rewrite of Little Women. Great topic!

  8. Great picks! You know that I look at MOCKINGJAY a little differently than you do, but I cried just as hard.

    Also, I thought you'd appreciate that while I didn't read JUDE THE OBSCURE, I did read THE MAYOR OF CASTORBRIDGE, and while I was in London, I went to Westminster Abbey and accidentally-not-accidentally sort of stepped on Hardy's gravestone in Poets' Corner. (I did the same for Charles Dickens, but that was on accident, and I apologized profusely to him. I like to think he forgave me and we're pals now.)

  9. I am ALL with you on the Twilight books!

  10. Wonderful list!!! Funny, I never thought about it, but I totally agree with each and every one of these-especially 1, 2, and 3.

    Kerri @ Turn the Page Reviews

  11. Fantastic list! I was disappointed with Mockingjay and Breaking Dawn, too. I actually liked My Sister's Keeper (not to sound totally callous!), but it had me SOBBING. But, OMG, Where the Red Fern Grows is the worst!!!
    Natflix&Books' TTT

  12. I love this topic SO HARD. There are so many books that I'd love to red pen the heck out of. Mockingjay was infuriating and I'm so with you on your spoiler happy bits. That one guy DID NOT NEED TO DIE. For the love of all that's holy.

    Also, YES on Breaking Dawn. I'm not a Twilight fan in the least, but I read them. And seriously, you're going to build up this whole huge we're-all-gonna-die scenario and then THEY HAVE A FREAKING SUMMIT?! You have GOT to be kidding me. That book sealed my Twilight hate forever.

    Where the Red Fern Grows made me ugly cry...great, gasping, snotty sobs. It was seriously the ugliest thing ever, except when I ugly cried in the middle of a grocery store during The Fault in our Stars.

    Okay...I'm taking deep breaths and calming down. This really is an excellent topic. :D

    My Top Ten

  13. Hahahahahaahah! I couldn't stop laughing after the Little Women one! I get what you're saying! And the same with Breaking Dawn! What the hell?!
    My TTT

  14. I actually didn't read Where the Red Fern Grows when I was a child (like every other person on Earth) so when my husband (who is not a reader) actually recommended I read this I totally jumped on it. But by the end I was screaming at him, "WHY!?! WHY DID YOU DO THAT TO ME?!?!" Prick. lol
    My Top Ten Book Quotes

  15. HAHA Loved that bit with Bradley Cooper.

  16. I totally agree with Mockingjay, it was such an emotional letdown! The Amber Spyglass broke me down completely, I need to reread it soon, haha! And oh, Breaking Dawn, what a mess! Great topic!

    my Top Ten

  17. Great topic for a top ten list. I agree with you about Villette - I don't understand why she had to "suggest" a bad ending. It's a wonderful book but I HATED that she didn't let us just be happy after all the struggling. And then there's Thomas Hardy. I almost choked when I read what you said about the end of Jude The Obscure because that's my exact thought at the end of every Hardy book...and yet I keep reading them. A great and very entertaining post!

  18. Oh my gosh the ending to the His Dark Materials series!!! I mean, I actually don't know if I'd change it, because as sad as it is, it's sort of perfect for the story. And part of the reason I love Lyra and Will so much is because they are willing to do what needs to be done. But at the same time, Will and Lyra need to be together!!! And the scene where they realize they love each other. Oh my gosh!!!!!!

  19. Omg, LOVE this topic. Firstly.. Mockingjay. Ugh. SERIOUSLY? Totally with you there. Regarding Little Women -- YES, that's totally what happens. I'm so glad I'm not the only person who thinks that. The clip from Silver Linings Playbook is hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing at that part when I watched the movie. Because yeah, I totally have those reactions after I read endings like that! Except.. you know, I don't actually throw books through windows.

    Harry Potter: oh my goodness. my heart. I was working as a camp counselor the summer the 7th book came out and I'd read it during my 1 hour breaks. The only place I could read in peace was in the tiny kitchen area. So, yeah, I was sitting on the kitchen floor, crying at the end. It was a pretty pathetic picture.

  20. "Have I told you lately that I love you?
    Have I told you there's no one else above you?
    Fill my heart with gladness.
    Take away all my sadness.
    Ease my troubles that's what you do."

    Now that I'm done serenading you for your awesomeness...

    1. I actually disagree, well, at least with the way you wanted it to end. My issues with the ending of Mockingjay were variant. I don't like what she did to Gale, but I liked that everyone was ruined forever. MWAHAHA.

    2. HAHAHAHA. At the time (I was younger and dumber), I was like WHAT A TWEEEST. Now, I'm like ugh. *smacks past self on the head*

    3. YES. Fuck that old professor guy and Amy. No.

    4. I need to reread this series obviously. I also read them back to back, so I can't really separate them. I know nothing.

    5. No book has ever made me cry more.

    6. Even the kids are like fuck these assholes.

    7. Don't forget a baby and a teenage falling in love. Charming.

    9. What happened to 8? Also, is this better than Jane Eyre? As in, is it like the first half, not the second half where she falls in love with a lying asshole?

    10. I do not remember this ending either. DANG IT.

    Epilogues I would kill: Losing It, Crime and Punishment, Harry Potter 7.

  21. OMG I'M STILL NOT OVER THE AMBER SPYGLASS!! That was the first time I learned just how badly a book can betray you. I absolutely agree about Mockingjay, I hated the way everything ended. Susanne Collins made all the wrong decisions (this is fact, not opinion.)


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