The Grief of Cliffhangers

So I’ve been thinking about how there are so many series books nowadays. And with these come cliffhangers. I hate cliffhangers. And I just thought about all the ways I reacted to all the different cliffhangers so I made this. What have I felt?

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Shock/Disbelief

What?! What?! What the heck just happened?! This is a series?!

This usually happens when the book doesn’t specify that it’s a series. I think a lot of us have come across these kinds of books. I mean seriously, you’re going to end the book in a cliffhanger. Why won’t you indicate that the book is part of a series?

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Denial

NO! NO! NO! *flips pages endlessly* Where are the other pages?

When a book is so good, you just can’t accept that it ends there. Who hasn’t tried to flip all the empty pages? Or tried flipping through the book extras you don’t care about? Or went back a couple of pages just to make sure? I surely have double checked or triple checked for pages I would never find.

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Anger

AAAAARRRRRGGHHHH! NOT AGAIN! *throws away book. flips all tables*

I experienced this during the ending of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. Some endings just really rile me up that I want to rage-quit. Of course I won’t really. But at that time that’s what I would feel like. Some cliffhangers are just too much, especially if you consider all the waiting you have to do. And yes, I love my books but sometimes they make me want to throw them away or rip them up.

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Bargaining

Dear Author, Can I have the next book now please? Please? Please? Please?

I think people who are active on the internet are prone to do this. Authors are so easily accessible now through Twitter or Email or whatnot. So of course you have to ask them about the next book. Sometimes you even ask them even if the first book hasn’t even been released yet because it was an advanced readers copy. Usually, this comes with some fangirling and begging.

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Depression

Noooooo!!! *curls up in a book hangover ball* No one talk to me.

Sometimes you get angry, sometimes you just get depressed. You can’t read for days just thinking about that book that affected you so much. And you ask why why why is the next book not here yet. And you lie awake imagining what would come out of them. And you just can’t move on until you find out.

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Guilt

Why did I start this book? I shouldn’t have started this book.

Sometimes, you just know the book will end in a cliffhanger. You know the book is part of a series. You’ve seen reviews saying that there will be a cliffhanger. But the book looks so good or so many people are saying you should read it. So you give in and read it in one or two days. And then you reach the cliffhanger. And then you regret it a little.

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Acceptance

Oh. Another cliffhanger. Oh well. The next book will come soon enough.

In the end, all you can really do is wait. None of it is in your control after all. You love the book so much, but all the emotions won’t really make the wait faster. It won’t make the release date come earlier. So just calm down. Grab another book. And maybe freak out when the next book will released in a few weeks or days.

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Sometimes there’s also…

Indifference

Usually this happens when the book just isn’t good enough that the ending doesn’t even matter much to you anymore. How awful is it when the book has frustrated you so much and then you find out that you can’t even know everything yet? I think that’s just plain awful to me, and I’ll probably give up on the series. Or I would google the summary of what happened or something.

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Yeah, I used the stages of grief. I’ve pretty much gone through all of these. However, I think I have reached acceptance towards cliffhangers. Occasionally, I regress though, and let my emotions take over. 😛 But mostly I just try to avoid them as much as possible.

Oh, and I scoured Tumblr for these gifs. 😄 I’m not very good at it so if you have tips or suggestions then please feel free to comment.

What are you like when the book you are reading ends in a cliffhanger? Have you experienced any of this? Do you have other reactions to cliffhangers?

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26 thoughts on “The Grief of Cliffhangers

  1. Pretty much how I feel about cliffhangers! If the book was something I enjoyed, I would freak out if the cliffhanger happened. If not, I’d probably just not be interested in the book series to continue, haha!

  2. HAH! I love this post and how you used the stages of loss in it. and allll the harry potter gifs. But it’s so true!

  3. omfg. This post is beautiful 😛 I hate cliffhangers. But on the other hand they are good because it makes people (i’m not one of them) to pick up the other book, which is good for the authors of course! I don’t read series often. I’m usually not really interested in them. I prefer series that revolve around other characters in every book, so I don’t have to engage in a life of just one person during a book series of 10 books.

    • Thank you. ❤ Yeah, I don't think I'm one of the people to easily pick up the next book because of a cliffhanger. 😄 And yeah, I like those series books that revolve around different characters. One really long story can be too much.

  4. This is a wonderful post, Francine 😀 And I loved the addition of the Harry Potter gifs ^.^
    I think I’ve been through all of these (except bargaining because I am shy and I don’t know if an author would appreciate that D:), and I love how you explained them.
    My most recent experience with a cliffhanger was denial. I finished The Falconer and I could NOT believe that was the ending, and that i would have to wait a year until I knew what had happened. D: But even though I wanted the next book STRAIGHT AWAY, I could kind of accept it – it was a great ending.
    But when a cliffhanger is used JUST to entice the reader to buy the next book it’s kind of annoying. Especially in a book where practically nothing happens. Those scenarios are always annoying me!

    • Thank you! That means a lot. ❤
      Some of them do. Some of them don't. I guess. Haha! But there are just some books that make me do it. I'm shy too, but at least I wouldn't really meet them in real life. Or it would be a long time so they hopefully forget. Lol.
      That must have been a really good book! I've heard so many great things about it. I don't know if I want to pick it up soon or if I should wait until the series is completed. :))
      And that is true. That is really really annoying. Like why don't you focus on writing a really good book instead of some gimmicks to sell all of them. There are way too many books where very little happens and they keep on mentioning secrets and whatnot. Those are so frustrating! I'm so glad you mentioned it. You understand~ ❤

  5. I’ve recently read a book that turned out to be a series. I was like, “Wait, I am nearing the end, why aren’t my questions answered?” then “WTF?! There’s a next book?!” *throws ebook* (Oops, I can’t! My iPad will break!)

  6. This was a fun post! I loved that you chose all those Harry Potter gifs! I like cliffhangers, but only when I have the next book already waiting for me. Because it means that the plot is getting thicker and more compelling. If it doesn’t, then I definitely don’t care about the story. But when I don’t have the next book at hand, or it hasn’t even been released, then yeah…you got it absolutely right!

  7. Aww, great post! I can totally relate to this post….it’s perfect! You kind of have changed the way I feel about cliffhangers now….. 😀

  8. The denial is one i experience far too often too. I’m so bad, that you’ll find me awake half the night wondering why! TFioS left me a snotty, whaling mess, I thought I must have had a dodgy copy and it was missing pages. I was so angry that night *shakes fist at John Green*
    Loved the GIFS, just the perfect touch 🙂 But now I’m itching to watch Harry Potter *does really bad British accent that comes along with saying his name*

  9. I love all your gifs!!! Harry Potter is always a good source for any reaction needs 😛 I’m definitely a “shock/denial/disbelief” kind of person, no matter how many series I start and end up reading cliffhangers. I never, ever learn. But it’s fun anyway, hunting for the pages that don’t exist xD

  10. Hah, I’ve had my share of cliffhangers, but the most extreme I’ve ever been was just shouting “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” and then looking for friends to share the grief with me. I’m not sure if I’ve been angry or sad yet, unless it’s a cliffhanger with someone dying. That would be too cruel!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

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  12. Oh I just LOVE your Harry Potter cliffhangers, especially the Snape one at the end ahha! Cliffhangers can be quite profound but tbh most of the time these days I’m just like yeah cliffhanger, next. Every series seems to end with one these days! Great post, I’m now following you via WP.

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  15. Same sentiments. That’s why sometimes I feel like not reading a book until the series is over. But then again, there are times that you don’t want to be the last to know so you’ll read ahead. Oh I had an experience with a book that was not listed as a series but turns out there’s second book. It’s like the author is testing the waters. BUT AUTHOR! You wrote a cliffhanger, of course we’ll want more. =\

  16. I can’t believe I almost missed this post! I love it! It reminds me of an episode from How I Met Your Mother 🙂 I hate cliffhangers too, especially in contemporary romance. I hate being tricked into buying multiple books just to get a proper ending to a story. Although, I do appreciate when authors/publishers give us some sort of disclaimer if there is one so it’s totally my choice to read it even though I know there is one. Most of the time, I would rather wait until the whole series is complete before picking them up. Great discussion Francine!

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