There comes an awkward moment in every bookworm’s life when they screech from the hilltops, “THIS IS A HORRIBLE BOOK!“
And…they mean it enthusiastically.
It’s probably the hardest thing to explain. But some books are really, really good…and also awful because they have no conclusion. They can be so awful it’s hard to explain that they’re good. (And they’re nearly impossible to review.) How is a bookworm to manage this insane feeling? Screaming? Ranting? Raving? How are we to explain ourselves?!
Trying to sum up feelings for horrible-good books with no conclusions can purely be summed up like this:
There is nothing good about it. NOTHING. (I haven’t even seen the movie yet because I value my tear ducts.) This book is incredibly well written, it inspired my own writing style, and it smushed my emotions into a little ball and trampled on them with spiky shoes.
But it’s still a good book.
But how? And why? And I can’t explain why it’s good because it seems so very bad. Because:
- There’s no positive ending.
- Nothing gets fixed.
- There is a point but no resolution.
- It’s horribly depressing.
Talk about deja vu. It’s a horrible book with no resolution. I finished it with my braincells about to burst while I said, “BUT WHAT WAS THE POINT!??”
Sometimes books don’t seem to have “points” because their ending isn’t hopeful and their conclusion doesn’t fix anything. There is no answer. There is no hope. THERE IS NOTHING.
But sometimes that IS the point.!
These books are purely shouting about the problem. They’re not fixing it. They’re drawing our attention to it. That’s still important.
Most books are written to say, “Hey look at these awful terrible, no good circumstances. Let’s see what we can do to make them better!” Especially in YA or MG… messages of hope are 98% required. For instance:
- The Hunger Games: There’s a bad Capitol controlling everyone and killing all how threaten to rebel…so Katniss & Co have a rebellion.
- City of Bones: There is an evil dude called Valentine trying to turn Shadowhunters into dark demonic killers….so Clary & Co fight him (and save humans too).
- Since You’ve Been Gone: Emily is alone and shy and awkward and her best friend is missing….so Emily & Co complete a list of tasks to help her be brave and find her friend.
But some books are written WITHOUT a conclusion to draw emphasis to the problem.
This is also okay. It’s not bad storytelling. It’s just not as usual as “concluded endings”. Who likes to read 100% depressing, hopeless books?! (Um, me apparently, but let’s not get into that.)
- Only Ever Yours: Is a future society where a girl’s only purpose is to give their husbands sex and children. It picks up mental health and society’s skewed definition of beauty and EXPLODES THEM.
- The Boy In The Striped Pajamas: Is about WWII and the holocaust and the pointlessness of killing and how little kids can get caught up and killed in the pointless wars of adults.
- Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock: is about mental health and that, even if a disaster is averted or completed, it doesn’t mean the illness will go away.
BOOKS ALWAYS HAVE A POINT, BUT THEY DON’T NECESSARILY HAVE CONCLUSIONS OR FIXES..
It’s hard to swallow. These kind of conclusion-less books always leave me feeling marginally depressed and wanting to crawl into a happy book of sunshine and rainbows. But they’re worth reading because of all the questions they raise. I will forever love books that make me think.
how do YOU feel about books with no conclusions?? does it bug you? do you feel that no conclusion makes the book pointless? or do you think it’s fair and acceptable to have books that make a point but don’t FIX anything?? i definitely need to talk this one out, peoples. LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!!
Cait tried to edit her book on a Monday. HA HA HAHA. no. It didn’t not work well, although she did finish a chapter despite her brain malfunctioning. She also finished BLACK HEART by Holly Black which is the conclusion to a fabulous trilogy. Now she has post-trilogy feels.