Friday, July 3, 2015

The End Hook

This past week, I’ve been trying to catch up on my reading. When I say trying, it’s because I’m still terribly behind, but I did read 3 books since last Saturday.

I’ve heard the phrase that if you want to hook the reader you have to have a good first chapter, but if you want them to read the next book, you have to give them a satisfying ending. Not necessarily an ending that ties everything up in a little bow, but that makes them feel like you’ve met your promise from the beginning of the book. If you don’t do that, then there’s no guarantee that the reader will want to read the next one.

I never really understood that until this week.

Now, there’s obviously been books that when I finished went ‘meh’ and didn’t bother to read the next books, just because I didn’t feel that invested. The characters were fine, the plot was okay, but if I’m going to read something else from that author, I want more than fine. Otherwise, I want something new that will have a chance of wowing me.

This week, I started a book that I’d seen at the bookstore. It had great promise, and I loved the main characters. The story was crisp, and easy to follow. I read the entire book in about four hours because I had to know what happened.

But then the ending came.

This book was the first of a trilogy. When I got to the last 3-4 chapters, I started to get frustrated. Suddenly the story had morphed, it was no longer an action story, but it was entirely focused on a love triangle that really didn’t exist. Or should have been resolved by that point.

It ended on a cliffhanger, a really big one. And I debated between reading the next one. The ending was what swayed the decision toward no. I didn’t care anymore. I was frustrated with the author and with the characters, and I made the conscious choice not to continue the series.

Has this happened to you before? What makes you decide not to continue a series/trilogy?