I will admit, when I first started reading, cliffhangers bugged the crap out of me. I would literally cut off a star in my rating when there was a cliffhanger at the end of a book. I felt like it was a ploy to make me read the next book, and I hate being forced to do anything, so I rebelled.
But as time went on, cliffhangers started to weasel their way into my heart. Now, don’t get me wrong, they often piss me off. So much that I have to take a few days breather before I write the review so I don’t just rant about the cliffhanger. But I see their appeal now. They make the wait for the next book so excruciatingly delightful. I love looking forward to a book coming out. One of the worst things that can happen is not even realizing the next book in a series has come out. That’s not a good sign. You should be dying to get your hands on the next book. Now that’s a series worth reading.
I think one of the best cliffhangers I have read is in Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. The whole book was fantastic, and then that heart wrenching ending was so effing epic. I was shredded and hyped up all at the same time. The same goes for Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I was so upset but excited. I thought of Opal and that ending numerous times throughout the year. The wait for the next book was almost unbearable but well worth the wait.
So, yes, cliffhangers, for me, have their place in the book world. However, a cliffhanger at the end of a book that didn’t need one is BAD. For example, if the book had very little action or plot, you can tell the cliffhanger was thrown in to liven things up. Um, yeah, too little, too late. Surrender Your Love by J.C. Reed fell into this bad cliffhanger category. Or when nothing is solved throughout the whole book. If it’s just a whole cluster of continuous things getting worse and worse, more questions, no answers, more mystery, no solutions, then a cliffhanger can be too much. It’s not satisfying to read a book with now resolution or wrap up. Authors have to give use at least a little bit of closure or hope or it’s just not worth reading the story. At least this is true for me.
I hate cliffhangers. I love cliffhangers. It’s a toss up for me sometimes. It all comes down to how the author presents it. Cliffhangers can be beautifully done. They can also crash and burn the whole book. But overall, I think they can add a lot to a series and it’s craveability. I crave the next book following a cliffhanger. It works. It’s a great selling point and you can’t help but respect this strategy.
Do you like cliffhangers? Why or why not?