Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happily Ever After?

So I got to thinking recently about happily ever after(s) in the novels we read. I'm the kind of person who likes to see a HEA, especially when it involves a series. You follow these characters through several books, rooting for them to stay alive, stay in love, and stay together. I get kind of depressed when it ends and there is no HEA. 

One of my favorite books of all time is a LJ Smith book from ages ago. I won't say which one, because it would be spoiler-ish. But I loved, loved, loved this one character and wanted them to be together so badly, and the ending (although it was the *right* ending) left me in sobs. Hysterical 14 year old kind of sobbing. It was bad. 

It pretty much traumatized me. 

Now my writing style doesn't necessarily adhere to my reading tastes, so please keep that in mind. Sometimes a happy ending isn't what you think it is ... and sometimes it is. Depends on the story. I like HEA, but I LOVE HEA that characters have to WORK for, have to STRUGGLE to get to them, have to make SACRIFICES to achieve them.  (Me not a fan of insta-love and intsa-HEA)

So what do you guys think? Do you require a HEA for the characters  you're reading? 

Also, look what I have in my hands ....

I have an astronomical reading list right now, so I don't when I will get to this, but I have been hearing great things about this one.


  1. It certainly depends on the genre, of course. A thriller, even as a series, requires resolution, but not a happily ever after, as such.

    My other work in progress with my co-author requires a happy ending, and at the same time, we'll be bringing the characters back again down the line. The story of their relationship is something they're working for, as you put it.

  2. For stuff I'm reading, yes, I do require a happily ever after of some kind. I most definitely want something the characters have to work their butts off for, otherwise it's just no fun getting to the feel good ending and I quickly forget it. I can stand bittersweet endings or sad endings so long as they have some kind of closure or meaning. Titanic is a perfect example. She lost her true love, but she gained the life she always wanted. I HATE endings that are sad, and have no meaning, like a certain book I read in middle school where nobody was happy, and there wasn't a reason why nobody could be happy. Nobody defied their fate, there wasn't a bright spot to it. That was the scarring read for me. I can't imagine a series that ended like that...that would be heart wrenching, really.

    In my writing, I aspire to have a happy ending that is worked for, or at least has some sort of bright spot to it to give the reader closure and hope. After all, why write what you wouldn't read, right? At least that's my philosophy.

  3. If the HEA is believable, then yeah. It'd be nice to have one, sure. After all we have to have something to root for. Granted, HEA's aren't always boy & girl in love forever and ever and ever. The ending to the series I've planned is nothing like that, but in its own way, it's still a HEA.

    *Ramble ramble ramble* As long as I can buy it, I'm down. But if not, then that's okay too. Not everyone's story has a happy ending...

  4. I just like the ending making sense, well as much sense as possible in the given world they live in. I do get attached to characters occasionally and get crushed seeing how the end is not so good for them. But it's something that happens to everyone and brings it in to a sort of reality of life. :)

  5. I like HEA, but at least give me a best possible outcome with given circumstance. I hate when the character just plops over dead and a story ends and it's supposed to be some kind of depressing metaphor.

  6. I've got this one on my TBR list, too; I picked up an ARC at Arisia. I'll get a chance to read it... someday.

  7. I like happily-ever-afters too... but now I'm curious as to what LJ Smith book that is :0P