For serious readers I have realized there is a bit of a divide on this issue. I have noticed other bloggers actually tick off points on a review if the ending wasn’t happy/sad.
As readers, we get very involved in our stories. These are not just characters. They are little pieces of ourselves that we invest into every story. Each story changes a bit about us. After finishing a really great book, we emerge from our reading cocoon with a bit of a different world view. Every story weaves it’s way into our psych.
Since we get so involved in stories, having the perfect ending is imperative. Don’t leave loose strings. Don’t hold out! Give us closure! Please!
I realize that every story shouldn’t have a happy ending. Some stories need that sadness to imprint on us. Some stories just can not end happy.
Some stories even have a mixed bag kind of ending. Where some things ended well while others just didn’t.
However, some stories have the heavily sought after happy ending. Where everything is tied up nice and neat with a pretty bow of happily ever after.
Why the obsession with happy ending?
For me, reading is an escape from the soul crushing grind of daily life here in reality-land. It keeps me from getting bitter and grinchy. Each happy ending plants that seed of wistful hope that things can be beautiful and good. Sadly, reality-land often isn’t a very good place to be.
Between working amazingly long hours for abysmally low wages and trying not to drop kick your angsty two year old, life can get tough out here.
I need those tiny little seeds of happy.
What side of the debate are you on?