I feel like I’m slogging through each day, just waiting for the moment where the alarm does not have to go off one morning. This week has been particularly tough mentally. So, my joy at the fact that it is finally Thursday knows no bounds because it means I only have to get up early one more day this week! It also means it is time for Booking Through Thursday!
Jackie says, “I love books with complicated plots and unexpected endings. What is your favourite book with a fantastic twist at the end?”
So, today’s question is in two parts.
1. Do YOU like books with complicated plots and unexpected endings?
2. What book with a surprise ending is your favorite? Or your least favorite?
This is another fabulous question that requires too much thinking early in the morning. Do I like books with complicated plots and unexpected endings? Well, I think they are two different things. Complicated plots are one thing and do not necessarily entail an unexpected ending. I like those endings that I cannot predict, that throw me for a loop and have me gasping out loud from the twists and turns. Granted, they have to be realistic surprise endings – no jumping the shark endings for me – but I do like unexpected endings because it keeps me engaged as a reader through the end. I do get upset when I can predict the ending of a novel well before said ending. I read to escape, not to unintentionally figure out how the conflict will end.
However, I do not think complicated plots automatically mean an unexpected ending. I am not a big fan of overly complicated and convoluted plot lines. Again, I read to escape, and I feel that reading should not require flow charts and diagrams in order to figure out what is happening. That being said, I do think that this can be done with skill and finesse so that the plot is complicated without being confusing. Unfortunately, this is a skill, and not many authors can pull it off well.
As for what books I feel best exemplify mastery of the surprise ending, I would have to put The Hunger Games and even Catching Fire among the top of the list. Both kept me on the edge of my seat while reading, and I honestly had no idea where Suzanne Collins was going with her story. Both endings left me all but panting because of the roller coaster of emotions that was flooding through me. I would also rank the children’s classic The Westing Game up there as well. As a child first reading the story, the ending literally shocked me to no end, and that feeling of respect I have for Ellen Raskin’s ability to do so has stayed with me over the years.
Thankfully, I cannot think of a book I would list as my least favorite. That means I have either blocked out the memory or have not read any I would classify as such!
Now it’s your turn! Any books with surprise endings that I need to add to my TBR pile immediately? Any I should avoid at all costs? Are complicated plots the same thing as an unexpected ending? How do you feel about either plot device?
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