Top Ten Tuesday: Book Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Open

by Tee

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week our topic is Top Ten Books That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Open.  This one was really tough for me, because there are tons of books that have totally shocking, cliffhanger endings, but I made an effort here to list the ones I either a) couldn’t stop talking or thinking about or b) never saw coming. I’ll  do my best not to get too spoilery:

1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins– One word: PEEEEEETA!!!!  I thought I would pass out from the extreme suspense in wondering what had happened to my lovely delicate bakery boy.

2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver– Gosh this is hard.  I wish I could say why I was upset and crying my eyes out at the end of this one, but I don’t want to spoil it.  It’s killing me though!  I’m holding to the belief that my tears were needless, but I’m just not sure.

3. Princess on the Brink by Meg Cabot– I love this series, including this book, and I know it seems silly to include it—but the ending gave me a sad face.  Books from the Princess Diaries series are supposed to always end happily, with the protagonist in the arms of Michael Moscovitz  Fake Man of My Dreams instead of at live performance of Beauty and the Beast with a corn hater who smells like dry cleaning fluid and has floppy hair.   In fact, in all books, every heroine should end up with Michael Moscovitz.

4.  Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates– I read this a couple of years before the film came out and I haven’t read it since.  It not that it isn’t an excellent book—it is.  It’s a good story and it’s very well written, but the ending!  Dear, sweet, holy bananas, I couldn’t take it! I didn’t care for these characters on any emotional level, but I was struck by their careless, selfish attitudes and with the final actions taken.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterward because it gave me such a yucky, awful feeling.

5. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr– This ending isn’t so much shocking as it makes you go, “Nooooooooooo! Come back!”  That’s really all I can say except, this: I heart Cameron.

6.  Atonement By Ian McEwan– Oh this book is so fantastic.  I love it.  Mr. McEwan had me going the whole time with his sexy library business and naughty letters full of words I’d never say.  I loved Robbie and Cecelia.  I loved being wrapped up in the time period and the lush imagery.  The ending totally shocked me though.  I never saw it coming.  Never! Funny enough, I took my husband to see the movie and he was totally engrossed—until the end.  I think he was actually angry that he got sucked into it all.  He felt tricked. Boys are funny that way. Even grown up boys who read murder mysteries where the killer is always someone close to the investigation—someone you’d never think did it. Not that I’m naming names or anything.

7. Harry Potter and The Order of the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling– This will be spoilery, you know, if you live under a rock.  I read this series after all the books came out, so I’d already heard that Dumbledore was a goner.  The end shouldn’t have shocked me, but it totally did!  I knew it was coming, but I wasn’t prepared for the way it went down. Also, call me crazy, but I was shocked at who the half blood prince was.  I’m slow that way.

8. Never Let Me Go. by Kazumo Ishiguro– This ending shouldn’t have shocked me.  I mean, the author spent the entire book preparing me for it.  The characters know it’s coming.  I should have known how it would all turn out, but I kept thinking (or maybe hoping) that they’d find a way out of it all.  It completely haunted me for days afterward.

9. If I Stay by Gayle Forman–  This ending was not shocking to me, but I thought that the way Forman had it come about— with the music and the very specific things said by a very specific person—it just took a completely beautiful and emotionally engrossing  book to a whole new level for me.  This is one I couldn’t forget when I put it down and it still has the same impact one me every time I read it.

10. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult– Now don’t get all judgey on me.  My very good friend asked me to read this because she wanted to see my reaction. So here it is.  I am not a fan of this type of book because I think they are extremely manipulative.  This is the only Picoult book I’ve ever read and it is the only one I will ever read. Why?  BECAUSE IT WAS SO FREAKING MANIUPULATIVE!!!! Shocker!  I thought that alot of it was good and conveyed great emotion, but the ending made me want to burn it.  It was heartless and I actually screamed out of anger and sadness (as a mom it just killed me) when she did what she did.  Oh yes Ms. Picoult, you know what you did.

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16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Book Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Open

  1. i have been having a book of jodi picoult’s sitting on my shelf for years and have yet to open it. i am not a fan of angst or emotional manipulation, which i think she makes her money off of. give me a happy book. i agree with “sweethearts”–the ending surprised me…

    half-blood prince, i didn’t know what was going to happen, so i was quite surprised, and sad. what saddened me more was dumbledore’s story in “deathly hallows”–i guess no one is perfect.

    great list!

    • You know I hadn’t thought about the Dumbledore storyline in the Deathly Hallows, but you’re right. That almost hurt to read because he gets put on such a pedestal, it is hard to see he has flaws. Good point!

  2. We have quite a few in common! I still think Catching Fire is the most cliff-hangery book I’ve read, just because I loved the characters so much and I knew how ruthless Suzanne Collins was. But I’m excited for Pandemonium to come out, too.

    • I’m so psyched for Pandemonium too. Catching Fire made me feel like I could pull out all of my hair. I had horrible fears about how she was going to wrap up the story and they haunted me until Mockingjay came out because you’re right…she was kind of ruthless. I mean, hello, PRIM!!!!

  3. We have several overlapping picks, which is not a surpis since we like a lot if the same novels. I like how you mixed yours up. My sister’s five are also YA plus literary fiction, but mine is all YA. Catching Fire’s ending made me crazy, and I wound up buying Mockingjay for the Kindle, just so I wouldn’t have to wait a day to read it. Also, sorry for the typos, I’m on my iPad!

    • That just shows that you are far more modern than me. I don’t even own a Kindle! I know! I still do it the old fashioned way (because I love to read in the tub and I accidentally drop books in there all the time), although my resolve is weakening.

  4. Excellent choices here! I’ve got HP 6 on my list too – I didn’t see it coming and had no clue what to think. I think I had the same kind of reaction to My Sister’s Keeper too – very manipulative and stressful to read!

  5. i have 4 of your picks on my list too!
    And hilariously enough, Princess on the Brink is one of them!
    i also can’t wait for Pandemonium to come out, i LOVED Delirium and good Lord that ending!!! i’ve got to know what happens next.
    Awesome list btw. i haven’t read Atonement or My Sister’s Keeper but i have seen both movies. Are the endings in the books the same as they are in the movies?
    P.S. It’s been awhile since i saw it but wasn’t James McAvoy in Atonement? Holy hotness, Batman 😉

    • Holy hotness is right!!! What is it about Jimmy Mac? Every woman loves him (rightfully so). As far as the endings go, Atonement is just like the movie. I haven’t seen My Sister’s Keeper, but from what I understand the ending is different (someone dies, but not the same someone who dies in the book). Either way it’s awful!!!! I’m gonna go check out your list right now. 🙂

  6. I had the same reaction to Atonement. Because I know next to nothing about World War I. When I dragged the husband to it, he was like, no kidding, he dies. Most Brits died in that portion of the war, don’t you watch the History Channel?

    I probably think about Never Let Me Go once a week. I get all philosophical and shit. And then want to cry.

    • That’s how I feel about Never Let Me Go. It kills me! As far as Atonement, the funny thing is, my husband is a full on history nerd and yet he got totally sucked into the schmoopy love stuff that when the real ending was revealed, he was pissed. I still loved it because I’d already read the book, of course, and I love being in on the secret when no one else is. It’s sad that I’m immature like that, but it’s true. Awesome book though.

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