Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happily Ever After?

I know no one wants to hear this- but really. How likely is it that the happy ending at the end of the last book/series you just read would really happen? Will the guy really realize the girl is perfect for him in every way? Would the kick-butt boy & girl couple really save their world from disaster? Probably not. Not that I'm a hater of happy endings. I love happy endings. I wish they happened more in real life. But really, do they usually? No.

Found Here
This is just something I've been thinking about lately. A while ago I heard someone talking about French movies and books and how they were traditionally done. And like you might recognize from the traditional theater logo, in traditional French stories, there were Comedies and Tragedies. Both are pretty self exploratory. Comedies were created solely to be funny with no seriousness what-so-ever. The ending really depended for these types of films. Tragedies were completely serious stories about things that might have started out happy, but by the end everything fell apart, maybe everyone died, whatever. There was no happy ending. Now recently France is doing more of the way we know stories, many of them have happy endings.

Now, not that I'm morbid or anything, but the idea of reading a book and then being surprised by an ending of a book/series like that is something that I think would really stand out and might make me respect the book and author more. I kind of wish I would run across a book like that.

I especially think that a book like that would be difficult to find in  YA because traditionally Young Adult fiction is about life, love, loss and growing up and that your teen years are not going to always be bad. YA is full of happy endings in various forms, as a way of showing a "light at the end of the tunnel". But I kind of think that books that explain that things don't always go the way you hope and there isn't always going to be a happily ever after is a good lesson to put forth to teens.

So what do you think? Would you like a Not-So Happily Ever After story once and a while?


  1. My inner fangirl cringes at the idea of a not-so Happily Ever After, but my logical side rejoices at the thought. I think that part of it is what the story needs. A dark book, with a lot of tragedy, for example, can't end with flowers and sunshine. Like the Hunger Games. I'm entirely split about whether it was the best ending in the history of YA, or the worst.
    In my YA dark(ish) fantasy, for example, there is a lot of tragedy. My main character, by the end, is horribly broken and ruined, though the bigger issues, involving evil governments and a resistance movement, are resolved, and the majority of the population is happy. The goal is to [hopefully] leave the reader divided between rejoicing over a victory, and crying over the main character, stuck in a rut.

    I'm going to stop rambling now. Excellent post. :)

    ~Riv Re
    Riv Reads

  2. I think a not-so-happily ending tends to be one that pulls on the heartstrings more. I mean, I would have enjoyed Divergent if certain people hadn't died at the end, but it wouldn't have evoked the same emotion in me.
    Now pardon me while I reference Doctor Who because I just can't help myself :P Take the ending of the most current season. I felt completely GUTTED for days after I watched it. All of me was screaming for a happier ending for Amy and Rory and The Doctor and yet, I couldn't deny that the writers had managed to make me FEEL ALL THE THINGS.
    And frankly, feeling all the things is better that happy fluffy stuff.