Musing Mondays #22: Cliffhangers

Posted June 30, 2014 in Discussion, Musing Mondays / 3 Comments

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
My Musings:

Today I’ll be musing about cliffhangers.
First of all, I’m not taking a side. They can be either good or bad. It just depends on the extremity of the cliffhanger, and whether the next book in the series is out yet, etc.
It’s a LOT easier to deal with cliffhangers when the next book in the series is out. It’s even easier than that when it’s sitting on my shelf. I had this experience with The Hunger Games. If I can just jump from one book to another, then it’s like it’s not even a cliffhanger.
Alternately, when an ARC ends on a cliffhanger, then we could potentially have some problems. It’s a problem if I actually enjoyed the book and I want to find out what’s next and I DON’T have the sequel sitting on my shelf (sometimes I get entire series’ of ARCs before I read the first one). It’s a problem if it’s a complete game-changer (someone dies, someone was really someone else the entire time, you know, all the big plot twists). It’s not a problem if I wasn’t totally into the series (which happens with a lot of ARCs) or if it’s not that big of a deal. One ARC I finished a while ago ended on a car crash. Like, it ended right in the middle of it. We don’t even know if they were injured or not. Now, I liked the book. But it was a long one, and I wasn’t so in love with the characters. So I was fine with the cliffhanger ending. I didn’t have the urge to run to the author and demand the second book (well, it isn’t even written yet anyway). I’m not even sure if I’ll continue with the series. So in this case, it doesn’t matter how extreme the cliffhanger was (and this was pretty extreme). It doesn’t bother me.
There are times when a book with a cliffhanger ending disrupts my reading schedule. As you probably know, I have a very strict reading schedule and I keep a list per month of books I’m supposed to read. It’s a lot of books. I really can’t afford to be switching things around. BUT. If a book unexpectedly ends on a cliffhanger, and I HAVE the next book, sometimes I’ll have to squeeze in the sequel. This almost happened with Physik (Septimus Heap #3) by Angie Sage. That ending was horribly sad (and it took the entire next book to resolve itself). But I had a tight reading schedule, so I couldn’t just jump in and start reading Queste. Well, that and the fact that I’ve read both before and knew what happened (the memory was fuzzy but still).
Now, one good thing about cliffhangers is that they definitely help with remembering the plot of a book. So if you have to put off reading the rest of the series, when you finally pick it up again you’ll be like, oh the last book ended with *insert cliffhanger here*, the next book should be really exciting then. If the first book did not end with a cliffhanger, and instead everything wraps up really nicely so that it could be a standalone, then you are going to need a refresher on the plot/setting/characters before continuing the series.
So what do you think about cliffhangers? Which books have you read that have major ones? Answer below and/or link up your MM post!


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3 Comments on "Musing Mondays #22: Cliffhangers"

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Cliffhangers are tough. I’m with you. If the next book is out, I’m fine with them ;)

Sharon @ Faith Hope & Cherrytea

The River of TIme series had great cliffhangers – time travel – I luv that series [Lisa Bergren] medieval Italy.
I pretty much agree with all your points on them – good in some instances especially when you have the next one on hand!

Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

Cliffhangers drive me crazy! Especially if I don’t know going in that it’s going to be one. I agree with you that it doesn’t bother me too much if I can automatically jump into the next one but if I have to wait a year I’m not a happy girl!