Nothing is quite as disappointing as reading hundreds of pages in a book only for it to end poorly. Personally, the books that I remember having bad endings are usually well-written stories with characters I loved. The disappointment is usually because the author took a beloved character down a path I, as the reader, did not not agree with.
Here are seven books with some of the worst endings.
1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Generations of girls have been encouraged to read Little Women. This enduring classic has memorable characters readers love. However, time and again this right of passage book disappoints with its ending. It should have been Jo that married Amy instead of Laurie.
2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl is a page-turner of a thriller. Flynn does an excellent job keeping the reader in suspense while unfolding the plot. She even manages to create sympathy for each of her morally bankrupt main characters. And yet, the ending isn’t surprising in a cool “how’d she think of that” crazy plot twist; it is just unbelievable that a man greatly tortured by his wife’s evil mind would then stay married to her. I’m not buying it Flynn.
3. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Picoult’s novel asks the question of whether one child should be sacrificed to save the other. The eldest sister, Kate, needs her younger sister’s, Anna, kidney in order to live. Anna fights for emancipation so that she will not be forced to give her sister a kidney. It is revealed that Kate asked Anna to sue so that Kate wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. The unsatisfying ending happens when Anna is in a car accident driving home from the trial and Kate receives the kidney anyway.
4. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The Divergent series followed protagonist Tris through a dystopian world for three books. The reader roots for Tris as she learns the insurmountable depths of her strength and battles impossible circumstances. Yet, in book three Roth has Tris sacrifice herself. This martyring of the hero leaves readers disappointed and heartbroken.
5. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Throughout the reading of Meyer’s Twilight series, I struggled to love the plot, and yet I was sucked into the characters’ lives. Bella may be my least favorite protagonist of all time, and being team Jacob didn’t help. I pretended to be too cool for Twilight while secretly voraciously reading it. Yet, the ending fell flat for me and many other readers.
6. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has one of the most unpopular endings of all time. This classical children’s books weaves a creative adventure of Alice falling through the looking glass only to end with the cop-out of it all being a dream.
7. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read. I fell in love with Edgar. My heart broke when Edgar mourned the death of his father. All in all, Edgar was the perfect protagonist. But, the ending utterly destroyed me. I could not believe Wroblewski killed the main character that he wrote perfectly for the reader to love. Such a tragedy.
What book endings have left you horribly disappointed?
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