This week, the Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the Broke and the Bookish is “Top Ten Book Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Open,” so we’re each sharing five of our favorites.
1. “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” by J.R.R. Tolkien – Of all the books in the trilogy, this one ends with the biggest cliffhanger. Frodo found himself in a very precarious situation that seemed impossible to get out of. I remember finishing this book when I was in college and at home with the flu. I was so crazed with anticipation, that I sent my little sister and step-sister to walk to the nearby book store to buy The Return of the King so I could continue reading.
2. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Márquez – At the end of this book I was speechless, awestruck, amazed. I truly felt that I had witnessed the work of a genius. The book actually chronicles one hundred years of the Buendía family and the end of this family is as incredible as their beginning.
3. “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens – This is one of the books that is usually on my “To reread list”, but hadn’t read it in a long while, so I started reading it again this summer. I am surprised by how much I’d forgotten. I do remember, however, that the famous ending blew me away. That Carton was willing to sacrifice so much for love is remarkable. Of course, who can forget the oft quoted line at the end of the book? “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.”
4. “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows” by J. K. Rowling – Okay, so in this case, it’s not technically the end that blew me away, but the entire chapter of The Prince’s Tale (it’s close to the end). I think that I was in shock the first time I read it and many tears flowed. I reread that chapter alone about five or six times immediately after I finished reading the book. The end of this series was so amazingly satisfying, but that chapter is unforgettable.
5. “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman – Throughout this book we know that Mia must make a harrowing decision. I kept wondering what she would decide and couldn’t put this book down until I discovered what Mia would choose to do. When she finally made her decision at the end of the book, I was so stunned.
Sandie’s Picks: I’m keeping mine to YA, just to make things easier.
6. “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins – Second books in trilogies always end with gut-wrenching cliffhangers and “Catching Fire” is no exception. I finished it Christmas Day (much to the chagrin of Diana and the rest of our family who thought it was incredibly rude of me to skip family bonding time to read) and could not stop freaking out about Peeta and District 12. I couldn’t wait to read “Mockingjay,” so I immediately bought it on Kindle.
7. “Delirium” by Lauren Oliver – Although it isn’t my all-time favorite of the Dystopian romances, I was invested in Lena’s story and was gutted at the final sequence. It was heartbreaking, and for a brief moment I wasn’t sure if the book was standalone, but then I realized there was no way an author could leave Lena’s story with all that uncertainty.
8. “Divergent” by Veronica Roth – So many deaths, so much heartache, and yet I was left with a sliver of hope that Tris and Four could truly make a difference, no matter what the future holds. I was so sad at everything that happened in the chapters leading up to the last pages, but there’s something powerful about Tris and Four’s connection, so I’m keeping fingers and toes crossed that “Insurgent” is a worthy sequel.
9. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J.K. Rowling – I have to be honest and admit I watched the first six movies before I read the series, so I knew most of the major plot developments from the films. But I was still shaken up at the climactic sequence in and then the mystery surrounding the horcruxes, which are barely mentioned in the movie. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened in that pivotal summer before Harry, Ron and Hermione took on You Know Who once and for all.
10. “The Mortal Instruments” series by Cassandra Clare – Every single time I read one of Clare’s TMI books I’m shocked at how she’s able to pull off yet another cliffhanger. They’re all running together in my mind after four books, but it’s safe to say that I tend to yell at the back cover, “What in the world?!” at each new plot twist.