Top Ten Best & Worst Series Finales
1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games). Let's get this out of the way. I didn't hate this book, but it did royally piss me off. Gale and Peeta both acted sompletely insane in this novel. Peeta's arc is just...ugh. No. And then three scenes toward the end infuriated me to no end. I don't want to spoil this for those of you who are waiting on the movie, but those of you have have read it should understand why I found those two deaths completely inconsistent with the story and extremely unnecessary, as was Katniss's decision at the end. She of all people should not want to inflict that pain on others, especially innocent people. BAD KATNISS.
2. Reached by Ally Condie (Matched). After such a strong beginning in Matched and a good middle book that did well to defy the tranditional fall of the sequel, I think Ally reached a little too high with this final book. It was disorganized and messy, and the strong relationships developed in the first two books did not seem present in any way. Sadly, this was just meh for me.
3. Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush). I just don't even know what happened here. I think I should have done a reread of the whole series before I read Finale because I was confused the whole time. I was excited when it was announced Silence was the third book of four instead of the final book of the original Hush, Hush trilogy, but after reading Finale, I found myself wishing it had remained a trilogy. Also, Becca killed off a character I cared very deeply about. There are always casualties in these kinds of books, as there should be, but I didn't agree with this one.
4. Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Delirium). Again, what on EARTH did I just read?! Whereas I was confused by a lack of clarity with Finale, Requiem frustrated me because it was just...not good. There was nothing that I really enjoyed about this book. The love triangle was concluded horribly in that it was not addressed in any way. Julian was huge in Pandemonium and then completely ignored in Requiem (which is exactly what happened to Alex in Delirium and Pandemonium). I disagree with Raven being as big a character as she was. Her story didn't add anything for me. Wholly unnecessary. No, wait, I actually did like Hana's pov. Her story seemed so much more powerful than Lena's became. Her scenes saved Requiem from a rating lower than 3 stars.
5. Afterlife by Claudia Gray (Evernight). I actually had another book completely typed up in this spot, but then I rediscovered this on my Goodreads Read shelf, and I remembered how horribly disappointed I was. I had to include it, I'm sorry, Claudia! This book was so traumatic, I clearly had stricken it from my memory. Evernight was a series I loved so much in the beginning. I recommended it to everyone, but Hourglass and Afterlife were a quick downfall after the awesomeness of Evernight and Stargazer. I adore Balthazar, but after this messy conclusion, I'm terrified to read his story!
Other disappointing finales: The Grass is Always Greener by Jen Calonita (This didn't feel like a final book. I still hope she'll find another story to add to this series!). Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. Undead Much by Stacey Jay (I still need that third Megan Berry book!). Sever by Lauren DeStefano. Endlessly by Kiersten White. Just for Fins by Tera Lynn Childs (Need another book in this series too. Too open-ended). We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han.
1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices). Where do I start?! This was absolutely perfect. I feel thoroughly satisfied with the way this series concluded. The part of me who is Team Will is happy and so is the part of me who is Team Jem. I know there was a good deal of slut shaming for Tessa's decision, but I'm ashamed of those people. Tessa made the choice to take charge of her life, her body, her sexuality, and I'm the kind of feminist who can support that. Also, we found out about two of Will's distinguishing physical marks: the Herondale scar and his Welsh dragon tattoo. Booyah.
2. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials). This book gave me the feels before I even knew what feels were or at least referred to them as such. This is one of those books with the not-quite-happily-ever-after conclusion, but because it felt so perfect, so natural to the story, that I wasn't upset at all. Oh, okay, I was upset (read: cried like a baby), but I accept it. Will + Lyra forever, folks!
3. Shades of Earth by Beth Revis (Across the Universe). You can read a very in-depth description of all the ways and all the reasons I love Shades of Earth here, but let me just say that although I was saddened by the sheer number of characters Beth kills off (RIP all her former students!), this book concluded the Across the Universe extraordinarily well. Elder is seriously my hero, and you know what? Amy is too.
4. Goddess by Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed). Hector is my boy. Everything he did in this story made me love him more. While I don't know how well I agree with all the matchy-matchy loose-end-tying new relationships introduced, I really loved this book. The fact that Josie included some tragedy was very remniscent of the actual myths on which she based this story, and I approve. It takes guts to kill off characters, but it really has to be the right characters at the right moment. Also, Lucas's sacrifice is so meaningful that it's impossible not to love this book. Also also, conclusion of the pressing are-they/aren't-they incest question.
5. Elegy by Tara Hudson (Hereafter). Oh, my. This book. Sometimes, it is impossible to do Happily Ever After, and Elegy is one of those books. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this book is hella traumatic. While I was reading Elegy, there was really only one conclusion for the novel without a magical save. Tara mentioned during her YA AdVANture tour that her first draft had the magical HEA ending. Her editor asked if she had gotten it out of her system, she said yes, and then she went on to write the true ending. I told Tara that yes, this was a tough book to read (I cried and sobbed and cursed), but it was the only ending I could realistically envision. Props to you, Tara, for not taking the easy way out. Read my full review here.
Other great finales: United We Spy by Ally Carter. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead. Boundless by Cynthia Hand. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson. Awaken by Meg Cabot. Twilight by Meg Cabot (I was happy with this as the final book in the Mediator series, which is why it's here, but it is actually getting replaced as Meg is writing a seventh!). Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins. This is So Not Happening by Kieran Scott. Sweet legacy by Tera Lynn Childs. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins. If I Should Die by Amy Plum.
You may notice I left two significant series enders off either list so I want to address those here.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was disappointing to me, but I would never put a Harry Potter novel in a worst list ever because none of them is bad. However, I had to put DH down several times because it was too much emotionally and yet also a bit on the boring side. I didn't like the resurgence of Ron's jealousy or the random and too-drawn-out wandering in the woods. Plus, Dobby and Fred, both favorite characters of mine. I just...I can't. I'm not saying people shouldn't have died, but those two... Oh, man. I sobbed for hours after reading both of them.
Breaking Dawn is on a lot of worst final books today, and I can't entirely ssay I blame you. I know it was a disappointment for many to get to this epic showdown only for it to fizzle out like a day-old Dr. Pepper, but I think that if the fight had happened, Stephenie probably would have been forced to kill my boy Emmett, and that would have broken my heart. so for my dear East Tennessee boy, I'm glad the series ended with that lack of a climax. Some of the books on my best liest are books that dared to kill characters, but some of the books on my worst list are the books that killed the wrong characters. Breaking Dawn is not the best-written book of all time by any means, which is why it did not make my best list. However, I think a lot of people are blinded by their hatred of the Twilight series as a whole, and use it only because it's a popular choice.
So what do you think of my choices? Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments. Your TTT links, as always, are welcome.