Today I am once again blogging as a reader.
Although I haven’t yet begun reading Allegiant and I haven’t finished the Sookie Stackhouse series, I’ve been thinking about what’s been happening because readers don’t like the ending of a beloved series. And let me add, everything I’ve heard is just that: what I’ve heard or seen online. Since I intend to get to Allegiant as soon as I finish my current read, I don’t want to look at the reviews because of the spoilers.
My understanding, with both series, is that readers did not like how they ended. The endings were not what they wanted or thought they should be, and so there have been a lot of 1-star reviews and ratings. I remember, way back in ancient times, thinking, that’s it? when The Empire Strikes Back ended. I realize that’s not the same as a final installment ending leaving me flat and deflated, but honestly I was shaking my head. Well, in my experience, things don’t happen a certain way, just because I want them to. Does that make what happens bad? Not necessarily. Same thing with a book. Just because things didn’t turn out how I’d hoped or thought they should, that doesn’t make the book worthy of a slew of one-star reviews. (I’ve heard, in the case of Allegiant, that there were other issues besides the ending. When I read it, I’ll know for myself). I just don’t think we as readers should attack an author just because we didn’t like how their story/series ends. After all, the author spent hours upon hours crafting something that made sense within the universe s/he’s created. And those hours include copious amounts of blood, sweat, and tears. An author pours him/herself into each project to make it the best it can be. And sometimes that means we don’t always get what we want. But were we entertained along the way? Doesn’t that deserve to be acknowledged?
Here’s an example. I’m in the middle of reading a series and I’m struggling with the latest installment. The author had to delay the release because of a car accident, and so it’s been a very long time between the 4th & 5th books. As I read, I’m missing some of what I remember from the previous books: the rhythm that sucked me in, my favorite character (who is slowly putting in an appearance), things like that. In short, this book is dragging for me. Am I going to put it aside? No, because I’ve dropped a series midway and then I end up going back anyway. Do I think it deserves a 1-star review? No because 1) I’d like to wait and see how it all comes together as I read the whole thing and 2) even though I don’t LOVE how the story is progressing, it’s well-written, the characters remain true to who they were in the previous books, and the plot makes sense given what’s gone before.
Honestly, when I REALLY didn’t like how a story ended (or how a TV episode ended), I used to write my own story. Fan fiction was where I got to put everything right for me. Where I got to extend the world I’d enjoyed so much that I wanted to be part of it somehow. Those stories got circulated among a few friends, and I even posted a few (No longer available as far as I can tell). And boy did I get flamed for one story. A particular character’s legion of fans didn’t realize that their favorite character was missing from my narrative because my 1st person point of view character had no idea what had happened to him, so how could he tell that guy’s story?)
But I digress. All I’m really saying is don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
Of course, this is all just me babbling. I’ll write a follow-up post after I finish Allegiant. And if you want to comment, please, please, please, don’t put any spoilers in. I want to read the book and let the story unfold before me without knowing anything about this installment.