Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow | Finishing Series Discussion

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Paper Bindings - Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow - Finishing Series Discussion

“Everything has to come to an end sometime.” – L. Frank Baun

If I had to pick one word to describe series endings, I’d have to choose: “Bittersweet.” 

It is overused, but there is no other word I can think of that pulls in the heartache and mixes it with the taste of accomplishment as well. The end of a book, is at its core, a goodbye. That portion of our journey is over, and we are leaving the characters behind, or perhaps, they are leaving us behind. Maybe it really is only a “until later” parting, because you plan to reread, but a part of your soul knows that even should you meet again, you won’t feel quite the same way.

Because you are no longer the same person you were in the beginning, you’ve changed right along with the characters. I work in a really stressful retail environment. Really stressful, like trapped in a box being yelled at all day long kind of stressful. You could say I have thick skin; I don’t let their highs and lows affect me too much. One might say I’m emotionally balanced. Yet if I were to pick up a ‘last’ book, I’d end up an emotional wreck by the last page.

Because in the span of those precious pages, I’m living these characters’ lives. I’m one of those people who can read a book and see the whole world as if I was watching a movie unfold. (That’s the chief reason why I cannot be held responsible for any conversations that take place while I’m reading, I will not remember them.)

And endings?

God I HATE them. Whether it is a book or a movie –let’s not get me started on real life partings- I’ve always struggled to get through them. I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters I’ve come to love. I don’t want to watch them die or lose the one thing they truly want. Even if they were to win, and unicorns and rainbows magically gave them everything they could ever want for the rest of eternity, this is still goodbye for us.

If I wasn’t a curious person, I’d probably never read the last book of any series.


Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Case in point, Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. I preordered the shiny, gold Darkling novella edition the second I heard about it. (Darkling <3 ) That was, what, several months before the release date? When it arrived, I squealed, then promptly buried it on my shelves because the thought of reading it depressed me.

I’m dying to know what happens, what choices she makes, who she ends up with, who lives and who dies…all of it. I’ve avoided any reviews beyond the occasional star ratings, and have successfully kept myself spoiler free for this long.

(RELATED : Shadow and Bone // Ruin and Rising // Six of Crows )

So what’s my problem?

I’m not ready.

Because once I start the book, I’ll finish it within a short amount of time, and then I’ll have to say goodbye. Sure I can always reread the book, but I’ll never be able to read it again for the first time. I’ll always remember how I felt at the last word, and those emotions will cloud over the whole book. I think that’s why it’s rare for me to reread any book.

When I’ve lived with these characters for 1 to 6, or more, books, these characters have changed my life. Series endings are like high school graduations. You’ve survived all of the trials and social minefields, and made it to the finish line. It’s over, you’re free. You’re excited and happy to go off on your own, yet a part of you will always look back and long for the good old days.

“The end is never as satisfying as the journey.” – Unknown.

I lose a part of my heart to every good series I read.

As much as I dislike the conflicting emotions, I long for them because a good series will always make me feel that way. A good series will be true to life. There will be some heartache, because with pain, you really cannot judge the good for what it is. There might be death, because you cannot fight a war or face monsters without risking something. But there will be joy too. Little moments that make you realize that everything you have gone through, everything you have suffered was worth it in the end.

How do you feel about series endings?


  1. Some series I read the last one just to finish the series, but other series I dread reading the ending......Because I don't want to part with it!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting!

    Em @

    1. I've read plenty of series "just to finish them." I have a hard time DNFing a book because I just have to know what happens. But usually my delaying only comes into play when I'm reading a series I really love.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  2. I DON'T LIKE IT. Especially if it's a series I get really really invested in. I just don't want to know it's going to end...because sure I can reread, but it's not like I can ever read the awesome books again for the first time and that's where the real magic is. I often don't finish series actually, hehe, this is probably why!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

    1. Exactly. I have about 5 last books on my nook and *mumbles number* on my shelves because I just cannot part with them. But you are right, the first time you hear/read a story is where the magic is. I'm glad I am not the only one who has trouble finishing series.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Good points. Especially about it not being the same if you go back and re-read it. I think I'm the complete opposite though. I LOVE endings. I like the order and finality of it all. I can't stand when things go on forever and ever. Take the "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" series. That feels like it's going to go on for eternity and it bugs the crap out of me haha.

    I like knowing how everyone ends up and that they'll always be right there where I left them. I tend to worry when a series goes on too long or an author goes back to an already finished series (stay strong, JK Rowling!) and everything gets messed up for the sake of drama. Couples get split apart, people die, and I get sad. I like that I know that "All was well" with Harry and that's where he'll stay.

    You made a good point about re-reading. I can see not wanting it to end if you know that you're unlikely to go back to it once you're done.

    1. I do like when series end when they are supposed to, as opposed to those that keep going on and on past their shelf life.

      I really do not want HP to continue. I loved it...but it's over. There is a point when it is overkill, and with all this magical beast stuff, I worry it is past that line.

      Everything doesn't have to be tied up nice and neat, we can have a bit of vagueness to it, but I want the basics finalized. Like you, I hate it when it ends perfectly and then we go back and it all changes.

  4. Oh I so know the feeling! The last installment in the Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead is coming out this Feb and God knows how I'm waiting/dreading for it to come out! I had the same experience with Richelle's Vampire Academy series... And her Dark Swan series! :D Great discussion! :)
    Book Maniac Reviews

    1. I have a confession. I haven't read Silver Shadows (even though I preordered it) because it brings us one step closer to the end. I just CANNOT read the last book, and if I don't read SS, I won't have to read the last one.

      VA was actually abnormal for me. I read the book one, then went out and got the others and binge read them in a couple days.

      Thank you for stopping by.


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