I’m a firm believer that reading is about the journey, not the destination; however I’ll also be the first to admit that a story’s ending can often make or break the whole book. The happily-ever-after is extra sweet when you’ve experienced all of the trials and tribulations that a couple had to overcome in order to achieve their forever. Victory over the Big Bad is especially glorious when your hatred of said villain has reached its boiling point, and they finally get what’s coming to them. And, so on and so forth.
99.99% of the time I will NOT peek at the last pages because it destroys the author’s master plan of how they want events to unfold. You risk missing a crucial detail, or ruining a cleverly constructed plot line. This is very important in genres like Romantic Suspense and Mystery that thrive on keeping peeps guessing up until the final chapter. Knowing whodunit well before the character is even on your radar as a possible suspect has a way of stealing a novel’s thunder as anyone who’s read an overly predictable book can attest.
There is that pesky 0.01% though where I say screw it, and peek at the ending. I can’t think of any examples at the moment, because again, they are exceedingly rare, but the thoughts that usually precede such an action typically go a little something like this: “OMG! He isn’t really dead… is he?” or “There’s no way the author would do that to us, right?” In these instances the answer will determine whether I’ll be sticking it out until the conclusion as opposed to slapping the book with a DNF or chucking it across the room, and storming off in a huff.
There are certain things that I personally find unforgivable, and I’m confident that a lot of you have hard and soft limits when it comes to artistic license as well. Conversely, sometimes I just need to know that no matter how hopeless the current circumstances may seem that the characters are going to come out ok on the other side.
Have a bookish question you’d like Rabid Reads to weigh-in on? E-mail me, and be sure you include your blog URL (if you have one), so we can give you credit!