5 novel endings I will NEVER recover from


We all have one. A novel, or perhaps a whole spate of novels, whose ending was so intensely traumatic that we may never, ever recover from it. An ending that stays with us long after we close the book and shove it under our bed, where it will remain, gathering dust, until we can bear to look at it again.


Endings affect us all differently. Likewise, the traumatic endings I speak of traumatise us for different reasons. To be honest, I’m yet to put my finger on exactly why particular endings have affected me so deeply. I can deal with bittersweet endings. I can deal with terrible sacrifice and the death of main characters—in certain contexts. I can deal with varying levels of loneliness and separation and heartbreak and hopelessness.


And yet, I have read a couple of books that I still can’t get over, sometimes even years later. Here, I share five such books (don’t worry, I won’t actually give the endings away!). These are not the gut-wrenching cliffhangers that sometimes occur mid-series, but the very conclusive endings that occur at the close of a series or stand-alone novel. The endings from which there is no solace at all. What novel endings will you never recover from?






#1 – Dragon Moon by Carole Wilkinson


6101051In the time of the Han Dynasty, Ping has grown to become a skilled Dragon Keeper. Now she and the young dragon Kai must make the perilous journey to the ancient dragon haven, where Ping will learn that her greatest challenge is yet to come.

MY FEELINGS: This book has a special place in my heart, as it was the first book to ever make me cry 😥 I just remember curling up on the couch in the foetal position, tears streaming down my face, and even a big hug from my mum didn’t help! #stilltraumatised

GENRE: historical | paranormal | YA

SERIES: Dragon Keeper #3



#2 – The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman


70949Will is the bearer of the subtle knife. Now, accompanied by angels, he must deliver the powerful, dangerous weapon to Lord Asriel. He needs Lyra’s help if he is to unravel the myriad plots twisting around him…but first he has to find her.

MY FEELINGS: Yeah…no. Damn you Philip Pullman! How could you put poor Lyra and Will through all that, and then…then… Gah! This is one of my favourite series, but I still haven’t brought myself to read it a second time!

GENRE: science fantasy | YA

SERIES: His Dark Materials #3



#3 – The Unwanted by Jeffrey Ricker


18342379Jamie Thomas is struggling to just get through his junior year, when he learns that the mother he was always told was dead is actually alive—and she’s an Amazon! Now she’s back, and she needs Jamie’s help to break a curse that has doomed her people to extinction.

MY FEELINGS: Now, I loved this book. I really did…right up until those last few chapters, at which point I had to fight the urge to throw my Kindle across the room! Maybe I’ll bring myself to forgive Jeffrey Ricker one day. Maybe.

GENRE: low fantasy | LGBT | YA

SERIES: (stand alone)



#4 – Made of Stars by Kelley York


15739649When Hunter and his half-sister Ashlin return to their dad’s place for the first winter in years, they learn that their childhood friend, Chance, is harbouring dark secrets. Something is seriously off—but how can they save the boy they both love if they can’t trust a word he says?

MY FEELINGS: How could a book with such a beautiful cover cause me so much pain? How?! This book had everything I love in a contemporary YA story…everything except one thing: an ending I can actually live with!

GENRE: contemporary | LGBT | YA

SERIES: (stand alone)



#5 – Half Lost by Sally Green


20814993Nathan will stop at nothing to end the rule of the tyrannical Council of White Witches and get revenge on the girl who brought the rebel Alliance to its knees. But as his tally of kills rises, Nathan loses himself a little more, and even the love of his best friend, Gabriel, may not be enough to save him.

MY FEELINGS: Well, I did love this book, as I mentioned here. What I didn’t mention is how the ending tore my heart and soul to shreds and stomped all over the remnants! And I only read this a few weeks ago so it’s still super raw…

GENRE: low fantasy | LGBT | YA

SERIES: Half Bad #3




Have you read any of the books above? What novel endings still traumatise you to this day?



RA_logo _backdrop-01_miniRebecca Alasdair


  One thought on “5 novel endings I will NEVER recover from

  1. barbarabrutt
    12/04/2018 at 1:55 AM

    We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Oh. My. Gosh. That ending still absolutely haunts me. I don’t think I could walk straight for a week after because it gutted me so.

    I don’t really like traumatic endings…or startling ones, I guess. Haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • 12/04/2018 at 9:52 AM

      I know the feeling! I HATE it when books leave me feeling that way…and yet I can’t help but admire authors that are able to cause such emotional investment in their stories!


  2. 12/04/2018 at 2:12 AM

    The Hobbit – Thorin DIES!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 12/04/2018 at 3:33 AM

    I’ve read The Amber Spyglass but Phillip Pullman’s trilogy was in one large novel. My lasting impression is of the final novel.
    I wish I’d read them individually for the impact element. It’s been a long time, perhaps it’s time for a re-read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 12/04/2018 at 9:49 AM

      It’s been a while for me too! I’m working up the courage for a re-read at some point since a TV series of His Dark Materials is in the works!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 12/04/2018 at 11:17 PM

    I never read the books you listed but an old one comes to mind: Stephen King’s The Dead Zone. At the beginning we are introduced to two wonderful people. They are funny and fun and perfect for each other. From that point on he tears them apart and keeps them apart. I won’t spoil the ending but it really bothered me.

    I think it bothered me in two ways: 1) the writing was top notch causing my brain to think – how can you be so good and write something so incredibly sad? and 2) I think it triggered something from my past that I must have buried long ago.

    Excellent post. Thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 13/04/2018 at 5:10 AM

      Thanks for sharing! I do admire authors who can write bad things so well, or who can magically somehow make me laugh even when it feels like everything is falling apart!


  5. Sally
    13/04/2018 at 7:27 AM

    “Forest” by Sonya Hartnett……said to be a children’s novel about the journey of a cat, but for me it, was a book which broke my heart and will always haunt me to some degree. Beautifully written and depicted……….”The forest is earth and leaves, sun and shade, feather and blood and bone. It is the old way, the true way, the wild way to live.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • 13/04/2018 at 8:04 AM

      Forest very nearly made my list! But I think I was too young to really appreciate it, so it didn’t have quite the same impact if I was to read it now 😥


  6. 17/04/2018 at 12:47 AM

    I’m still not quite over how the Mistborn series ended….

    I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read a Phillip Pullman book, though I’ve heard they’re incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 17/04/2018 at 2:10 AM

      They’re certainly unique! I’ve only read the first of the Mistborn series…now I’ll approach the rest with caution! 😯


  7. Cait @ Paper Fury
    17/04/2018 at 10:18 PM

    *STARTS SCREAMING IN THE COMMENTS BECAUSE OF HALF LOST* I actually reread them last year and just procrastinated the last 50 pages of Half Lost…FOR WEEKS because like if I didn’t read it then it didn’t happen right? 😂 😭😭😭😭😭<— me forever. I still love it to bits though, but OUCH. I also just finished the Chaos Walking books and am probably still a wounded mess from that. I seriously love these books that rip out my heart but also??? SUFFERING.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: