Thursday, April 26, 2018

Discussion: HEA All the Way!

I know this is going to be sort of controversial. I see people complain all the time about how it's "predictable" or "too neat", but if there's one thing I will never get enough of, it's an HEA.


This Week’s Topic: HEA All the Way!

I think it is a well known fact, that I am a BIG romance reader, and not too long ago, I had stumbled on an article about romances and HEAs, and saw that The Romance Writers of America identified one of the basic elements of a romance as follows:
An Emotionally Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.
But you know what? I don't only crave this in my romance reads, I need it from all the books I read.


Why wouldn't I want an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending? I put in the work. I read all the pages. I sometimes I went on a journey with the character. I had to endure the pain and suffering of the characters, and because I am apparently an empath, this can be very emotionally draining for me. I think I actually deserve that happy ending.


Maybe they all can't live happily ever after, BUT I at least want an HFN - happily for now. I need that little sliver of hope to keep me going. I want to know that my characters will be ok, when I read that last page, and maybe it's not totally realistic, but you know, that's why I read fiction.

*For further reading, here's an awesome argument for HEAs with respect to romances.


What's your opinion regarding HEAs? 
Let us know in the comments!

43 comments:

  1. Yes HFN is a great ending because lets face it HEA sometimes (a lot of time) just isn't in the cards! Great post!

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    1. Even if it's not an HEA or an HFN, I need a hopeful ending. I know there are people, who like those "ironic" endings, but I don't. I want positive endings.

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  2. Oh, I'm the same. I almost always want a HEA or HFN (which can sometimes be more realistic, especially with younger characters). I mean, I'm not opposed to a darker ending or something like that - but it's not what I read most of the time.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I think a darker ending has it place, but not in the genres I tend to read, and especially not in a romance.

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  3. I'm one of those people who gets a little annoyed by "perfect" endings or books that wrap up too neatly. I don't mind a HEA if it works with the rest of the book. But, I also like open endings, so there's that!

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    1. I like closure and an HEA. Neat, tidy, tie it up in bow. Open endings are THE worst! Hate them! They almost seem like a cop out to me, because the author didn't want to make a decision. So, they leave it open so as not to alienate the side that would want it one way or the other.

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  4. I refuse to accept anything other than HEA. Real life is already too sucky and sad for me to be able to enjoy sad endings. This is why I mostly read romance! I know they won't disappoint me!

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    1. *high five* I knew there was a reason I liked you so much. XD
      The HEA is one of the BIGGEST reasons why I read romance. I like knowing that I will finish that book with a smile on my face.

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  5. I’ll settle for a HFN. I tend to read really depressing books, so sometimes a HEA isn’t realistic. I like it when books end with hope that things will get better. I’m sad when a book ends and the characters are still in a bad place.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I can read a sad book, and I am ok if it's not all unicorns and roses at the end, but I need it to be going in a hopeful direction. It can't just be sad, sad, sad. It leaves me hollow, when that happens.

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  6. I don't need every book I read to have a happy ending, but in romances especially, I absolutely prefer HEAs! ESPECIALLY if the romance involves queer characters because I've pretty much had enough of people like me dying at the end of books, ha.

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    1. I expect an HEA in a romance. That is one of the main reasons I love to read them. I agree, it's nice to see that queer characters can be queer and live and be happy.

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  7. I’m ok with non HEA endings but I’ll admit I like them. Especially when I’m stressed and reading for escape. I don’t need more stress and sadness in my stories.

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    1. If it's not happy, I at least want hopeful. I read a book about a boy with a heart condition, and I knew the authors were not going to let him live, but there was something beautiful and hopeful about the ending they did give me, and I was crying, but ok. Whereas, I read another book, where the character went through all this personal growth and had a chance at an HEA, but chose to revert to their prior behaviors. I wanted to throw that book out the window.

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  8. I need a complete ending at the end of the book. I need it tied up in a bow because I did put the time in. Great topic!

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    1. I am one of those people, who likes it all tied up neat in a bow. I hate wondering what coulda, shoulda, woulda. I just want answers!

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  9. I think I am okay with non HEA endings myself, as long as it's really well done. But for the most part I do go into the book expecting a wonderful ending

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    1. There are books where you know the authors won't give you what you want, because they would have to deal with too much backlash, but that is why I pick the kind of books I pick. I want that guaranteed happy ending.

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  10. Oh this is a great idea to talk about happy endings! I have to admit that I really like happy endings as well. They just... well, they make me feel happy and, like you said, after going on (sometimes, very) emotional journeys with the characters, we kind of want and feel like we and they also deserve their happy endings haha. It's true that, sometimes, it is not the most realistic thing ever, but I appreciate it a whole lot haha, because it makes me hopeful, too :)

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    1. A phrase you will never see in ANY of my reviews is "that was unrealistic". I am fully aware that I am reading a work of fiction, and if the ending makes me happy, I call that a bonus.

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  11. Agree, I prefer a nice HEA. I hate books that end abruptly or open ended and leave me wondering what happened. It drives me nuts!

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    1. Open ended make me bananas! Of course, I have taken it upon myself to write a satisfying ending in my head, but I only do that to keep myself from losing my mind.

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  12. I need an "Emotionally Satisfying and Optimistic Ending" in order to love a book :)

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    1. I don't think it's asking too much, and it will make me happy too.

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  13. I like books that end on a good note. Things don't have to be perfect but at least give me some kind of hope. Nothing worse than to get to the end of a book and everything goes badly.

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    1. Exactly! I get it if the author doesn't want to make it too perfect, but give me hope, lean towards the optimistic side. That final part of the book has so much weight for me, and I like it to be something that makes me smile or at least grin.

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  14. YES! If i'm going through all the drama I want the happys at the end!

    I love the GIFs you use :D

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    1. Right? There should be a good payoff for everything we endure during the story. (Oh, and thank you! I love gifs)

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  15. So I don't need a fully happy ending, but I do need SOME kind of light at the end of the tunnel? Like- if the book ends just with ALL doom and gloom and death and mayhem.... I'm not really thrilled, because what even was the point? Especially in a romance, there needs to be SOME kind of hope, otherwise I might as well just read about my own life ;)

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    1. I will settle for hopeful, it I can't get happy. I just can't have a sad depressing ending. I get that some genres don't lend themselves to this HEA thing, but I read primarily contemporaries, so I expect a good, optimistic ending.

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  16. I agree with you. I at least need some kind of hopeful ending to pretty much all of the books I read. No matter how much doom and gloom fills the rest of the book, I need it to end with at least a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

    And yeah, I don't read much romance, but if I do read one, I definitely prefer it to have a happy and satisfying ending.

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    1. I can deal with the tears and angst, if the ending is hopeful/happy. Otherwise, I just want to crawl in a corner and cry, while in the fetal position, and that's not a good thing.

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  17. I don't need every book to have a happy ending. There are times when I want it, and I do prefer that most books I read have happy endings (as in, it'd be depressing if the majority of books I read had sad endings) but I'm ok without it. Sometimes it just wouldn't fit with the story. In fact, some of my favorite books didn't have happy endings, but I still loved them! But those were dark books, so it was fitting. I can understand why some people prefer all endings to be happy though.

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    1. I totally understand that not every story lends itself to an HEA, but I read certain kinds of book, because that it what I want. When the author is trying to be ironic or unpredictable, and hits me with some terrible ending, I feel cheated, because it was NOT what I signed up for.

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  18. I definitely prefer HEA or HFN endings. I hate when a character that I've followed throughout an entire book somehow doesn't have a happy ending. Sometimes I understand why the ending isn't a happy one, but it always leaves me dissatisfied in the end.

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    1. It's like, I spent all this time with you, we suffered, I am attached, and I want something good to happen for you. If the ending is whomp, whomp, I feel such a huge sense of loss.

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  19. I totally agree. I want a HEA or at least the promise of one. I hate when books are open ending and you have no idea what happens. Amazing post!!!

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    1. Open endings are a nightmare for me. I hate having so many unanswered questions.

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  20. I'm with you, I need a hopeful ending. A HEA is the ideal ending but I can put up with an ending which leaves hope for the future. The worst kind of ending is the open ending where it's open to interpretation. I don't want to interpret it, I want to know without a doubt everything will be ok. I need that from my books and I hate it when that isn't given to me. I think it's why I get so sucked in to series, because so often there is a cliffhanger ending and I need to see that it all works out.

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    1. Exactly! I am not the writer. The author should be the one properly communicating their intentions for their characters. Cliffies are definitely a way to keep me reading, but a bad series ending really leaves me salty, because the time investment is even greater than for a stand alone.

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  21. I love a good HEA ending! I think we need them, to keep us motivated and hopeful, and to remind ourselves that happy endings do exist. At the same time, I am also all for nitty gritty, tear-jerker or realisitic endings. I think a balance between both works for me when it comes to reading.

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    1. I feel the same way. If a character in a book can get an HEA, it makes me feel like it's possible for anyone. There are books where I know it's not going to end well, and I can prepare myself, but when the author just hits hits me with something catastrophic, no warning, they better make it up to me with some hope at the end there.

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  22. I definitely prefer an HEA. Depending on the book, I can be okay with a different type of ending, but it has to be done really well.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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