In general, I enjoy complicated plots all by themselves, surprise endings or no, as long as they feel organic to the story. I also enjoy surprise endings, but again only when they feel organic to the story. The trick is that the characters in the book must be as shocked by what’s happening as the reader is–when that happens in the hands of a skillful writer, it’s magic. At the moment, I can’t think of a least favorite book with both features, but I’ve read three books I loved in the last few years that fit the bill: Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters; Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane; and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl. I’ve also started Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking Trilogy, and that seems to be a part of this group as well. And now that I think about it, another book I just read, The Dart League King, had a rather surprise ending, more of a quiet shock than a gut-punch, but it left me a little stunned, nonetheless.
Update: I did think of a book I enjoyed that had a twist at the end that upset me: Bel Canto. I suppose I should have seen it coming, given the circumstances, but I didn’t like the ending. Not at all.
This is yet another topic where I hope to find some great recommendations. Happy Thursday!
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