The 20 Books Voted ‘The Worst Ever Ending’

By April 19, 2015October 14th, 2019Discussion and Recommendations

Good grief! You Reading Addicts are an opinionated lot! We asked you to select the book that you feel had the worst ending and the replies came flooding in.

Now, for me, a poor ending is one that you feel is unbelievable, that just doesn’t ring true. I have no problem with one that leaves me feeling cross, or sad… if it moves you, well that’s a GOOD ending. What I hate is to put a book down feeling like I’ve been cheated. I loved the first two books in the Twilight series, but the third one? Breaking Dawn was so poor, so unbelievable, that it spoiled the whole experience.

Some of you chose books that left you feeling angry or sad. Some, like me, listed those that you thought let you down. But, apart from Twilight #3, the answers are all yours; so here are the top twenty worst endings… EVER!

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Although I read this myself recently and actually thought the end quite fitting, I can easily see so many hate it. it’s a wonderful book, but Gone Girl tops the list of bad endings.

Gone Girl Review

Allegiant/Divergent Series – Veronica Roth

I’ve never read the series myself, but you put the Allegiant series firmly in second place.

Allegiant/Divergent Series (US)
Allegiant/Divergent Series (UK)

Mockingjay/Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins

No! Really? Come on guys! The ending MAKES this story. I’m personally entering 51 of you into my own Hunger Games for putting this trilogy in third place.

The Hunger Games Trilogy (US)
The Hunger Games Trilogy (UK)

The Fault in Our Stars ~ John Green

So many of you thought the ending of this was too sad and some thought the whole ending was just ridiculous. Either way, 36 of you voted to put this in fourth place. If you haven’t read it, you can find a review here.

The Fault in Our Stars (US)
The Fault in Our Stars (UK)

My Sister’s Keeper ~ Jodi Picoult

You were completely infuriated with the end of Jodi Picoult’s “My Sister’s Keeper”. Some even thought that many of her books have unsatisfactory endings.

My Sister’s Keeper (US)
My Sister’s Keeper (UK)

So that’s the top 5, but you named almost 200 books in all, whittled down to 20 by us.

Breaking Dawn/The Twilight Saga – Stephenie Meyer
Under the Dome – Stephen King
HP and the Deathly Hallows – J. K. Rowling
The Gunslinger/Dark Towers series – Stephen King
The Giver – Lois Lowry
Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Atonement – Ian McEwan
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Looking for Alaska – John Green
Inheritance Cycle/Eragon Series – Christopher Paolini
Freed/50 Shades of Grey – E. L James
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
It – Stephen King
Tess of the D’urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

So there they are, the top 20 books you said had the worst ever ending. Feel free to add some more in the comments.

Leave your vote

49 Comments

  • Taylor says:

    You guys are kidding, right? The people who voted for this are nuts? The problem is, in my opinion, that too many people want that perfect happy ending. That’s what MADE quite a few of those books, is that they didn’t end perfectly – they ended realistically. And surprisingly.
    I will agree with the Divergent series, though. I feel like she could have wrapped that up SO much better than she did, and explained the sequence at the end of Insurgent A LOT better. To each their own, however.

    • Kye says:

      I haven’t read the Divergent series. The epilogue to Deathly Hallows was a cop out. However, I do agree with the rest of your comments. I was going to say that so many people expect a perfect happy ending when that isn’t how the real world works.

    • Missy says:

      I absolutely agree! I was so shocked to see some.of the choices (Tess of the D’urbevilles? Come on!) until I realised it’s not that people think they’re bad endings, but sad endings, which makes them uncomfortable.

  • Trish says:

    I agree with Kath. These books, even the top 20, do not deserve to be in there for bad endings. Gone Girl was apt. fitted the whole tone of the story for sure. Others I haven’t read but the majority, I mean It? and The lovely bones? how else were they supposed to end. I think people like happy endings. they should stick to Pollyanna, although there are some sad bits there too. I do agree that Under the dome was a bit out there, but on reflection, where else could it go but to weirdville? Come on peeps, enjoy the good the bad and the ugly and sad or angry endings are the best.

  • Cathy says:

    I agree with this list, although some did fit with the subject matter, but some were just out of the blue not needed the books were good enough without the shock/sad ending. Veronica Roth, why did you do that???????

    • Cheryl says:

      I thought the ending of the Divergent series was PERFECT! I reminds me how much I hate movies where there is a shoot out and 500 shots are fired an no one gets hit. EVER. Totally unrealistic. I thought this ending made sense. What Veronica Roth did was a very brave choice as a author and made me love this series more than the Hunger Games for this very reason.

  • Mell says:

    Really?

    Gone With the Wind
    The Great Gatsby
    Tess
    & Harry Potter

    Who voted on this? These books have amazing/fitting endings.

    Now, Divergent & Hunger Games belong at the top of this list. Hunger Games ending was just plain generic & Divergent I don’t even have words for.

  • Carolyn Pete says:

    Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks was a recent disappointment but most of his books cause me to throw them across the room.

  • Cat Stanton says:

    Atonement! If you miss the whole point of the book, you should probably only read Jan Karon.

  • Jana says:

    The worst ending ever We need to talk about Kevin

  • MaggieD says:

    The end of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. So disappointing. Broke my heart.

  • Becca says:

    By now you’ve probably realized that Breaking Dawn wasn’t Book #3 in the Twilight Saga. Eclipse was Book #3. Breaking Dawn was Book #4. 🙂

  • Becca says:

    P.S. I agree completely with The Dark Tower series being on the list. I was like “NOOOOOO!!!” at that “ending”. It’s very King-like, however, to go where you don’t expect him to go.

    P.P.S. There is no “y” in pajamas (see your: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas). Oops!

    • Kath says:

      There’s definitely a y in pyjamas unless you’re an American. 🙂

      • Becca says:

        Thanks for that, Kath! I honestly didn’t realize the spelling was different for other countries. I know many words are different (first to mind are the “O” vs “OU” variations such as honor/honour, color/colour, favorite/favourite)) but pajamas was a new one for me…especially because I’ve only seen the title of the book (of which I own a copy) spelled the American way. After doing a little research, I see that it was written by an Irish author whose original title was “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”.

        I love learning something new so…thank you, again!

    • Louise says:

      “Pyjamas” is the UK / Australian spelling. Pajamas is the US spelling.

  • Rosco says:

    I’m a librarian. Most endings I find disappointing, so I quit reading usually 30 pages before the end.

  • perw says:

    “Opinionated?” You asked for an opinion, did you not?

  • Toni says:

    Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlene Harris

  • John says:

    I don’t know how you missed “Rosemary’s Baby”!!!! When I finished it, I actually threw it across the room!

  • Rachel says:

    She’s Come Undone. I hated that book so much by the end I gave it away, and I keep ALL of my books.

  • Louise says:

    I loved the final comments in “Gone Girl” so much that I was really upset that they didn’t use them to close the movie, choosing instead to repeat the opening lines.

    The ending of the book was immensely satisfying and gave me a glimmer of hope that Nick might end up in a better place.

  • Donna says:

    I definitely refuse that The Fifty Shades sequel has ended… 🙁

  • Cat says:

    The passage by Justin Cronin. Brilliant book until the end. Seemed like he just wanted to finish it quickly and completely ruined it.

  • K says:

    I thought the ending to The Gunslinger series was perfect. It left me wondering how many times he’d gone through this, how many times he would in the future, how many people he ‘saved’ along the way and how often I obsess on the destination and not the journey.

  • Karolinde Wilson says:

    I can understand why some people would be frustrated with the ending of The Giver. Unless you read ALL of the books, you don’t have any idea whether or not he was successful. Personally, I found the ending very poetic and fitting for the story. Really, I think that is the whole point here. For each reader, there are going to be different things that will make a good ending or a bad one.

  • Anish says:

    I am about to start reading the Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Now I am wary.

  • PWT says:

    “IT” is one of my favorite’s by Stephen King, however, the ending was pretty lame. I even liked the movie, but that ending was even worse, lol!

  • Carly says:

    I recently read the Monogram Murders done in the style of Agatha Christie ( or at least they thought) but isnt her. I thought the whole story did not flow real well, alot of ” why would they do that?” kind of things. The writer didnt use their lttle grey cells thats for sure.

  • Aparna says:

    “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes?
    I absolutely loved the rest of the book, but the ending is just very very disappointing and does not really fit in with the rest of the book. There is no proper justification for the climax either.

  • Stephanie says:

    First of all…The Giver is book 1 of a 4-book series. So of course the ending of the first book didn’t quite feel complete.

    Second of all…I would defintely add Suicide Notes from Beatutiful Girls to this list. That ending was very frustrating to me!

  • Paul Catalfamo says:

    The Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card seriously disappointed me with its ending. Such an amazing series that I waited so long for the last book.
    I have to agree with Under the Dome being on the list. Worst ending ever! It’s a good ending for an extremely short story or an episode of The Twilight Zone. I may never read another Stephen King book ever again

  • Diana says:

    The Meaning of Night by John Cox. I soldiered through that book and was rewarded with the mos subpar ending ever. Yuck. Never again dude! He’s permanently on my “Do Not Read List”.

  • christine says:

    the end of the great gatsby is often considered one of the greatest endings of any american novel.

  • jeff says:

    The night listener …. left me very frustrated, I gave it away and I always keep all of my books!

  • Molly says:

    “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” was absolutely brilliant! I cannot believe that people didn’t like it. Even the film was fantastic, which almost never happens.

  • Natasja says:

    Jessica by Bryce Courtenay. The whole book was heart wrenching, but the ending was even worse!

  • Kath says:

    I hated the ending of Me Before You. I know the ending was kind of the point of the whole book but I was in denial the entire time and I was soooooo pissed by the time I got to the last page.

  • Kristy Lewandowski says:

    I agree with the “Divergent” series (the reason I never read the last book is because I found out how it ended) but I have to object on “The Giver” and “The Hunger Games”. Granted, the last MOVIE of the “Hunger Games” left something to be desired (or put in too much and crowded out the important stuff) but don’t judge a book by its movie. Also, IMHO the book ending of “My Sister’s Keeper” was significantly better than the movie, which was completely different. (I never read that one, but my mother did.) Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, though. 🙂

  • Candi says:

    I haven’t read all of these so will only comment on the one I have read and whole-heartedly agree with: Under The Dome. That ending was predictable, weak, and just plain rotten. Only book of his that I ever got through to the end and was hugely disappointed.

  • Ed Markel says:

    All of the Stephen King books on your list belong there. He is the King of bad endings. But you have to add The Stand (worst ending ever. The bad guys kill themselves with a bomb.), Cujo (mother and kid saved from mad dog, but kid dies, anyway.), Tommy Knockers (awful, awful ending), Misery (a multiple choice ending!) Pet Sematary (awful book, terrible ending), Thinner (mean, hateful book, horrible, hideous ending).

    But while we are at it, let’s not forget Thomas Harris’ “Hannibal,” which ends with Clarice Starling joining Hannibal in eating a guy’s brain while the guy sits at the table, still alive. The stupidest, most outrageous, unbelievable ending of any book ever written.

    • Lara D says:

      Ed, just one thing. You might have spoiled these books for ones who haven’t read them. There is a reason why people only commented on how they liked the endings and not their actual plot. Not a nice thing to do…

  • Maria Rossi says:

    Just 2 words… Edgar Sawtelle

  • Zoë Garnett says:

    The Minutarist the ending just flopped

  • Terri says:

    I liked Gone Girl and The Lovely Bones.

  • Abigail says:

    Allegiant?! Really?! The ending of that book is the only reason the series is so amazing. Without that ending, Tris would just be a head strong teenager who doesn’t understand what her parents, boyfriend, and every one a retrying to teach her. That ending is the resolution to Tris’s battle to be self-sacrificing and brave without being stupid. And the scene with her mother… Just seals the deal. Even though it’s sad, it is possibly the best book series ending I’ve read. Props to Suzanne Collins for being willing to go there though she knew so many fans would hate it.

  • Kristie says:

    “Handle with Care” by Jodi Picoult had the worst ending ever. Depressing, pointless, maddening.

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