Being a YA fan is great for so many reasons. The genre is innovative — a buzzword to be sure, but a true one in this case. There are books set in space, underground, in the future, in the past. And the heroines — oh, the heroines! — are unrivaled. They fall in and out of love, they fight, they make up, they get to save the day. That’s not to mention the gorgeous covers or the swoony heroes. So many book boyfriends, it’s hard not to virtually cheat.
But there’s one way YA lovers get burned. The cliffhanger. Maybe it’s a side effect of reading so much romance, where I always know that HEA is coming, but, man, those cliffhangers get me. Especially the sneak attack ones. I’m reading, I’m loving the book, I can’t wait to see what happens. And then I notice … hmm, there aren’t that many pages left.
And I start thinking, Gee, how are they going to wrap all this up in 20 pages?
And then I realize, Dagnabbit, I’ve been had by a cliffhanger!
Don’t get me wrong, I understand WHY cliffhangers exist. I get it. Some books are simply too long to fit into one volume. Some stories benefit from a break, to whip up reader anticipation. But it’s just like Tom Petty said, the waiting really is the hardest part. These days, instant gratification is the norm. Just hit refresh to see more Tweets, or wait a month for that self-published author to get out the next installment. A year, as is the usual wait between series installments from traditional publishers, can feel like an eternity. If I didn’t love YA so much, it probably wouldn’t matter so much. Oh, just a year, I’d think. I can wait. But I do care. I really want to know if Gansey’s going to live, if Dorothy will die, if Layla will choose Roth (Layla, CHOOSE ROTH). It’s hard out there for a YA fan. Feel for us, won’t you?
Are you a cliffhanger fan or hater? What book are you waiting for in 2015? Tell us! And then visit our Everything YA page for more cliffhangers — and otherwise.
Header photo credit: Britt Fowler