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A Book Lover’s Guide to Surviving a Cliffhanger

If you’re an avid reader, you’re at risk of experiencing the dread of a cliffhanger ending. And no matter how many precautionary steps you take (swearing you’ll only read standalones, waiting to read a series until the final book is on sale, etc.), cliffhangers are lurking in the final pages of great books, waiting to take hold of your bookish sanity.

Even we aren’t immune to the horrors of cliffhangers. Case in point: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh. We thought we were safe…but we thought wrong. And though we’ll soon get our resolution in The Rose and the Dagger, there are still days when we find ourselves turning back to the final chapter, looking for extra pages, wishing for more.

Together, we can make it through cliffhangers. Here are our tips for surviving—nay, thriving!—after reading a cliffhanger ending:


Let your feelings out.

It’s normal to feel shocked, angry, sad, betrayed or a combination of these feelings after you realize you’ve been cliffhanger-ed. Lean into the emotions. Let the world know your struggle.

Warning: in extreme cases, it might seem like throwing the book would make you feel better. But we assure you it would only be a temporary relief, one you’ll instantly regret. Try screaming into a pillow instead.


Seek solace in the people around you.

Whether your crew are readers or not, chances are they’ve seen how emotional books make you – and will help you take a step back. If this fails, go straight to the most nurturing person you can find: mom, grandma, your kindergarten teacher, etc.


Prepare for, but don’t obsess over, the next book.

After you read a cliffhanger ending, it’s natural to flock immediately to the web for answers. But Internet hunting is a slippery slope. You start by looking up the sequel’s pub date, and before you know it, you’re reading the author’s tweets from 2012.

Write down the release date, preorder your copy, and let time pass. The day will come, and you’ll be ready to dive right in when it does.


Find ways to distract yourself.

This is practically what hobbies were created for. Bake, exercise, practice a musical instrument, knit— whatever makes your heart happy. Filling your days with peaceful activities will help keep the cliffhanger fits of rage at bay.


Re-read your favorite books.

Because you can’t go without reading, even when you feel like you’ll never trust a book again. Re-reading is safe. Plus, it’s a great reminder that cliffhangers will be resolved 99.9% of the time.


Share your survival stories.

Like a literary episode of I Survived… your testimony will inspire booklovers around the globe. Share your journey with the world . . . or your Twitter followers.


Want more from the world of book lovers? Check out these 8 magical things every book lover has wished for!








Penguin Teen