I’ve been looking forward to reading Requiem, the final book in Lauren Oliver‘s Delirium trilogy, but I noticed this week that it’s getting hammered in reviews. Readers are dissatisfied with what they say is a vague ending. A lot of them feel Oliver left too many threads hanging loose.
It brings up an interesting dilemma. How much artistic freedom does an author really have? How much should he or she cater to reader expectations?
As a writer, I understand the need to be true to your characters and your story, but you also don’t want to alienate readers. You want them to be eager to pick up your next book and not hesitate, wondering if you’re going to leave them hanging like you did last time.
I still plan to read Requiem, and I’ll form my own opinion about the ending. I’ll weigh my thoughts against the reader reviews because I think that’s one of the best ways for a writer to learn—by reading and then asking what worked and what didn’t work. Hopefully the process will enable me to make the right decision if I’m ever struggling to find a balance between what I owe my readers and what I owe myself.
What do you think? How much artistic freedom should an author have? What books have left you dissatisfied with the ending?
©2013 Kim Vandel