You guys know I'm a happily ever after girl. Every book I've written has one and I can't see myself writing a book that doesn't. For me, that reason is because I consider my books romances. If you've read anything by me you know romance isn't the only thing you'll get when you open one of my books, but if people ask me what I write, I say romance. Writing a "traditional" romance requires (at least to me) a happily ever after. So when I say HEA--that's typically what I mean. The couple ending up together "forever".
If you ask any of my friends, most of them will tell you I need a HEA in my books. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Quite a few of my all time favorite reads didn't have an ending where the couple ends up together. They weren't a "traditional HEA" yet these are the books that kept me thinking for days afterward. Books have left some of the deepest impact on me. I almost shudder to write that because I don't want it to sound wrong. I don't want to make it sound like romance books don't have a deep impact on me or don't make me think because they do. You guys know I'm a romantic at heart and romance will always be a HUGE part of what I read and write...but when I think of these books I'm talking about, though there is romance in them, I don't consider them romances. There is much more going on. The romance isn't the main theme. They're more about growth.
Even though those endings my have hurt my heart, or I'm still thinking and wondering about certain characters, sad for them or curious about them, wondering what happened with their lives and hoping they find a way to get everything they deserve, I realize those endings were as they should be. They were real, even when they hurt. And I think that's part of what makes them take up residency in my thoughts. The openness, the possibilities, make it seem endless. They make me wonder and think and create a future where anything is possible.
That's sort of a beautiful thing.
Do you like books with an open ending? Books where the couple you fall in love with, doesn't end up together?
PS... One thing that I think needs to be said, I've only been okay with this happening in contemporary YA for some reason. LOL. Maybe because that's LIFE, it's real and those years of our lives are so uncertain. Something to think about.
Oh, on a side note, deaths slay me. I can't handle those for one of my main characters. I think people who can are freaking awesome. That's just not me. LOL. My heart is too tender for that :)