Is there any more frustrating experience for a reader than loving a book, being totally engaged and excited, and then hitting a terrible, ridiculous ending that feels tacked on and robs all the previous weight from the novel?
You know what I'm talking about - the trick endings.
It was a dream the whole time!
Ha! Actually this book is science fiction!
There's a twist - she's really a ghost!
I'm not talking about purely bad books. Bad books don't fool a seasoned reader. You read for awhile, understand that it is bad, and you make the choice to be a completist and finish, or set it aside and read something else from the TBR pile that's threatening to take over your home. But a good book that turns bad fools you. It steals time. You make excuses to turn one more page, to stay up five more minutes, you fall asleep with the book in your hands and it hits you in the face. You lug the heavy thing around, all so you can get to the end of this amazing book! You feel so lucky to have it!
And then, you start to notice things change. You note spots where the writing doesn't quite make sense, or the protagonist starts to behave out of character. You understand what is about to happen, but you hope against hope that you're wrong.
I have to believe these books are the result of a pantser writer getting to a spot where they don't know where to go next and just running with the first idea that comes to mind. I also have to believe that there is a large number of people who enjoy these cheap "twist" endings, otherwise so many of these books wouldn't get published.
But please, I am begging you, if you write, don't be that writer. I feel betrayed every time. I'm still pissed off about a bad "surprise" ending I read on January 2nd.