Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday Words: Saying Goodbye to a Series

Goodbyes are complicated things. Sometimes they're welcome, propelled by a feeling of 'good riddance!' But other times, the word can be torture on the tongue. It can be painful to say farewell to places and people that have made an impression on the heart, mind, body, and soul that will not quickly fade. And despite what critics may say, fictional characters can be just as hard to say goodbye to as people.

Buying Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Midnight, June 21, 2007
Sure it happens every time I finish a stand-alone book, but when it happens with a series, it's different. These are characters and places with whom multiple novels and years have been invested. My first major experience with this was with Harry Potter. For the better part of a decade (not to mention my entire adolescence), I would wait for the next book. I would religiously read the CBBC Newsround Fan Boards and post theories of my own. I would read and reread the previous books in the weeks before the next one came out. But then on June 21, 2007, it was goodbye. Not a see you later, but a farewell. It was the last time me and my friends would be in a bookstore at midnight for Harry, Ron, and Hermione. We all knew that within the next 24 hours, most of our burning questions would finally be answered.

And then what?

It may be cliche, but I say focus on the things that got you and those characters here. Recently, I finished United We Spy, the final installment of Ally Carter's powerhouse Gallagher Girls series. While I was late to the party with these books, I quickly fell in love with these teenage spies and the growth of their characters. It was hard to believe finishing book six with its high stakes that the saga started with a sophomore girl wondering if it was possible to be a spy and have a boyfriend. Oh how the times change. Those Harry Potter-esque feelings quickly came back to me, of sadness but mostly gratitude. For Ally Carter taking me on an incredible journey in an amazing world and with characters I am proud to introduce other readers, saying "these are girls you should look up to." For the other Gallagher Girls out there, fans like me united by this series as a community of readers. For the people who felt something just like I did.

Saying goodbye to a series you love can be hard, and that last book especially can be under a lot of pressure. But even if the ending is not exactly what you thought it would be, always remember how you might be different if these books hadn't been a part of your life in the first place. And remember, the story might be over but they're never really gone, not as long as we have our bookshelves and libraries around. =)

No comments:

Post a Comment