What happened to those books of happy endings? What happened to those warm tales and sloppy love stories that made your heart flutter? What happened to those beautiful passages that let you walk in yellow meadows, under the sunshine, surrounded by the smell of hay while still comfortably tucked in your bed?
Reading – at least for me – is an escape from the real life and so I prefer books that are less traumatic, books that would leave me in high spirit and encourage me to hope for the better.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy books that are a challenge or makes you have a couple of feels, it’s just that they have become so mainstream these days, and books without ‘certain’ traumatic deaths are considered too easy-going, too mediocre. It’s just a trend that has picked up – and with which I very much disagree – killing off characters doesn’t make a story too real, or too readable and certainly not fun for those who have weak hearts like me! And that’s the whole point, a story doesn’t have to be too real, it just should be compelling enough to keep you reading, leaving you thinking about things that matter and not too traumatized to even get around it. I understand that some deaths are essential to the plot-line but enforced deaths – especially of the protagonist – just to make a reader weep has become a blunt way of gaining appreciation (or at times death threats).
I still remember reading Harry Potter series, and while I was really late in the fandom, I had no spoiler for the certain deaths that occurred throughout the series (except for Dumbledore’s), I remember shutting the book and burying my head in a pillow when Sirius died, I remember the gasp that escaped my lips when Fred fell and I remember cursing out loud when Dobby collapsed. However, that’s not the case anymore. Having read too many heart-wrenching books have made me immune to all these ‘feels’. A gentle shake of the head or an inaudible gasp is the reaction to even the most unfair deaths.
The aftermath of too many stories that make you shudder literally to the soul, is a numb me, questioning my judgment of every happy book I read – whether the story is too good to be true and/ or to be believed, would it have been better if it had been written by a butcher of an author? Not only that, but I have also encountered people who blame the author for not being realistic if they decide not to use their pen as a killing knife. The right deaths in books are not wrong, it’s just that good books do not have to be characterized by deaths.