I have to thank Elana Johnson for inspiring this particular blog topic.
In a book discussion on Monday's Mindless Musings post, Elana said with only 75 pages left to read, she nearly put down Bree Despain's "The Dark Divine" because something in the story didn't jive.
I guess it surprised me a little. Readers invest a lot of emotional energy in getting to know a character. Something would have to be really off in order to make me put down a story when I'm so close to the end.
Then I started thinking about The Time Traveler's Wife.
It's not that I didn't like Audrey Niffenegger's debut novel. What's not to like about a love story where one of the main characters can't stay grounded in time?
Very little. It was an awesome story. But there were a couple of reasons why I almost put it down when I reached the final pages.
1. (Spoiler: If you haven't read the book but plan to pick it up in the future, skip to No. 2) The entire story builds to the hero's death. To me, that scene felt like a natural end.
2. I didn't like who the heroine became after that "natural end."
Part of me wishes I'd have put it down after scene where Henry dies (oops, there I went and spoiled it anyway). The other part of me, however, would have died of curiosity if I hadn't finished it.
So my questions for you are: After investing time and emotion in getting to know a character, do you feel obligated to finish a book? Have you ever put a book down with only a few pages left to read? What made you put it down?