Wednesday, May 7, 2014

We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together


I was going to try to write something funny, but I failed. It’s one year since that fateful day when The Book That Shall Not Be Named was released worldwide (you can check out our initial reactions here). All we had asked for was an ending that would remain true to the characters we had come to love over a long, long period of time.


all we asked
Spoilers had already leaked about how the series would end. Spoilers some of us were grateful to have known. Spoilers some of us didn’t believe could be true. I was one of the latter. Believing that there was no way the rumours could be true. The first set of spoilers had us going :

And by the time people we trusted had read the books :

Our (mostly awesome) fandom was large, yes mainly Eric and Sookie lovers. However that wasn’t solely why we read the books. We knew Eric was a vampire and Sookie a human. We knew Sookie had no desire to be turned. Yet we trusted that the author could find a way to leave both characters with a satisfactory ending. A ending that would make sense given all the characters past history. It turned out we were wrong. We felt betrayed. Attacked by some quarters. We acknowledge that an author can write what they want. Of course they can. But that doesn’t mean we have to buy it, read it, accept it! (And it sure as hell doesn't mean we should be called crazy for even airing our opinions.) And from the 7th of May 2013 we have followed this policy.

SOOKIE STACKHOUSE IN MEMORIAM .

The 7th of May marks one year since that tragic, crushing day. 



As soon as we saw those spoilers.
It was the day that I had my heart ripped from from chest. Ripped or perhaps it leapt out of me in disbelief. It is one year since I swore (as did many others) that the author would never again see a cent from me. I have better things to spend my money on. Yet I am still here, mourning for what could have been. I'm still disappointed and gutted in out the series ended. I wish for brain bleach to erase books #11, #12 and #13 from my mind. The series should have ended then, yet it did not.  Part of me wishes I had never, ever read this series. So I ease the pain with a bottle of red / white or top shelf. Take your pick, I'll be drinking Sauvignon Blanc Rose, but perhaps cheering that today I am a little wiser in trusting where an author is trying to lead me. I'll try to keep a bit in reserve, so that if I'm not happy with where a story is taking me, I won't be so gutted.


The morning after May 7th
Sookie Stackhouse devastator of fandoms, destroyer of dreams. The final chapter showed that Sookie Stackhouse had come full circle and in fact this meant she had come to a dead end. A brick wall that lead to no personal development and no acceptance of the world around her. Thirteen books of mystery, intrigue and romance for the main character to only end up back at the beginning of her journey where nothing had changed. I suddenly realized I had read thirteen books of lies. What happened to Sookie's pluck and courage? What happened to her sticking up for her friends? It ended down the toilet, it ended in a drain. What a waste of time. Your ending was unsatisfactory, it left me hollow. I wanted a refund for the years of lies. I followed your story with dedication for years only to have the final book crush my dreams into crumbs at your feet.


(and there were MANY)
What was the point of the bullet sucking scene, the gravel in the driveway and the red coat? If they were red herrings than I was certainly fooled. I felt like the biggest sucker in the world to be lead a merry dance. I was like a puppet on a string, dancing to the authors beat. Was I in it for the romance? Yes partly. However the larger part was the story. I was invested in the characters. I was invested in Sam the friend, Jason Stackhouse the brother and even crazy Arlene, the bigot.


*Sigh*
Bad writing is traumatic

I cried with Sookie, I laughed with her. I fist pumped the air for her. I had her back and I thought she had mine. Sadly, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. By book #13 I was groaning, eye rolling and forcing myself to read on. Forcing the torture upon myself. Hoping again hope that things would be okay in the end. I trusted the author. More fool I.



My beloved hero was sold into slavery. Yes, this was his satisfactory ending. The was the ending I was meant to cheer for? WTF. Slavery? Forced marriage? My alpha made to seem like an a-hole? Beloved Eric, with your strong and graceful presence and hours of joy you gave me. Reduced to nothingness on the editing floor. What happened to the lover, the fighter and the leader? Sold out to a plot line that I never saw. Whack me with a ten pound hammer and perhaps it would make sense. If it's not making sense a year later, it never will. I was a fool to believe that the series would end in a way I could live with. I was a fool to believe the written word. Eric, I still love you. I'll pretend you staked Freyda and that you are living in Europe far from the mess that surrounds Bon Temps.




We know, we know. The author and all her fans say the Eric fans are crazy, rabid, nuts, obsessed. Yada, yada, yada. And you know what, there are some that are. The nutjobs who made death threats and crap. We were not them. We just checked out of the fandom after this fiasco. No drama. No nothing. Which was how the majority of disappointed readers reacted. How's that for crazy, rabid, Eric obsessed old women?
What they made people think all Eric fans were like
Beloved characters were reduced to ashes. I shook my head trying to catch glimpses of the characters I had fallen in love with. The characters I had rooted for through thick and thin. They seemed to be absent and I still can't find where they went. I think they went to fanfiction. What happened to BAMF Pam? She was reduced to an OOC (out of character) part for me, that I did not recognize her. She had a bit part in the final installment, when she had been so crucial previously. A mechanical doll whose awesomeness was diminished. Take that reader, don't expect that authors are going to please you. You were tricked. I shake my head sadly that your tale ended so. Pam would not have taken any of this lying down.




Where was Bubba? Why did he not make make the final curtain call. Every other man and his dog did too, so surely he deserved his moment to shine, or maybe, just maybe The King knew what a disaster this would be and removed himself in order to avoid embarrassment. A wise king. May his character be remembered as he was, a lover of cats.

I guess we should admit we were clearly as delusional as some fans called us. And congratulate the author for completely duping us with the narrative for the last 13 books!
We really were, but only because that's
 exactly where the books were taking us.
The distance of time has not diminished my sadness. Some called for book burning or donating the series to libraries. As yet my books remain on my book shelf. I'm unable to make the final cut. One day I will be, but that day is not today, nor is it likely to be tomorrow. They say there are five stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I'm afraid I haven't made it to acceptance yet. I may be stuck in anger. Perhaps that is unhealthy. I don't know. I'm still enjoying my anger phase.



Drink up my friends. Celebrate the friendships you formed over the years in this fandom. Toast your real and online friends. Remember that while this series was the cornerstone on which your friendships formed, it was not the cement which held it in place. Remember all the other great fandoms out there. Thank goodness we found each other (and other amazing series to fangirl over.) Together we mourned, we laughed and we analysed to death this series. We made it through these dark days and survived. In the end we found each other and that's probably the most important thing of all. Love you Wenches.


just for some Alex eye candy
for the Wenches
We were loyal and we were betrayed.

Lead a merry dance were we.
Never again we cried.
RIP Sookie Stackhouse.
We are never, ever getting back together.
Not even for a reread.
It's only logical.


Have you recovered? Will you ever? Do you take a more pragmatic approach to fandom now? Let us know below how you overcame your disappointment one year later.



29 comments:

  1. Good post! I think I'm still in the anger phase also. I'm starting to think I will always be there for future caution on what authors can do to their readers. I do take a lot more caution now when reading new series. Sadly it has come to that. And I still can't look at a DAMNED TOMATO or MIRACLE GROW without thinking about this epic FU from CH! How sad is THAT?! I mean really.
    DeAnna Schultz

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    1. Agreed. I don't think I'll ever be over it and it's definitely made me a lot more cautious in how much I invest myself in a series. I am hoping The Hollows series ends well this year, but I've found so many last books in series have failed to live up to my expectations.

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  2. I'm so done with this author that no matter the recommendations, I will not pick up any of her other books. Ever. I'll be 85, sitting on a porch swing somewhere with grandbabies driving me nuts, insisting that none of us - not one in three generations - ever by a book by such a wretched author. I don't care how many smiling celebrities have photos posted of them reading (and seemingly loving) the new book out. In point of fact, I actually think less of them for posting those photos, because my gut reaction is that this author sucks and plays her audience for fools, and if these people are enjoying the new book, they must also be fools. It's sad, but there it is. And yes, I will cop to judging people based on the things they post to the internet they like. Hazard of liking things - people will judge your personality based on them.

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    1. I'm with you. I'll never read CH again. It's still a little bit sad for me in that I enjoyed her Lily Bard series. :( as well.

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  3. Nice post! Your opinions are correct ones. I loved Sookie and honestly hoped she'd end up alone at the end of the series. I didn't see her with Eric or any other guy. I thought she deserved a new start with a new guy (we didn't have to meet him, she didn't even have to mention him) removed from all the supernatural drama.

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    1. ^That^. I could have lived with this for sure.

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  4. Book sucked. The End.

    Epilogue: Never buying another Charlaine Harris book ever. I won't make that mistake twice.

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    1. Ditto. I love your concise summing up of the book. Perfect.

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  5. Angela, this is perfect. Absolutely perfect and brilliantly said. I think I will forever live in the anger phase. Though, I may eventually just move on to denial and live there. Maybe someday I'll re-read my favorite of the series, Club Dead, and imagine what could have been.

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    1. I want to be in denial. That would be lovely, but I just can't let go of the anger. Perhaps I think I will get over it one day as I've kept the books.

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  6. What a hilariously cathartic post!! I doubt I’ll ever move beyond anger about those books, and I’ll never read the last one. I’ll pretend it ended back around book 9, and my passion for growing tomatoes will remain unsullied. But I will always love that these books introduced me to many wonderful online book friends, and together we’ve discovered lots of truly wonderful books and authors who will be keeping us entertained for the rest of our lives!

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    1. Agreed Kathi. The friendship created from the series was the most important thing of all. When you think that we've been friends now for a couple of years. The time flies. Haha at your tomato comment. Zee did all the gifs. Aren't they just perfect.

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  7. Well said! I kept the books on my Kindle only because I couldn't bring myself to look at them. Then I upgraded the OS and lost them to the cloud. So that was that.

    I've learned to be so guarded through all this, I haven't even started a new series this year. The one series I'm currently involved in has me a little gun-shy at the moment, and I've already removed my emotional investment from it. I had so much blind faith in CH that I ignored all the warning signs. Never again.

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    1. The blind faith. I know, it's kind of like we were all innocents in this series and getting whacked in the face by the final book makes us very careful how we approach new books / series.

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  8. I don't think I'm ever going to move out of the Frozen Anger stage - you know, the sort of fury that has gone far beyond throwing plates and is scarily quiet...

    I will never, ever read another CH book again. I will never read the SVM again. I can't because with every page I turn, every memory that is stirred as I attempt to relive what we thought to be the building of an iconic literary relationship, that small, icy voice will still be whispering in the back of my mind... "They seem so good... so right together.... the poor fools... we know better, don't we... we know how it ends for them..."

    I won't even give CH credit for bringing together a wonderful, amazing group of people. No, I give the credit for that to SVB and Alexander Skarsgard. All hail the Viking!

    *Kitsunegari*

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    1. Hail the Viking.

      You've touched on the main point why the thought of a reread seems out of the question. How can one reread when one knows what is going to happen. It dims the enjoyment. I wish it didn't, but it does for me as well.

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    2. Credit where credit is due. (SVB)

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    3. Hail the Viking and SVB!
      I do miss reading you all.

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  9. I took all my SSM books to Half-Price Bookstore to sell them. Got $10.00, and some were hardcover. They said they had too many to sell. Ah well. Mostly I miss the SVB forums. Good times.

    Veronica
    *VikingDame*

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    1. I donated mine to the library. The librarian was so happy to gat a donation (any donation is a good one) but I was just thinking 'good riddance'!

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    2. So I need to make the final cut and then I might be able to move on from anger. It makes me a little evilly happy that the Bookstore has so many books to get rid of.

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  10. Brilliant post!!!! I agree 100%. I am also stuck in the anger phase. I tried re-reading a couple months ago and now that I know the Sookie of DEA, it just ruins it. Plus, everything that happened was nothing more than filler. It was all pointless.

    Sh3lly

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    1. Hey Sh3lly. :)

      You are braver than me to attempt a reread. It's angers me when I think how many rereads I've done of the books to end like it did.

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  11. Loved the post, and the gifs and the crowd....

    Happy Anniversary everyone! I think I have moved beyond anger, but I will never accept it, although I do have some PTS flashbacks - ha! I still have the books (well except DEA - because I never, ever bought that one) read it - but would never buy it. So they sit on my self, incomplete, untouched and never to be read again. So many of them are signed too. I hope they collect dust and get silverfish! Maybe I should put them out in the back yard to be impaled by the bamboo and slowly decay.... hmmm.... but that would take effort.

    For me the hardcopies are my little reminder to never become invested in a series or follow another author so closely again. Which is sad really. CH managed to tarnish a whole generation of PF readers who will never follow or completely trust. The series sits there for now and reminds me of what could of been and what definitely wasn't.

    ...but I have to say all the friends I met online were worth every minute. The conclusion I had in my head was much better anyway. I will stick with that one.

    Cheers and my best to everyone ~ OY

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    1. LOL the silverfish may already be at them. I just kind of ignore they are there, best I can.

      Slowly decaying in the backyard actually sounds kind of appealing to me. The thought of them staked might release some of my anger.

      Absolutely the friends created via SVB were well worth following the series. They made a series more fun in the heady days anyway and it's funny, as no matter what book forum you go onto eventually you uncover someone who use to be on SVB and find that instant connection.

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  12. I completely agree with this post!! I had forgotten about this book's release in May because I had been traumatized by the spoilers (seal sex anyone) in April and eventually waited for the library book. There are times when I think, "Maybe I should re-read the SVM..." and then the memory of the last book comes crushing down upon me. Too depressing to re-read.
    Here's to Sookie Stackhouse, BAMF, almost till the end!

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    1. I've been affected for life. I don't think I'll ever be able to reread. I would love to know what sales figures were like for the author's new series though.

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  13. I moved beyond anger, I'm just sorry I read book 10-12. I'm grateful to those friend who warn me about that last book. Being curious, I did started reading it, never got beyond the tomatoes page. It just saddened me that a story with such potential was ruined mercilessly. Great post!

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    1. I wish I had listen to advice Merit. Tried to be optimistic sadly, but at least we have moved on. Well mostly moved on.

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