So you saw it coming … you guessed the plot twist! How does this impact how you feel about the book?
Guessing a plot twist doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of a book – although I’m pretty clueless, so it rarely happens that I see the twist coming before the author starts leading me in that direction.
Take for example the books in #ReadThis … 3 Books Where The Suspense Almost Killed Me. I didn’t guess the ending in any of the books. When The Husband’s Secret, Liane Moriarty had the big reveal … I was dumbstruck! Such a glorious feeling! If you read through the comments on that post, a lot of other readers were surprised too. I had the same feeling with The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins … I just didn’t see it coming. But Alex (Sleepless Reader) guessed it from around page 35 – so there wasn’t much suspense for her. If I had guessed the twist – I wonder if it would have ruined the book for me?
What about books that tell you who the killer is right up front? Can you still get into the story? That’s how the books in the Detective Galileo series by Keigo Higashino that I’ve read are. In both Devotion of Suspect X and Salvation of a Saint, we know who the culprits are – but we don’t know how they committed the crime. It’s finding out the “how” that’s the mystery – and I was in suspense the entire time.
So – how does guessing or knowing the plot twist impact how you view a book? Do you lose interest? Or does the unraveling still hold a thrill for you?
// Comments //
Kyla @ Kyla's Library
I think it depends on the book and on what the actual plot twist is. If the book is only centred around this one plot twist and you guess it within the first 10% of the book then I can imagine how it could ruin the book for you. Great discussion!
Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight
It really depends, I think. Like, some books kind of rely on the plot twist, and guessing it does take the fun and suspense and intrigue away. Other books are still unpredictable, even if you do guess the twist, so I still don’t know how they’ll actually end or what all the details of the situation are. Or they have plenty other things going on or the characters are so great that know the twist doesn’t affect anything for me.
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
I think it depends on the book for me. If a plot twist seems really obvious to me then sometimes I might just get impatient about it or be frustrated with the main characters for not realizing it. But sometimes I don’t mind guessing a plot twist because there’s still enough suspense in seeing if I’m right or in seeing how it happens. And it’s nice when there are still some surprises.
Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight
This is SUCH a thought provoking question- because I guess we will never REALLY know for sure! I *think* it does? I mean, there ARE a few books where I guessed the twist but still enjoyed them, but for the most part, I get really bored if I guess the twist. Like, We Were Liars- I knew what was going to happen VERY early on, and since basically the whole book is a lead up to “the big thing” I just kind of could not seem to care anymore. So maybe it depends on the book itself- like, if there is MORE to the book that the reveal, then it can be okay? But if the mystery is the BIG deal in the book, then perhaps not. Love this post!
@Shannon that’s a book I’ve seen mixed reactions on but haven’t read yet. I think it’s still on my TBR.
Krysta @ Pages Unbound
I don’t mind guessing the plot twist because I think a really good story is one you can enjoy knowing what will happen–or else rereading a book wouldn’t be a thing. I only mind if the book has little going on other than trying to build up the a plot “twist” that I can see coming from page five. If the book is relying on nonexistent suspense and otherwise doesn’t have an engaging plot or characters, I’m not likely to enjoy it.
Katie @ Doing Dewey
I sometimes enjoy a book even if I find it predictable, but it’s rare. What Sarah said is exactly the rest of what I had to say. A book should be surprising, but I also need to look back and go “oh yes, I see that now!”, not “what on earth just happened?!” 🙂
I usually don’t mind if I guess the twist. I’m sure in some cases it has ruined a story for me, but I can’t think of any specific books. Apparently it didn’t leave that big of an impact on me. 🙂
I think there is a time for surprise and a place for when you can guess what is coming. If there is enough depth and development in a novel I think that everything will end up turning out fine. I feel just fine both ways!
@Tiana – exactly!
I love it when I am surprised by the ending. Many times I don’t know what will happen and when I do feel like I have it figured out, what a delight to be wrong, when my theory doesn’t pan out. Girl on the Train was a surprise up until the 90% mark. I have not read The Husband’s Secret but now I want to.
Sarah's Book Shelves
Great question! Yes – guessing the plot twist does kind of kill a thriller for me. That happened to me with Girl on the Train…I guessed it around the 50% mark.
On the other hand, I love when you know who the killer is up front and then the suspense lies in the “how.” I actually prefer that to a whodunit.
And – my perfect ending is one that surprises me, yet still makes sense in the context of the story. If an ending is too out there, that kind of makes me roll my eyes and respect the book less. It’s hard to find that perfect balance.
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