Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Titanic=HEA? Not in my book!

I was having a group discussion the other day with a bunch of readers and writers. We ended up on the subject of happily ever after and what all our idea of an HEA is. Now I will be the first to admit, I am a traditional HEA kind of girl. I want to know the couple is together at the end. That they're in love and will...well live happily ever after. I mean, we get enough real life in real life. I don't need it in my books too. Like many, part of the reason I read is escapism. I don't mind a little angst and pain along the way, but in the end, I want it tied up in a nice pretty bow for me.

One of the women I was chatting with said she DOES consider "Titanic" a HEA in a way. In her book, better to have loved and lost...is a form of HEA. I will be one to admit I loved Titanic. Cried my eyes out but loved the movie. Did Rose ever regret meeting and loving Jack? Nope. Was her life better off because of him? Yep. Did she take his love with her throughout her life? You bettcha. Was it a HEA? Not in my book. I get what she is saying in a way, but...no. LOL. I want a way for the couple to be together. I don't want all they fight for to be for nothing. It just seems wrong to me and honestly, leaves me feeling cold inside when I'm done reading. I get very emotionally invested in the story I'm reading if its a really good book and it would honestly leave me depressed if in the end, they couldn't be together.

Do you need a HEA? What do you see as a HEA? Titanic? The Notebook?


BrennaLyons said...

Okay... In my book, TITANIC is NOT a HEA. It's only mildly happy, in that Rose got to live her life and not be tied to that abusive jerk for life. That is the ONLY happy portion, and that barely classifies as a HFN or an atypical HEA.

What's an atypical HEA? Use one of mine for an example. VERIEL'S TALES ends with every major character dead, but it was the kindest thing that could have happened to them...AND the H&H are reunited in death. So...yes, a weird sort of HEA.

When a hero or heroine dies, I NEVER call that a flat HEA. I've done it, and I'm careful to let readers know it's not a HEA.

Now, you can probably guess that I don't require a HFN/HEA personally. The only time I do is when the book is BILLED as genre romance. Genre romance, by definition, requires a HEA or at least a HFN. Giving the readers anything else is bait and switch, and it's not only dishonest but also an affront to readers.

I personally require that the ending of a book or movie fit the characters, plot, and world. If it does that...and it's properly marked as not being romance, I am fairly happy about it.


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Mary Ricksen said...

I know I prefer a HEA, even if it comes later.

Kelley Nyrae said...

I think most of us need that HEA. That's why we read romance. I agree with you though, Brenna, I like to know ahead of time if I won't be getting one.

Regina Carlysle said...

Just got in from out of town and read this. Great post Kell and I agree with you...Titanic isn't HEA. It just isn't. Jack dies at the end. Rose lives a wonderful full life but it was bittersweet because Jack is GONE. Dead. Um no...that's not HEA. I want a story tied up with a neat bow.

Anne Rainey said...

I NEED a HEA. I hate the Titanic and movies like it. Just makes me nuts!