Free Book Friday, and How Finding the Perfect Ending for your Book is like Shopping for the Perfect Bra

Today I'm giving away a signed copy of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's book BEAUTIFUL CREATURES.

Find out how to enter at the end of the post. (It will involve leaving a comment). 

So, the other day I tweeted about how I'm rewriting the ending to my book:

Revisions: I tried a new ending on for size yesterday. It was a little snug and a quite itchy. I hate shopping for endings. Harsh lights.
Trying on a different ending today. Gonna avoid all three-way mirrors until I get it right. #revisionsareitchy

And my friend Leisha Maw responded with this:
@Brodiashton i hate shopping for endings, too. It's like bra shopping-uncomfortable.

And I realized she's exactly right. Finding the perfect ending is like finding the perfect bra:

1. Sometimes you have to try on a few before you get one that fits.

     I'm on my third ending. The first one felt like a marshmallow bra. The second, like a wool boulder holder. The third one might be just right.

2. The perfect ending/bra must uplift (and separate). 

  This is not to say all endings must be happy, but they must satisfy the reader, and fulfill any promises that were put forth in the beginning of the book. 

ex: In Harry Potter, not everyone makes it out alive, but you can be sure Harry finally finds the place where he belongs.

3. The perfect ending/bra must have (underwire) support.

     The rest of the book provides the foundation for the ending, so when that last page comes, you don't have to be Houdini to make it work. 

     For instance, if you get to the end of your contemporary realistic book, and you find the only way your dream ending can happen is if a dragon flies into town and brings with him an alternate universe, you have a problem.  

4. Little irritations in an ending/bra can become huge rashes, but not every clasp needs to be done up.

     You don't have to tie every loose end in a giant pink bow, but an irritating ending can make a reader hate an otherwise excellent book. You want an ending that earns a place on the reader's nightstand, not a spot in their fireplace. It doesn't matter how good a drink is if it leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth. 

I'll use some movies as examples:
Remember the movie SEVEN, with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman? I don't want to ruin it, but let's just say there's a box at the end that holds part of Brad Pitt's wife. (Okay, it was her head). But the ending didn't come out of nowhere, and it sure fit in with the rest of the movie. I bought it, hook line and sinker, and it stuck with me like peanut butter on the roof of my mouth.

Remember the movie CITY OF ANGELS with Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan? The angel makes the monumental sacrifice to fall to earth, only to have his true love get hit and killed by a truck the very next day in a really stupid bicycle accident. I saw that movie years ago, and I still want to punch it. I want to literally punch the movie. If it showed up on my doorstep, I would knee it in the groin.

So, my question for you, dear blog readers, is: What do you expect in endings? Do they have to be happy in order for you to like a book? Does everyone have to make it out alive? What sticks with you the most? Do you remember any endings that made you want to throw the book across the room?

Answer in the comments and you'll be entered to win the free book.