The 5 Stages of [Book] Grief

Hi.  My name's Dr. Julia, and today I'll be discussing with you all the five stages of book grief.

*Disclaimer: I am definitely not a real doctor.*

Books are precious things.  Powerful things, capable of bringing us to tears or causing extreme elation.  Books are often the source of much happiness, squealing, and uncontrollable giddiness.  However, sometimes, books are also the source of much . . . hurt.

They say all great things must come to an end, and our beloved books are no exception.  The greatest series must eventually stop.  The pages of a book must finally wane.  And we must eventually bid our beloved characters goodbye as their pages come to a close.

As readers, we experience such catastrophic loss on a daily basis.  Whether it be the loss of a favorite character (or *ahem* a main character), or the conclusion to a favorite series, I'm here and I understand.  I have "formulated" a five-step process to help you through the process of grieving.

It does get better.

1. Disbelief


You've just turned the final page in a beloved book and closed the cover.  You sit back, blink for a moment, think, and decide the series can't possibly be over.

It's too terrible to be true!

2. Anger


Why author, why?!  Why would you only write three books?  Five books?  Seven books?  Ten?
No amount is ever enough!  How could you do this to us?!

How could you kill off our favorite character?!
We trusted you!

3. Bargaining


If only I read slower and really savored the text . . .
If only I appreciated that character more before she was gone . . .
If only I confessed my undying love earlier!

Author, take my money!  My soul!  My livelihood, my everything!
My first child!

Just please don't end this series!

4. Mourning


Cry it out.

Just cry it out.

5. Acceptance


You finally come to terms with your loss.

And everything's wonderful and righted once again.


Yeah . . . nope.

Which books have you grieved over?

Julia's a dreamer. She often zones off periodically throughout the day thinking up plans for the future, pining over fictional characters, and concocting up possible plot lines for stories.

You can find Julia on her main blog, Peach Print, on Twitter @peachprint, on Instagram @yapeach, and of course, right here on the APCB blog.


  1. I love this post!!! And it's sooooo true! #3 is just perfect, haha. And you know it - we're never going to get to phase #5. Always in denial, haha.

    Vane at Books With Chemistry

  2. This is basically "The Secret Life of a Bookworm". I totally agree with what you said. The first time that kind of gried happened to me was for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, because I couldn't believe it was over. For read. Reading the epilogue, the "All was well" made me cry so much, because I couldn't live the story like the first time anymore. I also remember crying a big part of the night when I first finished Allegiant, but not because the series was over (because I didn't really like that book), you know what I mean. Clockwork Princess had the same effect on me than HP. However, Cassandra Clare understands us, takes our money and writes more books on this universe, haha.

  3. Ha ha, this post is so true! I am such a big softie when it comes to book so I cry more than can be healthy, but the worst bookish grief would have probably come from HP - once it finished I had such a bad caseof Post Potter Depression *sniffles* - or Clockwork Princess because THAT ENDING WAS SO BITTERSWEET!

  4. I am forever sticking to three - I haven't finished Jennifer L. Armentrout's Dark Elements series because I don't want it to end - so I'm doing the 'i'll read it slower' tactic - lol! I'm dreading finishing it because I know I'll hit stage 4!! It's the worst - I get so invested I always end up crying!! Then when the pain washes away I rave about how everyone else needs go through the same feels! - Kj

  5. Haha LOVE this! #1 happens a lot for me. Like no that didn't just happen. I am nor sure about the acceptance part though!!

  6. I just finished The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. It made me die a little inside, but I loved it. XD I think I'm just passing from the mourning phase to the acceptance phase. Sometimes I have to remember that real life is a thing and I have to move on from the deaths of fictional characters... *sobs*

    Annie @ Indoor Sojourner

  7. Ahah I love this post, it's so damn easy to relate! I have grieved over many a book - most recently Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

  8. I can honestly say not many, and I mean hardly any books give me any kind of grief. It is such a rare thing I don't even remember one specific book except for Law of Moses and Song of David. I honestly wish more books affected me!

  9. What a funny post! ha ha! I think the book that made me feel this way lately is Your Voice is All I Hear by Leah Scheier

  10. Oh man! I think the disbelief is the first one I get. I get that one bad... thinking about all the books I read, pages I read, words I read and time I invested in a series or a standalone... and then it just ends! Oh, and I feel the shock and anger sometimes as well, especially when it comes to an ending I didn't like or when a character has died that I loved to bits. Yes, I am referring to the Gone series by Michael Grant.

  11. So true! I am totally going through this right now with the new Kricket book (SOB!)

  12. HAHA this post is so acurate... totally me, especially finishing allegiant (#3 100% haha and I'm still not okay) <3

  13. I feel like I never get to acceptance. I just forget my angst for a while then go over the steps all over again!

  14. I LOVE THIS POST!! I first saw this when Katytastic from Booktube uploaded it, but SO TRUE!♥

    Jumana @ Books by Jay

  15. This captures my grief so perfectly! Books always tend to do this thing where they break my heart and it always hurts my soul so much. I think I stay in the disbelief stage for the longest before moving and going to the next stage. I think the book I grieved the most was All the Bright Places, Allegiant, and definitely the ending of the Grisha trilogy. Great post and thanks for sharing!

    ~Kaitlin @ Next Page Please!

  16. Great post! I had just seen this over at Katytastic and couldn't stop laughing. It is so true. I go through all of these after an amazing read/series. Acceptance is always the hardest ;)

  17. I.... have never reached number 5 ;) No, seriously! With the Delirium series, I still plan to start a petition to beg Lauren Oliver to give me an epilogue. I pretend I never even started Allegiant, let alone finished it. And Charlaine Harris is kind of dead to me after Sookie ended the way it did. So yeah, I pretty much stick somewhere between 1-3 for ALL the books ;) This is so fun!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

  18. Hahaha, YES THIS IS AWESOME! And so true! I definitely go through the 5 stages of grief, especially when it comes to a favorite series ending. Anger and denial is probably the most important emotions. ;) Great post, Julia!!

  19. YUP, that sums it up actually HAHAHA I went through it all every single time. Except for acceptance. I'll prolly never have acceptance for any of the books that hurt me HAHAHA

    Maryam @ Once Upon A Story


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