When we finish a great book we go through the motions of a "book hangover". Some lasting only a day while others can be much longer. Personally, I have a hard time coming to terms with the end of The Hunger Games Series. I still go through some of these stages when thinking back on the books. Most commonly, "Bargaining". I always think back to how things could have changed certain events but, at the same time, I wouldn't change anything. Although, I am tempted to message Suzanne Collins sometimes for a rewrite (haha not really).
Here are, what I consider, the stages of a "book hangover". You may experience them in a different order or some not at all. They tend to be magnified when a character, especially a main one, dies or chooses the wrong love interest. I will give examples of what I go through when getting over a great read. These things may also be experienced during it as well.
1. Denial and Isolation
"Noooooooooo!" <--- That feeling you get when you read the last sentence of the book. The end of a series is even worse, you feel like your friends have left you behind never to return again. Which is why, if the book is REALLY good, I read it again at this stage because I just want to go back and reimagine it all over again.
Also at this stage you may want to lock yourself in your room with a tub of Ben and Jerry's. You know what? That's okay.
To think this can all be caused by a book. If you don't believe me then you obviously haven't been reading the right books. Most often the greatest ones cause the most explosive reactions.
"Maybe if he would have gotten there 5 minutes earlier she wouldn't have ran off with (Hot guys name here)."
"If he would have just been honest from the start she wouldn't be breaking up with him right now."
"If he would have taken the safer path the forest he wouldn't have died."
This is the stage that tempts you to write the author and ask "But whyyyyyyy???". You think of a hundred different ways it could have been written differently.
You want to write the Author and beg them to write more books in the series. "It can't be over, it just can't be." I've thought this more times than I can count
Colors are a little bit duller. The world is just a little bit less beautiful. Your perception on everything has went from sharp to fuzzy around the edges. How can it be possible that the world you just submerged yourself in is just the figment of someone else's imagination? Surely there MUST be a Brooke Dumas and Remington Tate somewhere living out their happily ever after, right? RIGHT?!
Oh reality, you cruel SOB.
The point of clarity you've been waiting for. To accept the ending of a story is a wonderful thing and, most of the time, you're able to get to this point. However, there may be a few books that you will never heal from, unfortunately. Quite often, when it happens to me, I read the book over and over again until I feel a little bit of closure. Crazy? Maybe, but it seems to help me.
6. Moving on
Book hangovers come and go, but my oh my they sure are worth it! I don't regret any of mine. I do, however, regret a few books I've read but that's another story.
What's the worst book hangover you've ever had?