Like you, I prefer bittersweet endings… in most books. Depending on the genre and storyline I’m reading or writing, bittersweet endings tend to be more realistic and wholesome to me because it’s a sign that the struggles aren’t over, but that they can be overcome. As a writer, a lot of the stories I write have bittersweet or close to unhappy endings. Unless it’s a romance, which then I use happy endings because if it wasn’t a happy ending, it wouldn’t be romance.
But like, I have a YA contemporary where the MC died (unalived herself) and throughout the last half of the book, she becomes a ghost and realizes she shouldn’t have and just caused herself and others around her more pain. Though she eventually accepts what’s been done and hopes everyone will be okay and move on without her.
I also have a new adult murder mystery that ended on a rather disturbing note. The killer became tied to a tree and was left there unconscious so the MC could go get help (as the police finally arrived). But then… the killer woke up, cut himself loose, and ran away so he’s still out there. This was originally done because I was going to make a sequel, but I never did and I probably never will.
And finally, my current project ends on a also disturbing and sad note… mostly because it’s the first in a four book series. The story ends with this “epic battle” sequence and people are dying left and right… until a bunch of demon-looking things crawl out of the ground and capture my MC where he becomes unconscious and wakes up in a dark room where he finally meets the main antagonist for the first time… and then he turns into those same demon-looking things. But the last book of the series will end on a positive note where things are A-okay… for the most part. xD
When it comes to reading, though, I also prefer bittersweet endings just because it’s more realistic. But I do love a happy ending when it’s told right. Sad endings, on the other hand, aren’t my forte though depending on the story… I may enjoy it. This also includes the death of the main character. I’m all for main characters dying. xD
I can’t stand resurrections. I may be okay with it if there was no clear evidence if they died or if it’s their clone or a robot with their consciousness or if they had a twin that no one knew about because no one knows anything about their family history. But when it comes to a character dying, right in front of you, and then on the next chapter or book—poof! They’re alive again because of a magical stone or whatever… then no. I’m not happy about that. It’s a cheap shock value.
Another thing I can’t stand, which moreso has to deal with Wattpad stories I’ve read in the past lol, would be super happy endings like the characters are married with kids and they got their whole life together. Like, I don’t care if it’s a romance or not, that is too happy. Marriage? I’m okay with. My previous romance novel ended where they were moving in together after getting married and knowing each other for three years. But skipping to them having kids and their careers on track and them knowing what they want to do for the rest of their lives? No thank you.