Friday, June 8, 2018

Discussion: Let's Jump Ahead

We have recently bid a fare adieu to a show which held a special place in my heart, The Middle. I will dearly miss the Hecks and their chaos, but I am so thankful to the writers for that wonderful ending. You see, they did one of my most favorite things - they jumped ahead, and that is what I want to talk about this week.


This Week’s Topic: Jump-ahead Endings

It's a well established fact, that I am a greedy, greedy reader. If I had a dollar for everything I wanted to know what came "after", I would be a fairly wealthy woman. This is why the jump-ahead ending is such a delight for me. 

I am delighted to get that peek at "after". We get the resolution, but then what? A jump-ahead gives me a little bit of that. I like knowing my characters have a future, and getting to see a little bit of it. 

I am a character driven reader, and often bond with the characters in the story. I care for them, and want to know that they had a good life. This is probably one of the biggest reasons why I love epilogues so much, and have a great need for them, but the perfect epilogue always brings me to a time in the future. 

Granted, many books only bring me to the near future. It's common to jump ahead a few months, but my favorite endings take me further into the future. I know, I know, it's super needy and greedy, but I love it so much, and if the author writes it, it saves me the time of having to "write" my own future in my head. 

When I think of stupendous jump-ahead endings, which have stayed with me for quite a while, two come to mind. 
  1. Garrett by Sawyer Bennett - This is an adult sports romance and the only book she jumped ahead in. I love that she did it though, because it was vital for my mental well-being. I had to know what happened to the heroine, and it was such a beautiful ending. The tears are forming in my eyes just thinking about it. 
  2. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green - It was such a surprise to see an ending like this from him, but it was all sorts of perfect for me. I liked knowing how Aza made out in the future. It also answered some burning questions for me regarding the romance part of the story, and it was a fabulous way to cap off a great book. 
Now it's your turn!

Are you a fan of jump-ahead endings? Why or why not? 
Let us know in the comments!

30 comments:

  1. I enjoy them when jump-aheads are added, but have no issue with a partial open ending that merely hints at happily ever.

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    1. Open endings are ok with me if they are hopeful, but they always leave me sort of wanting.

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  2. I completely agree with you. I become way to invested in the characters and want to know what is going to happen next. I love when we get a glimpse into at least the close future, but a go ahead is the best! Great topic!

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    1. Right? We dedicated ourselves to this character, and I feel like a look at their future is our pay off.

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  3. I like all types of endings. I especially appreciated the flash forward ending in Harry Potter. I would have been really sad if I didn’t know anything about the characters’ futures.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I just always want to know more and more, and those jumps allow me to know they were ok later on. I think it's especially vital in situations like HP, where the characters experienced so much peril, to know that everything turned out ok.

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  4. A good epilogue which jumps ahead is he best in my book! Love to see where people are in the future. Gives me a better sense of closure.

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    1. I am such a closure-ho. I need an epilogue like the way I need air to breathe.

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  5. I do love a good epilogue because I love a HEA but I'm pretty okay with most endings, even cliffhangers. lol Well, if it leaves me feeling something. Sometimes a book ends weird, like it felt like that part of the story wasn't complete and that drives me bonkers.

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    1. Cliffies make me nuts!!! I have to carry worry in my heart until the next book, and that's IF the next book comes. It's a terrible feeling. Open endings often leave me feeling like part of the story was missing. It's like a non-ending to me.

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  6. I am total trash for a good epilogue. I live for them. And when it’s a jump-ahead epilogue... oh my gosh, my heart almost bursts. :) Getting to see my precious characters several years down the road, living their lives... great big YES to jump-ahead endings!

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    1. Exactly!!! It's that joy of knowing that what we read about led to bigger and better things for these characters. They are the best!

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  7. I love knowing what happens in the future only if i really loved the book. Sometimes I don’t care. And sometimes a jump ahead angers me. Like in the TV shoe Medium. That just made me so mad.

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    1. I haven't watched Medium since the series ended, so I just YouTubed the final scene. I totally shed tears during it. I am a sap.

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  8. I don't mind open-ended books, but sometimes I do enjoy a jump-ahead, just a little glimpse as to where the characters end up. I agree with Aj, the Harry Potter epilogue was great. Also, The Hunger Games had a pretty good jump-ahead in Mockingjay.

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    1. Open-ended is like a dirty word to me. They drive me batty.

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  9. I can see why you like them, but I'm the opposite. I don't really like epilogues that jump too far. A few months is ok though. And for some stories, I think it works well just having it end exactly where the story ends. But maybe it depends on the genre and type of story.

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    1. No matter what genre I read, I want to know my characters' fates. I am greedy like that. I set really high expectations for endings, and a jump ahead just seems to satisfy my needs.

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  10. I adore a jump ahead ending in a tv show, especially if it's a show I'm really invested in. In books, I don't really love epilogues. I'm also a very greedy reader so I would rather have more books in the series than get an extended epilogue. Though I have come across a few books from one author that outlined ALL the future character couples she planned to write books on at the end of all the books in that series in the form of an epilogue. It was very weird and confusing.

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    1. I get wanting more books in a series, and the genres you read lend themselves to that format. Contemporaries tend to be stand-alones, so that epilogue is gold to me. However, if given the choice between more stories in that "world" or an epilogue, I would take more stories, just like you.

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  11. Great topic. I'm a fan of 'jump ahead' endings as well, especially if there's no chance there's going to be a sequel. When I become invested in characters, I like to know how things work out for them long term.

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    1. I think it's really critical if that is where the story ends. I feel like I require them, because I do read mostly stand-alones. With series, the author has more time to build to that ending, and I found they are usually definitive. I have rarely sought an epilogue for a series finale, though would not turn one down either.

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  12. Hmm...I'd say I'm somewhere in the middle. I don't mind if a book has or doesn't have a jump-ahead ending. I don't miss it if it's not there, but I'll read it if is...

    --Sam @ Sharing Inspired Kreations

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    1. After reading these comments, I am usually ok if there is no jump ahead with a series, because we already had so much time with the characters, but I feel it's something that makes my experience with a stand-alone that much better.

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  13. Like you, I'm a character driven reader so I never get tired of characters and seeing them grow. I like jump=-heads because they seem so final, it's you last chance to say goodbye to some favorite characters.

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    1. You nailed it. It is usually the big goodbye and it's most likely why I love them so much.

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  14. I love flashforwards as well! It's becoming more of a trend, in TV shows and books, and I am here for it. If the series doesn't end with an epilogue, I do have a little disappointment! That is, unless, there's a companion series that has them has side characters. :) I think I prefer that even more, because you still get to see all the characters you love! Excellent post Sam. :)

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    1. I just think the jump ahead is such a gift to the reader/viewer. An epilogue should be mandatory in a series finale. It's great to know how the immediate story ended, but it's amazing to see where those characters ended up sometime in the future.

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  15. I do enjoy a jump ahead. Sometimes I just need to know what the author wants for the characters after things have ended. Especially when you have invested time reading a really long series, you know? I can always put something together in my own mind, but sometimes it is nice to have the extra piece.

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    1. I want it in almost every book I read. Ha! I have written so many of my own jump aheads in my mind. What can I say, I need a lot of closure.

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