By: Larissa | March 7, 2014 | (32) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a discussion post of all things bookish.


I’ve had a fairly busy past two weeks with my part time job at Toys R Us and actual school work. Chemistry will be my cause of death, it’s inevitable.

Since I’ve been so busy lately, I missed posting last week’s discussion. I also haven’t read much this week. So in terms of blogging it’s been a pretty failure of the last two weeks for myself. I was trying to think of something completely awesome to talk about since I’ve been so MIA lately however I haven’t come up with any earth shattering revelations.

What has remained consistently in my mind has been multiple POVs in novels. I recently (okay, not so recently really) read Don’t Even Think About It. There was multiple POV’s on a whole new level with that book. Long story short the book was essentially told by an entire homeroom who had contracted ESP. It didn’t really work for me at all, I found it to be inconsistent and overall quite confusing.

Due to this, I’d like to discuss multiple points of views in YA today. What makes them a positive? What can make them a negative? I’m here to tell you what I think of them.


  • There are always two sides to every story. It’s because of this that having a book with multiple POVs can really dig into an issue and give you a better understanding of how certain people may react to conflict differently
  • When trying to contrast ‘two different worlds’ having two POVs can allow you to truly understand the differences between the worlds. You can have one POV being told from one world and the other from the other world. You can see how an single event can be different for people with different backgrounds.
  • When you have characters that are very important to the story and its plot, sometimes multiple POVs work better than singular. It adds another dimension to the story and can keep you invested in the story
  • It can allow you to write about one thing that may be happening to one character at an certain time and something else for another. It can essentially make your plot more complex


Split Second deals with two POVs one of which who is the sole POV of the last. It was because of this that I wasn’t sure how I’d enjoy having a new POV to deal with. My worries were quickly put aside though, two POVs worked amazingly in this book. You could see into two characters minds who weren’t in the same place and they had an unique voice.  I actually enjoyed both of the characters to the same degree. It wasn’t confusing for me in the least and transitions were done flawlessly.

These Broken Stars is again told by two narrators once again. I think this is necessary because they represent two totally different lifestyles in a certain society. They didn’t confuse me in the least as each character stood out to me on their own. It was especially interest to see the relationship between these two characters develop and their own thoughts about it. The transitions were done quite well.

This book had had seven POVs in it. It could have really been disastrous, if the author wasn’t skilled at least. Rick however is wonderfully skilled and managed to incorporate the many POVs in an great way. Personally I was able to distinguish each character from each other as they had their own voice. I didn’t find my confused at any time. Though I did prefer some characters over others, The House of Hades handled multiple POVs quite well.


  • With multiple POVs within an story can become confusing. You can easily forget that something important happened to one character but not another.
  • Having multiple POVs can also lead to characters blending together and their voices may end up sounding the same. This adds to the possible confusion of having multiple POVs
  • One POV usually ends up being more interesting than the rest. You may find yourself skimming the less interesting one so you can read more of the one you actually enjoy.
  • When the author doesn’t have an exact reason for writing with multiple POVs you can definitely tell. It becomes unnecessary and honestly bogs the story down.
  • Multiple POVs can actually end up distancing you from the characters themselves. Instead of focusing solely on one singular character, the author involves more. Therefore you don’t get to know an character as well as you normally would with one POV
  • Transitions between different POVs can be very awkward and stilted.  Personally, I hate when a chapter has a cliffhanger ending and since the book has multiple POVs you have to wait for one/two/three/four/whatever  chapters to occur before you can read what happens next to the character.


I briefly mentioned this one in this post already. However I’ll do it again because it’s an great example of how multiple POVs can go dreadfully wrong. The story is originally narrated not by an singular person but a large (I’m talking an homeroom) group entity using the ‘we’ pronoun. That led to a whole lot of run on sentences, unnecessary sentences and confusion. It later focused turned into a multiple POV story, focusing on six characters. Overall these characters blended together and some didn’t have a distinct voice. I found myself confused a lot and the POVs really didn’t work. I couldn’t connect to the majority of the characters at all.

I read The List awhile back but honestly can’t remember much about it. Except for the fact it had an overwhelming 8 POVs. They weren’t all explored well, the ending not even mentioning some of the characters who were involved. I feel like each character who had an POV could have really had their own story. That made having multiple POVs quite unnecessary. Keeping track of the POVs could sometimes be a struggle, some of the characters voices blended together. I actually quite disliked the majority of the characters which made reading The List quite difficult.

Okay so I love the elementals series, I think it’s written quite well.  Multiple POVs actually worked for me in the other books of this series. The writing of the two POVs in Secret wasn’t an issue, transitions were done quite well. I also never found myself confused, the characterization of both was clear. The issue with the two POVs lied in the fact I didn’t like one of the characters. I found myself skimming her chapters to reach the other characters. I couldn’t connect to her at all, and frankly I felt like she just took time off from the character I liked. I feel like I would have enjoyed Secret a lot more if it weren’t for the other POV- Quinn.

Overall I don’t think I’m a fan of multiple POVs. They tend not be well done and have a lot of issues. I think there truly needs to be a reason for the multiple POVs in order for them to be a success.

What do you think of multiple POVs? What books have had multiple POVs and worked for you? Or didn’t work?

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Larissa was born and still is living in the land of ice, snow and maple syrup. She's 18 years old and really has no idea what to do with her life lately. Larissa's plans are constantly changing--though there’s one thing has remained constant throughout her seventeen years, and that’s reading. It takes her to another world and puts her into impossible situations and that’s why she loves it so much.

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32 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (24): Multiple POVs

  1. If a book is in third person, I usually don’t have a problem with multiple POVs. It’s easier to keep track whose time it is and all that when you’re not faces with a lot of “I”. It can get a bit tedious if there’s too many characters involved, but often it give a good insight to what’s going on elsewhere in the story (and you can get into villains heads which is cool).

    First person books on the other hand… I’m a little more picky. Most are GREAT. Done really well. But I don’t like flipping between more than two characters and I like there names to be displayed at the start of the chapter to cut down on confusion. In these though I always end up liking more than the other and that makes some chapters drag.
    Bec @ Ransom Reads recently posted…King’s Ransom: StormdancerMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Oooo, good point! I actually do agree, I find multiple POVs in third person much more easy to understand then in first person. Really all of the cons of multiple POVs are ones I’ve found in first person POV. I also do like getting into the villain’s head, sometimes their motivations and thoughts can be more interesting than the protagonist’s. I think two is the top number of POVs I can handle in first person. Anymore than that and things begin to get a bit wonky.

      Thanks for commenting, you gave some great insights (:

  2. I totally agree with you! There’s sooo many pros and cons to it, I don’t even know what side I’m on anymore. I USED to love multiple….but these days, I honestly prefer the one. It’s confusing, I feel, and it’s reeeeally hard to get into a characters head if you get 5 pages with them and then you’re bopping off to someone else. I read The Dark Inside, and absolutely hated it. There were 4 POVs and I couldn’t relate to anyone (plus their names were so similar). Buuuut, I really loved how well Marissa Meyer handled multiple POVs in the Lunar Chronicles. So I’m definitely on the fence.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Why Cait Is Unbelievably Jealous of YouMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Haha yeah, it’s really determined by a case by case basis. Multiple POVs can shine in some books and completely destroy the book in others. I’m alike you, I really do enjoy getting an singular POV lately. It allows you to better connect to the character (: I haven’t read the Lunar Chronicles yet, but from what everybody has told me I’m confident I’d enjoy them. That’s why it really depends. In general though, I seem to be pro singular POV

  3. Great post! I loved These Broken Stars – the perspectives were so different! I wrote a dual-POV novel myself (well, a first draft so far). One of the POVs is of a blind boy, and one is a deaf girl. It just helped me round out the description and plot, since they both have blind spots. Multiple POVs can definitely be hit or miss – one of Ellen Hopkin’s books was like that for me, about seven different perspectives and I could never tell which one we were up to!
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…Review: Bird by Crystal ChanMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Thank you! (: These Broken Stars is an great example of an duo POV done well. In general duo POVs tend to work better for me then having 4,5,6,7+ POVs. Your first draft sounds quite intriguing! In the case of your draft I think having duo POVs would work as both characters seem to not be able to really stand alone, but together come whole (: Lol. I really don’t think Ellen Hopkin’s is my sort of writer, I completely hated her short story in Grim and none of her full length stories really call to me.

  4. Before anything else, I just HAVE to agree with Split Second, These Broken Stars and of course the beautiful House of Hades. I loved how the multiple POVs gave us more insight to the minds of each character rather than making us want to strangle the author for all the confusion.

    I actually like books with multiple POVs most of the time. I like getting a look at plenty of possibilities, getting to know more characters, and just getting more information out of the book.

    But sometimes I HATE multiple POVs, especially when they’re set in different time frames. Sometimes, I have to look back at the chapter titles to remember what time period that chapter’s in and who’s narrating it. Like you said, it’s terrible when all the voices sound the same to you. It’s confusing as hell.

    Lovely post, as always, Larissa! 😀
    Aimee @ Read by the Undead recently posted…Review: All That Glows by Ryan GraudinMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Split Second, These Broken Stars and House of Hades are great examples of multiple POVs done right. Haha, authors writing multiple POVs please take note(: Multiple POVs can definitley give you an deeper understanding of the setting, characters, conflict, theme, etc. However with my bad luck I’ve read a lot more poorly done multiple POV books. Oooo having multiple time frames make multiple POVs even MORE confusing. Agh.

      Thank you Aimee <33

  5. Tanja says:

    I feel your suffering girl. I’ve been so busy with classes and everything that my teachers throw at us that I didn’t have time to blog that much. Anyhow for this topic it’s usually a win for me. I love double (note the word double) POVs because they do give two different perspectives that make a whole picture. However there is a problem when we get like bunch of unconnected POVs. That’s just wasting my time. Great discussion, Larisa 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Cover Reveal: A Whispered Darkness by Vanessa BargerMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Things have definitley got pretty crazy for me. It’s insane how things can get super busy all of a sudden. Yes, I find double POVs generally work much better then multiple POVs. Thank you Tanja! And I hope things get a little less stressful for yourself.

  6. I think some POV’s are great, for example, those in Wonder, that really complimented the story and showed how Aug affected other people without realising, where-as the Balefire series had one of the biggest and most annoying styles ever; mainly two with point of views and then other characters scattered around, with sometimes, quarter of a page chapters, I mean, it was terrible! Sometimes different POV’s can really help, other times, nope.
    Great topic Larissa, you always have good ones! 😀
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Five Friday Favourites #5 – First Books in a SeriesMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah multiple POVs can be great if done well (: I’ve never actually read Wonder so I’ll have to check it out. I’ve also never read the Balefire series, and I’m not sure I really want to now with what you’ve said regarding it. The POVs in it don’t sound good at all and honestly rather annoying and distracting from the overall story.

      Thank you Amanda! It means a lot, it’s actually quite challenging to come up with topics haha.

  7. I dont mind them when all the POV are important. Like you NEED them in order for the story to work. Split Second is a great example. The Lunar Chronicle books have a LOT of POV’s but that works. It annoys me when the POV’a are random and boring…
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah I understand what you mean, like when multiple POVs are required to tell the story. I loved Split Second and the double POVs in it definitley worked. I still haven’t read the Lunar Chronicles, but I need to. From all of the praise they get I’m sure I’ll love them.

  8. Celine says:

    I completely agree with you! Multiple POVs can be really useful because they can really add to the story and show how everyone sees things differently, but it’s so annoying when there are multiple POVs for no good reason. Every POV should have a reason behind it – otherwise it will never add to the story.

    Great discussion, Larissa <3

  9. I totally agree, Larissa! I’m one of those people that usually hate being confused and still gets confused really easily, so multiple POVs are a touchy subject for me. As soon as you get more than two switching points of views, it’s really hard for me to distinguish between them and a lot of the time I find that it can detract from the story if it’s not done perfectly right. Split Second’s one of those books that does it so well, because you get life as a norm and as a para from the eyes of two different people 😀 And I agree, The List was such a hard book for me to read! The switching POVs were so hard to keep track of and on top of that the whole plot messed me up, too. Fantastic post! <33
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    • Larissa says:

      Haha yeah, I definitely get confused easily too. Having multiple POVs can definitely distract from the overall story, you got one right.Split Second’s an perfect example of multiple POVs done right (: In fact I believe have the duo POVs actually improves the story. Ah, The List. Didn’t really enjoy that one at all. Thank you Eileen! (:

  10. I think if there are too many POV’s, then it can get confusing and difficult to follow. Even if they are done well, it just might be a bit too much to have three or more people telling their story. I’m not against multiple POV’s though…and I think they really do work with various stories. Two pov’s are usually just fine. after that, it probably depends on the book for me.
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    • Larissa says:

      That’s usually the case! It definitely can detract from the overall flow of the plot. Two POVs have the best track record with me. Any more than that and things tend to go awry

  11. Great discussion Larissa! I think as long as it’s done properly, and the transition is easy to follow, then multiple POVs aren’t too bad. Really depends on the book
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  12. I’m fine with multiple POVs as long as each character is still well-polished and get to develop nicely. I hate it when we have so many characters but we don’t really get to be personal with any of them. They’re just there. They’re just the narrator, narrating. But beyond that? Sometimes books with multiple povs fail to deliver that, making the reader connect to each and every one of them. I’d rather have only one but well developed than many that don’t bring anything new to the table.

    Great discussion post!
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, having poorly executed characters usually makes having multiple POVs not an pleasant experience. Yeah having one character allows you to better connect with him/her/it. I agree with you Faye! (:

      Thank you <33

  13. It really depends on the story and the characters! Sometimes I like it when I can see things through the other characters eyes, sometimes it just makes me feel distant from the characters. What I also don’t like is retelling a situation through the eyes of another character: I don’t like repeats 🙂

    Switching POV’s when it’s written in first or third perspective doesn’t matter to me. I like both if they are performed right 🙂
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  14. Larissa says:

    Yeah it definitely does! If the characters aren’t fleshed out enough then I’m simply not going to enjoy them. Oh yeah, I never mentioned the retelling an situation point. It’s totally true though, that drives me bonkers.

    I agree! (:

  15. WOOOW I can’t believe House of Hades has 7 point of views in it! That is madness! I can handle 2 povs or maybe even a few more, but 7 is overkill. I don’t think characters get enough character development there. I do enjoy multiple povs though. Lovely post Larissa!
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah House of Hades had quite a lot of POVs. Still I felt like I could handle it. I think it’s due to the fact some of the characters previously had books to themselves so the development was there. Thank you! (:

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  17. I am in SUCH agreement with you regarding the books I’ve tried in this post. I loved the dual POV in THESE BROKEN STARS, I couldn’t stand the multiple POVs in THE LIST (I DNFd that one, so I’m not surprised you can’t remember it), and I thought the POVs were well done in SECRET as well, but I just didn’t care for Quinn. POV twinsies, Larissa, that is what we are!

    I don’t mind and enjoy multiple POVs if they serve the story and the different perspective is there for a reason. I loathe ones that don’t really add anything to the narrative, though, and I have a huge problem with ones where you can’t distinguish the voices from each other. So many people loved THE SCORPIO RACES, but I had to keep flipping back and forth to figure out who was talking, and I also didn’t care for the additional POVs brought on in LINGER and FOREVER, but partly because I wanted Grace and Sam’s story, not Cole and Isabel’s. But I feel like I might not mind Cole’s story by himself in the new SINNER book, because he’s not getting in the way of the original story, if that makes sense.
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    • Larissa says:

      For me duo POVs definitely tend to work better than multiple. These Broken Stars does totally exemplify that. Haha I either gave The List one star or two. Like I said, can’t really remember it.

      Exactly! There needs to be an purpose behind having multiple POVs. You can’t just have them there just for the sake of it. When all of the voices sound the same it becomes even more pointless and confusing. I never actually read The Scorpio Races. I’m sure I wouldn’t enjoy it though as I felt that way towards Linger and Forever too. Haha alike you I much enjoyed Grace/Sam over Cole/Isabel. That does make sense actually (:

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