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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