Monday, 2 February 2015

TOP 10 BOOKS WITH MULTIPLE POINTS OF VIEW

Point-of-view, famously shortened to POV, doesn't get nearly as much credit as it deserves. It is the oft-overlooked brother of character development, the plot's favorite sidekick and the pacing's very best friend. And yet it isn't discussed nearly as much as its more famous counterparts. As readers, we frequently assume that the author had always known, on a purely intuitive level, how many points of view to include in a story, which tense to use and what sort of voice to employ. And sometimes, we are right to assume it. But more often than not... well, we all know what they say about assuming.

Mastering multiple POVs is a thing of wonder. For every entry on this list, there are dozens of failed attempts. Even some of our beloved and much-appreciated authors struggle with mastering the art of telling the story from various perspectives, and then weaving those together. Sometimes, the voices are identical and there's no way to tell them apart. Sometimes, multiple POVs are unnecessary. Sometimes, they never quite come together.

But sometimes... sometimes they are done just right. These are those times (in YA and NA, respectively).






1. Shatter Me


Now, Shatter Me isn't your conventional, run-of-the-mill multiple POV book. If one were to read all three books in the series in order, they'd find nothing but the protagonist's narrative. The two novellas which accompany the series, however, were narrated by different characters in the series. And despite not qualifying as a conventional book with multiple voices, Shatter Me tops this list for easily being the series with the most unique and easily-distinguishable narratives we've ever encountered. Each character's voice is so starkly different, so theirs, that there is no way to mistake it for anyone else's. There can be no confusion about whose perspective you're reading. Each is vastly different from the rest. Tahereh Mafi is the queen of character voices and we bow to her and offer her chocolate and cookies in exchange for more of her amazing writing. (Pretty please, Tahereh?)


2. Thoughtless


It's no secret that this book is a favourite on the blog. We've mentioned it in pretty much all the lists and recommendations so surprise surprise, it's in this one, too. At the Honest Bookclub, we were incredibly lucky to receive a copy of Thoughtful, which is the story of Thoughtless in the POV of Kellan Kyle. It was amazing (a review will be posted nearer the release date - stay tuned!) and since finishing that last page, I've been itching to re-read it again because of it's epic-ness. Is that even a word? Well, it is now. 
S.C. Stephens gave us exactly what the fans had been asking for and she really didn't disappoint. If you've not already, definitely give it a go! 





3. The Raven Boys


What is perhaps the most unique aspect of The Raven Boys is the absolute absence of a clear protagonist. Unlike most multiple POV books which nevertheless follow one character's journey (and merely have other characters ruminate on it), with The Raven Boys, the situation is quite different. Not only is each of the protagonists (about four of five in total) superbly, intricately developed, but they each tread a journey of their own, and battle their own demons along the way. Don't be fooled by the blurb - this is not exclusively Blue's story, any more than it is Gansey's, Ronan's or Adam's. This is a story of fates intermingled. And it is a story told by many different voices along the way.






4. Slammed

Colleen Hoover's first book, Slammed, is a story that really stays with you after you've read it. The first book is told from the point of view of our main girl Layken, and it is filled with emotions, uncertainty, a forbidden romance and Mrs. Hoover's captivating words. The follow up books, Point of Retreat and This Girl, are in Will's POV. The author captured a man's thoughts and actions so well, it wasn't too identical to the girl's voice and really gave us an interesting perspective on what was going on in that head of his during all the drama that unfolded. The series is well-loved and a highly recommended book to both males and females, of any age (excluding children, of course). Just keep the tissues at hand.





5. Throne of Glass


Sarah J. Maas's brand of changing-POVs-mid-chapter is unique unto herself. It's not that it has never been done before. It's more than it has never been done with quite such a flare, in such perfect moments, as it's done in Throne of Glass. The points of view won't change with the chapter. With Celaena Sardothien as the primary protagonist, hers will be the largest percentage of the story. But when occasion does call for it, the point of view will shift to include one of Celaena's most faithful companions. And when it does, it will shift with such a bang that it will leave your head spinning. It's never uncalled for, and it's never redundant. And it's always, always expertly handled.






6. Legend

This popular book series has wonderful multiple POVs from our two lead characters June and Day. Both from completely different backgrounds with different beliefs. And yet, they cross paths and come together to do what they have to do. Marie Lu gives us two distinctive perspectives and with her easily-absorbed writing and great way with words, it's hard to put this book down. She's a terrific writer and the books are highly recommended. 








7. The Scorpio Races


As the blurb will (vaguely) insinuate, this is the story of Sean and Kate. Kate's motives in the book are quite apparent - or so they seem. Sean's motives are far less so - or so it would seem. The unlikely kinship that blossoms between them would therefore seem inexplicable, based on the blurb. After delving into the actual story, however, the reader finds that each of the two protagonists is every bit as complex, well-nuanced and expertly handled as can be expected from Maggie Stiefvater. It is the sort of story that gives a whole new meaning to dual point-of-view - mainly because it just wouldn't function any other way. There is far more to Sean Kendrick than the blurb suggests. And there is far more to Kate Connolly than one is lead to believe. The synopsis might not insinuate it, but the dual narrative certainly will.



8. Ugly Love


For goodness sake, another Colleen Hoover book? Yes. We're sorry. This multiple POV book was very good and so interesting, because not only was one perspective set in present time, but the other was set 6 years ag,o with a completely different cast of characters (except the main character and his best friend), including a completely different love interest.
It's certainly something unique! There were also so many feels!
Ugly Love is a highly praised book by a very popular author, so if you haven't attempted this one yet, you really should.







9. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour


With Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, the title says it all. This is Amy's story as she embarks on a road trip with a stranger, all the while grappling with the concept of life, death and familial ties. This is also Roger's story as he embarks on a road trip with a stranger, all the while learning what it means to love and to let go. But mostly, this is the story of a truly epic road trip across the continental United States, and of two souls coming together in the unlikeliest of ways. As such, the dual narrative is not only entertaining, it is also essential. And Morgan Matson proved more than a match for the task. It's just so very good.







10. House of Hades


I've yet to finish the Heroes of Olympus series (very late with reading Blood of Olympus!) but given Rick Riordan's fantastic imagination and creative ideas, combined with his sassy characters, it's impossible not to include this in the list. I couldn't pick which one, though, because they're all equally as good. So I selected the last one I've read. I mean, some of this book is set in hell. How can that not be an entertaining read?
All of the Heroes of Olympus books have multiple POVs - and by multiple, we're not talking two people. We're talking about four or five.
I highly recommend Rick's books, he's a wonderful storyteller! 











What are your favorite books with multiple perspectives? Who are your favorite authors who have mastered the craft? Leave us a comment below and let us know, or find us on social media and share your thoughts with us.


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