[I Admit:] I used to HATE reading multiple POV’s

Miss Book Reviews Feature - I Admit:

I used to HATE reading books told in multiple points of view’s

*Disclaimer: By ‘Multiple points of views’ I am only referring to multiple characters points of views in books.

When I used to think of books told in multiple points of views, I would cringe. I had never read a book written well with multiple POV’s, I had never seen how amazing it can be pulled off so therefore I disliked it and expected all books to be ruined if written so.

I was obviously either reading the wrong books, the wrong authors, or had yet to discover what I liked in a book.

The reason I hated it? Well what I hated so much about this style was when:
The second point of view killed all the suspense and mystery.
And somehow every book I picked up did this for me.

An example:

‘Female A’ is totally crushing and pining over ‘Male B’. She can’t stop thinking about him and really wishes he liked her the same way, but she’s convinced he likes ‘Amazing Girl 1’ who happens to be incredibly beautiful, very successful, is amazing at flirting (Unlike Female A. Of course.), and is way more intelligent than she is. This is fine since we as readers are also convinced he’s not interested in her and we want him to slowly fall for her and to see it happen throughout the book.

But then (Dun, dun, dun):
We switch to Male B’s POV and, lo and behold, we find out he is actually very intrigued by Female A, he is definitely attracted to her and, in fact, he wants to get closer to her. Except he’s convinced she doesn’t like him at all.

BAM.
All. Suspense. Ruined.
We as readers know that Female A and Male B like each other, but they don’t know that, and they won’t tell each other that. Therefore the whole romance is a bunch of misunderstandings, paragraphs of pining and wondering why he/she doesn’t like him/her, and no communication between each other over the subject. Right until the end of course. 

Personally I find  that boring and it holds no interest. Therefore I feel like the second POV ruined the whole story for me. Even if the story isn’t about romance, it still ruined the suspense of the romance. I no longer wonder if Male B is going to fall for Female A and I do not have the joy of watching him do just that; he already likes her and we already know this through his POV. So instead, I have to sit there and frustratingly read how much each of them likes the other but how they think the other isn’t the same way inclined.

These sorts of scenarios are the scenarios that I wish would completely cut out Male B’s POV, and let us read the story from only Female A’s POV. At least then the suspense would still be intact.

My point is I really do not like it when POV 1 sets up this suspense and mystery of the unknown and we as readers are compelled to ask why, so we continue reading to see what happens. It’s exciting, it may be thrilling, and it’s one of the reasons we furiously turn page to page. But then POV 2 swoops in and kills that feeling by telling us outright what the answer is. There stops my furious page turning.

We would have enjoyed finding out at the same time POV 1 finds out.

I am now more knowledgeable on what books I like and have to admit I don’t find the above scenario happening at all when it comes to multiple POV’s, which is great. The most probable answer is that the stories I now read don’t have insta-love or the romance develops throughout the story, not before the story. But even so, I have gotten into the habit of preparing myself for the disappointment just in case the above does happen.

—-

So that is why I used to hate reading books with multiple points of views. Now though, I know the beauty and the intense excitement this style can create.
I can now appreciate multiple points of views and personally I have grown to love it.

Have you found yourself growing and learning about what you like and don’t like when it comes to the writing style in books?

Miss J
x

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22 thoughts on “[I Admit:] I used to HATE reading multiple POV’s

  1. I agree that multi-POV books are hard to pull off. The biggest frustration, for me, is not having the suspense ruined (though I’m sure that would be frustrating too) but when authors switch POV mid paragraph. I like real clear delineation when changing POV, otherwise it becomes confusing as to whose mind I am currently in.

    I tend to be one of those authors that writes multi-POV books (though hopefully well). I’ve tried and tried to write single POV books and I actually find them quite boring. To me, life is full of characters, and so should books be. When I read Twilight, apart from the sparkly vampires, the thing I hated the most was having the story only told from Bella’s POV. By book three, I was desperate to escape her head, and was so relieved when we got a chance to explore things from Jacob’s POV.

    Glad to see you are finally discovering that multi can be good… :)

    • I too find it hard to read a book if the POV changes and it is unclear who you are reading. Luckily I haven’t come across many books that have done that; most books make it clear when they’ve changed POV so it doesn’t get confusing.

      Interesting. For me I love one POV books because we get to discover everything as the main character does, unless the author accidentally paints the answer with their words but our MC still hasn’t figured it out; in that case I cry. But I have also come to love multiple POV books when the writer is able to create excitement, tension and mystery even with multiple characters. Those books I find are my favourite.

  2. I agree with everything you said, but I kind of like multiple POV’s now. Maybe I’m just getting used to it, because it seems to be quite popular, lately.

    • I too like it now when it’s done well. I also like that it has gained popularity and more and more books are being written in multiple POV’s.

  3. Another issue with multiple points of view is the repeating of information that has already been introduced. It’s poor writing to repeat a scene just to show another character’s point of view. A good writer can illustrate this with the current character’s point of view.

    If the change in point of view doesn’t show or introduce anything anything new, then it fails. Some writers tries to make it seem like they have introduced something new…. but no they haven’t. The new information should alter the story/plot or create new situation or issue, which is in part to what you were saying about suspense and intrigue.

    That’s some reasons I despise books rewritten to show another character’s POV. It makes me think the author cares more about money, or is a lazy writer (won’t create something new), and isn’t willing to take risks… or a combination thereof. I rather read an adventurous writer who attempts to do new things, but fails than a lack luster writer whose trying to cash in on old things… and can’t move on.

    • Gahh I hate it when that happens! I read a book recently that did this, I can’t quite remember what book it was, but in the second POV it repeated the information as if the readers hadn’t already heard it from the first POV. It got boring because you’re right, there was nothing new, the POV we were reading may not have known this information but we knew so reading it all over again slowed the pace right down.

      I have never read a book that was the same story from a different characters POV, I highly doubt I will ever feel the need to pick that book up if I ever came across one. I agree it feels lazy and unoriginal!

    • Definitely agree! I like any style as long as it has me excited to read it. Suspense is definitely something I love when reading a book, if there is no suspense or mystery then I get bored.

  4. EXACTLY! Oh my gosh, this post is perfect! I used to hate multiple POV’s. I felt like getting both sides would make everything predictable. I’m not sure if I’m still used to it. It all depends on the book and how the author writes it. There are some books out there, like Scarlet, where I actually enjoyed different points of views. Most of the time, though, I’m super picky. If a book is said to have more than one POV, then I wait until there are enough reviews to see if it’s worth it or not.
    AWESOME post! :D

    • Yes! Predictable and boring! I have read a few books where the different POV’s made me feel this way.

      I agree, it all depends on the writer and how they can pull off the style. If they’re not a very good writer then I usually find I DNF those books because I feel like multiple POV’s is tricky to write. So you have to know how to do it, you have to have some skill at it, and you have to be good at it.

      Ohh I have yet to read Scarlet! Which is crazy because I really enjoyed Cinder, I have Scarlet in my TBR pile right now but its a few books down :( I’m excited to see how Marissa Meyer pulls off multiple characters!

      That’s a good idea if you’re sketchy about it! There have been quite a few times where I didn’t know a book was written in multiple POV, I was super excited to read it, but when I did I was disappointed to find it was multiple POV and the style was not pulled off well at all. It made me sad.

      Thanks :)

  5. I. COULDN’T. AGREE. MORE!!!!!!!! (Caps are needed, yes)

    This is why I’m always so reluctant to read multiply POVs. Cassandra Clare’s books always come to mind – they’re good, but when we know pretty much everything, the book becomes less and less enjoyable with each page, especially the romance. It’s partly why I prefer only one POV because it’s easier to follow (I’m a lazy person) and it doesn’t give that much away (unless that POV is the villain’s and he just outright tells us his evil plan, which almost never happens : D). Although there are a lot of books that handle multiply POVs really well and there is no info-dump.

    I’m not that picky about writing style, though. As long as there are no too-repetitive words (one of my favorite authors does that pretty much in every book and it’s a thorn in my side, but I brush it aside because her books are great) I’m fine with it. Of course, grammar counts, too, but if the book has been edited by someone who actually edits it, it’s great. (God, that sounds negative, but it’s kind of true. No one wants to read a book with bad grammar and repetitive words).

    • Whenever the second POV tells me the one thing I was excited about finding out as I read I usually DNF it. These days it doesn’t take much for me to DNF a book mainly because I’m so busy I just don’t have time to push through something that I’m not enjoying. So I usually feel nervous when I pick up a book with multiple POV’s, but I feel like there are more books out there now that are amazing with this style!

      Ohh my god yes, I get really frustrated with repeating words or sentences or information as if its new information that we didn’t already know. Bad grammar is also another thing that would make me put down a book!

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  7. Thanks for linking up with Let’s Discuss!

    I definitely see what you’re saying about the second POV killing the suspense. I only like multiple point of views when they ADD suspense rather than are used as a tool to try to illuminate something else. Have you read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn? Now that’s an A++++ example of multiple POV done incredibly well! Mostly because the POVs were actually conflicting, so you knew someone had to be lying, and it was so fascinating to try to find the flaws in their stories and such – it was great!

    But it definitely has to be done with some skill and finesse, otherwise it can definitely ruin a story!

    • Same here! I also hate it when one POV info dumps the info the first POV was trying to figure out but then the first POV never finds it out except we as readers know and we keep forgetting POV 1 doesn’t know.

      Ohh no I haven’t read Gone Girl, I will have to check it out! It sounds really interesting!

      I definitely think writing in multiple POV’s is a skill.

  8. Hmmm, I don’t mind multiple POV, if it’s done well. That means a distinct voice for each narrative POV. I really hate the books where all the characters sound the same.
    Oh, I especially like multiple POV in romance. :) “The second point of view killed all the suspense and mystery.” – I can see that happen, but still, I sort of enjoy hearing that the love interest is actually interested. And I just like to get to know my favorite characters as… “intimately” as possible :P
    You know what I don’t like? Companion novels where the exact same story is told again, only from a different (usually the first book is from the female’s POV, and the next one is the male’s) POV. I really, really don’t like that new trend.

    • Ohh yes! I also hate it when all the characters have the same voice, it gets really confusing when trying to figure out who you’re reading.

      Yes! I haven’t read any companion novels yet but I doubt I ever will. I would want to read something new! Not the same story from a different characters eyes!

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