Book List

Dual Perspective Round Up

July 28, 2017
Casey Nugent
Riveted Editorial Board
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The point-of-view character is an all-important element in good storytelling. You need your central perspective to be the one that heightens the dramatic tension the most, the one that propels the reader along, the one that you care about.

But sometimes, there are just too many characters in one book for there to be only one POV character. If you stay in one person’s head the whole time, you miss out on key information that you need for the plot to develop. Or better yet, you miss out on a building tension that can only be properly expressed by two (or more!) voices. I’m a sucker for good narration, which is why I adore books with dual perspectives. When it’s done well, the dual perspective narrative creates the perfect amount of tension-building and dramatic irony. I’ve gathered up some of my absolute favorite books that use this trope — check out the list below and let me know what your favorite multiple-narrator books are in the comments!


 

You Are Hereby Jennifer E. Smith

Emma and her neighbor Peter are both lonely in a way that only bothers them occasionally. They both come from families they don’t quite understand. They both feel like something big is missing from their lives—and they’re both about to search for answers. When Emma makes a discovery that shakes the foundations of her identity, she convinces Peter to join her for a road trip. Together, they take to the open road, engaging in a universal quest to make sense of who they are and where they come from…and learning a thing or two about love along the way. AND it’s a free read on Riveted until July 31st!

When Dimple Met Rishiby Sandhya Menon

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. Now that she’s graduated high school, she can finally put some distance between her and her overbearing parents — especially her Mamma, who wants to find Dimple the Ideal Indian Husband — by heading to InsomniaCon, the web developer summer conference she’s been dreaming about going to. Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents offer to send him to InsomniaCon to meet his future wife, who’ll be attending, he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways

The Odds of Lightningby Jocelyn Davies

Tiny, Lu, Will and Nathaniel used to be best friends. Then life-defining events the summer before high school tore them apart. Now, three years later, they hardly talk anymore. But fate weaves their lives together again the night before the SATs, during a wild thunderstorm that threatens to shut down New York City. And lightning strikes. Before they know what’s hit them, the four teens embark on an epic all-night adventure to follow their dreams, fall in and out of love, reconcile the past, and overcome the fears that have been driving them since that one lost summer.

Let the Sky Fallby Shannon Messenger

Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is. Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life. When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim, and a battle to fight. But their biggest danger might just be the forbidden feelings they start to develop for one another.

Zero Repeat Foreverby G. S. Prendergast

He has no voice or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind. Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall. Sixteen-year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade. And one kills her boyfriend. Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other. While this book isn’t out until the 29th of August, it’s premise, plus it’s shifting perspectives between Eighth and Raven, should definitely put it on your to-read list!

The Last Magicianby Lisa Maxwell

Esta is sent back in time to save the Maegus — people with magical affinities trapped in New York City by an impeachable Brink that prevents them from leaving. All she has to do is stop the magician who destroyed the Ars Acana, a powerful magical book, from getting away with it. But when she goes back to the past to stop him, things are more complicated than it seems.

 

Eleanor & Parkby Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park are both outcasts. Eleanor is overweight and as red hair and can’t dress well to save herself. Park is half-Asian in the 80’s in Nebraska and just trying to get by with his head down. At first they don’t know each other. Then they’re friends. Then they’re something more. And while they both know first loves rarely last, they’re also both desperate to try.

I’ll Give You the Sunby Jandy Nelson

Jude and her twin brother Noah are inseparable. Jude is the reckless daredevil who does all the talking, while introspective Noah draws all the time and falls slowly in love with the boy next door. But years later, the two are barely speaking. The early years are told by Noah and the later years are told by Jude, but both twins only have half of the story.

Will Grayson, Will Graysonby John Green and David Levithan

One night, on a street corner in Chicago, Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. One Will lives in Evanston and one in Naperville, which aren’t too far from each other — but the two Will’s might as well live on different planets. After their chance meeting, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping in unexpected ways.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlistby Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

One Response to Dual Perspective Round Up


  1. alyssayuri says:

    There’s something about one character knowing something and another character knowing another thing, but the reader knows both their sides which makes a book really thrilling! I love dual povs!

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