POV preference… hers, his, or both?

by Maryse on January 14, 2015 · 24 comments

in Editorial

I was reading a book a few weeks ago, and was really feeling it. It caught me from the start, and appeared to be from HER 1st person POV only. I was loving all of the pining and wondering, and just plain delighted with it as a whole. And then… after a few chapters, the book switched gears and suddenly went into his “1st person” POV. It was a tad jarring, but still overall, plenty good. After all, the writing was spot-on.

Except that… now the mystery of “him” (and his intentions) had dimmed. I knew what he was thinking, feeling and doing, and so her questions were no longer my questions, ya know? I still enjoyed the book, but I bet I would have loved this one more had it remained only in her 1st person POV. More of that ouch-potential, more of that personal doubt that often happens with budding relationships (or hope of a relationship) and huge excitement and relief things start… happening. Or drama, if they don’t.

Mind you, I have loved PLENTY of HIS POV (only) books. Dex (Dex-Files) and Bastian (Surviving Raine) and Matt (Night Owl), anyone? LOVED!!!

But I realize now, after going over my most favorite books in the world, that they’ve all been from her POV only.

And this is due to the huge emotional impact they’ve had on me. I realize… that’s obviously my preference. But I wondered… is it just me?

So I asked on Facebook:

Maryse’s Book Blog: What do you guys prefer? One single POV (hers), his POV, or dual POV? While I enjoy books from all POV’s, I prefer only “hers”… I love to become the heroine, and I love to guess, and worry and stress over the potential romance like she does. Makes it more angsty and nerve-wracking for me as the reader. After all, in real life, I never truly know what another person is thinking, and why they act a certain way, and I love it when a singular POV keeps me guessing… It’s just more intense for me that way. Just like it would be in reality. You guys?

Lisa: I like dual POV. I like getting inside both the characters minds

Angie: Both work for me!

McKenzie: Hers because it’s easier to relate.

JR: I enjoy both!

Carrie: Both

Jody: I like hers but I WANT to know what he is thinking too, without reading it! I know that makes no sense but it frustrates me so much. Lol

Jenny: I like both too. Although when an author’s clever and keeps me in the heroine’s POV but lets me see the hero’s even while the heroine remains blind to how much he like her … yeah, I like that too. I just read the latest Jim and Dali story by Ilona Andrews (in Night Shift) and loved the all-Dali perspective. Strong character voice.

Blanca: same, I like single POV (hers)

Carrie: i love dual POV. it makes me the happiest. and while i prefer first person dual POV, some authors do a really bang up job of third person where i feel at one w/ both characters.

Sarah: I prefer h POV only for the same reasons as you posted.

Susan: I love both

Melissa: Dual, third person or his POV.

Michelle: Depends on writing style. Both if I had to choose

Sherry: I like Dual as well

Sharon: I like both but prefer single pov and I prefer her pov

Niki: I like both POVs. I used to think I only like the heroine’s perspective, but after reading some that do a fantastic job of also the hero’s POV (like Shay Savage‘s books, And Dex from Karina Halle’s EIT series), and ones that gave both (like some of Kristen Ashley‘s books), I really enjoy both perspectives.

Marta: Dual is the best.you can get in to both main character’s head. Love it

Nikee: Totally agree, Maryse!!!!! I’m actually disappointed every time I get multiple. Even though there are great books out there told from both, my all-time favs are from hers, like Beautiful Disaster.

Maria: I love his POV or dual.

Traci: I agree with you Maryse

Lisa: I love Dual POV’s. Sometimes I get so frustrated with the female!!! It’s nice to see what the male is thinking.

Ann: Dual

Michele: Me exactly.

Julie: Her POV

Faye: I agree with you! I prefer the heroine’s POV .

Lisa: Dual

Tessa: If it is a third person book, I like duel, but a first person, I prefer just her. There’s more angst that way.

Michelle: I like a little of his pov thrown in with hers.

Adele: I lean to her POV but can appreciate both when it’s done well. I don’t care for Ping Pong POV.

Sarah: Her POV, definitely.

Bobbie Jo: Dual

Viki: Hers!

Cristiane: Dual

Carey: Love multiple view points

Vicki: Idk. Reading Sylvia Days new crossfire book and its dual and confusing the hell out of me. I keep having to stop and reread thinking it was her when it was him etc. Especially after reading the others all from her POV. Maybe its just this book though.

Maddie: I love the POV from both. Then I feel like I am getting the story from both sides. Love that!

Christina: dual POV

Erica: I dont mind both but I prefer one or the other…pet peeve is dual POV but constantly going back and recapping the previous seen from the other’s POV…drives me nuts

Denise: Dual POV

Nikole: I prefer her if it’s going to be a series because you get a lot more detail over time but I prefer dual if it’s one book because then I feel like I’m getting the full story and it leaves me feeling satisfied!

Stephanie: I am reading At Any Turn by Brenna Aubrey and it a “his” pov and I must say I am enjoying the switch. Searching For Moore by Julie a. Richman was both his and hers and OMG, the best love story I have ever read!

Carol: Dual!

Lisa S:  I do like having both hers and his POV. It can be in two separate books, like Shades of Pearl by Arianne Richmonde and books 2 & 3 are Pearl’s POV. But Pearl and Belle Pearl, books 5 & 6, are from Alexandre’s POV and extend the story. I also like if both are in a story, but hers is the main POV, like Ditching The Dream by Author Isabelle Peterson. It’s Elizabeth’s story, but the guys’ POV sneak in at times.

Heather: Single POV, preferably hers!

Rita: Dual. It adds to the story to know what he is thinking also.

Jennifer: Dual POV so I feel like I am really getting a true and full experience.

Michele: Dual POV

Faith Andrews I love dual!!!

Amber: I love a dual POV just so I know what both people are thinking, but ONLY if the guy POV is believable. I’ve read way too many guy POV’s that just sound like the woman talking. But when it’s done right (thinking of Christina Lauren as a great example) it’s my favorite.

Sarah: Dual – but only if there is a clear distinction between each person’s “voice” so you don’t get confused between the two as you are reading.

Argie: Dual

Kentrina: Dual!! I want to know what both people are thinking.

Sandra: I don’t mind but I prefer books written in the first person

Amber: I prefer her POV but depending on the story and definitely the authors ability to pull it off a dual POV sometimes just works perfectly. I don’t like it when at the end of a trilogy they bring out a 4th book retelling the story with his POV.

Kellyann: Hers…no one does a guy POV, without it sounding feminine….well very few that I’ve read….I usually steer clear of dual POVs

Kayleigh: I like both POV’s because then I get the entire story. I don’t mind if it’s just her POV as long as I get the answers, in detail, that I need lol

Samantha: Dual POV, third person for me!

Michael: If the story is a journey of discovery the first person is the best. We, the readers, then discover as the character does and the opportunity for twists and surprises increases.

Sharon: Dual, but only if done right. Some authors need to do a better job in letting you know who’s head you are in. Love it when the POV is chapter by chapter. I know who I am reading! Sylvan Reynard does a TERRIBLE job (still love the story). And it needs to be kept to a limit. I don’t need to be in everybody’s heads.

Melanie: Dual POV

Vicki: I like dual

Mary: I love both. It’s nice to see what the characters are thinking

Michele: Dual POV

Lauren: Love female POV but also like when the author puts out a 2nd book in the male POV. I like having that option. Sometimes it’s like a totally different book….

Hanne: I usually prefer dual POV – I just love it when the POV changes in the middle of a charged situation, like how JR Ward does it. But then again, I also love how Shay Savage’s POV is only male (and hilarious too!).

Cortney: Dual

Amy: Dual

Andrea: I prefer her POV or third person POV. Fluidity and continuous flow are very important to me.

Laura: I like for the story to be told from each POV separately. I love reading the same story retold from the opposite POV.

Jeimy: Dual

Jennifer: I like each POV separate … I like reading hers first … Then reading ng his in a separate book !

Annette: Dual

Jenna: I completely agree with you Maryse’s Book Blog. Definitely prefer only “her” POV.

WOW!! Lots of our Facebook fellow readers LOVE dual POV. Interesting!! So what about you guys? POV preferences?

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimberlyindy January 14, 2015 at 6:15 PM

I prefer first person her or third person. The back and forth takes me out of the story sometimes.

Misty January 14, 2015 at 6:21 PM

I prefer her POV. Also, written in first person.

Lynne January 14, 2015 at 6:31 PM

Definitely Dual, it’s like getting the best of both worlds!!!!

Katherine Walsh January 14, 2015 at 6:47 PM

I prefer the H pov but I like how in Amelia Hutchins Fae chronicles its in H pov but you get a flash of his so it still keeps the mystery

bev January 14, 2015 at 7:08 PM

Im pretty ok, for the most part, with any. Some times it’s the tenses that drive me nuts.
First person can be a lot of fun for all the reasons that Maryse said, but that’s if I like the heroines voice. If I find myself not liking her it can be hard to be stuck with her.

Michelle B January 14, 2015 at 7:09 PM

I don’t mind dual POV, but I don’t care for first person for the male POV. Unless a man is writing it. Sometimes the male in first person makes them sound too whiny and non alpha. Like it’s too obvious a woman wrote it. Kristen Ashley does it perfectly. Her guys pop in at the right spots, third person and nail it.

Frankie January 14, 2015 at 7:51 PM

I agree with Michelle B. Too many times a male written by a female does not come off as masculine (except KA). I like 3rd person. It makes you pull from your own experiences.

MichelleS January 14, 2015 at 8:37 PM

I don’t care – if it’s good writing, I don’t even pay attention. It becomes a non issue if done right. It only stands out when it ISN’T done right. Then it’s annoying as heck. Like Outlander, for example. It took me so so long to figure out that it was actually switching from third to first person POV! Seriously! What I really don’t like is when they re-release a story in his POV – and it’s the same book. At least with Dex, he got his own dang story! How annoying to have to pay for the same story from his POV! And I’ve done it. I even read the unfinished Twilight from Edward’s POV because I am that pathetic!

Abby January 14, 2015 at 9:47 PM

I love first-person dual, but it’s been an evolution. I used to prefer only her-pov (first person), and going back even further, I was all–third person only. Hope that all makes sense!

Amy January 14, 2015 at 10:18 PM

It depends on my mood. If I’m craving some serious angst then I prefer her POV because I don’t know what’s going on in his head, and not knowing his thoughts when the drama picks up helps add to the angst. Dual POV (every other chapter) is okay when I need something a little lighter after a heavy-angst or heavy-emotion read, but as a norm I prefer for his POV to be kept to a minimum or be in a different book/novella altogether…and I love when authors give us those little treats with certain scenes from his POV!

One that stands out to me is Arsen (no surprise there!). It was all her POV with a small chapter from one of the guys’ POV at a crucial point in the story. THAT was perfect. And crushing. But perfect. And then the other guy’s POV was briefly given later on and, again, the timing was perfect.

I actually don’t care for his-POV-only books because I just can’t relate to his emotions like I can with a female characters. I like feeling her emotions as if it is happening to me, and that just doesn’t happen for me with an all-male POV. Except for Transcendence…but that one is on a level all it’s own. ;)

Fabi January 15, 2015 at 1:13 AM

I like “his” POV. Love Shay Savage’s writing. Surviving Raine is an all time favorite of mine as is Night Owl. It’s what I like about the BDB too, so much in “his” POV. I read the Twilight unfinished “his” POV too and liked it even more (if that’s possible) than the original “her” POV.

Lezanda January 15, 2015 at 1:18 AM

I definitely prefer Her POV. And I struggle immensely with Third Person and more often than not end up not finishing it.

Fabi January 15, 2015 at 1:20 AM

I should throw in Red Rising and Ender’s Game in there too. Those are not romance books but certainly one of the things I like most about them is that the main character is male. Since they’re also written by a male author, the entire perspective on everything is different. Unique for me since I feel like I get a fly on the wall perspective into the mind of the male character.

julie o January 15, 2015 at 2:11 AM

I like dual POV. Also like books from the man’s POV such as Surviving
Raine and Tangled and everyone is correct that KA does it right!

MichelleS January 15, 2015 at 8:42 AM

Do you remember Wild Side trilogy? The story of Dair? That was in his POV, and I can’t even imagine it being told any other way. His middle-age-hilarious thoughts about they jail bait hottie was hilarious. Her POV would have been boring. And Rosie Project? That HAD to be from his POV.

I agree with Amy that generally I like her POV. That’s why I read romance, for crying out loud. I need to put myself in her shoes. And fall in love with the guy. A little peek into his thoughts every now and then is nice though.

And whoever said Transcendence was it’s own thing all together… yup, I agree. All those “mouth noises” observations? too funny!

Kimberly January 15, 2015 at 9:56 AM

You must not have read Dust to Dust by Karina Halle. It is the last book in the Experiment in Terror series and is told from the POV of Perry, Dex and Maximus.

eloisa January 15, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Dual for me or his POV. I like to know how his mind works. More often than not, i already know how a HER thinks since im already a her.

Lane January 15, 2015 at 3:07 PM

I was acrually having this conversation with myself a few days ago, Maryse! So your post is very well timed. I somehow realized that I do prefer the female only POV. It just adds that extra layer of angst and mystery. Dual is fine but it sort of detracts from that “living vicariously through the heroine” ya know. Experiencing the relationship in her shoes so to speak. I can tolerate dual POVs when the male POV is done right. Rarely does the author have the chops to pull off a genuine male voice so the hero either ends up sounding whiny, or like a perfect a-hole. Or worse, he suddenly sounds pretty much like the heroine and there’s no real distinction between one voice and the other. Male only POV is an entirely different experience and when done right can be phenomenal, case in point Tangled by Emma Chase and Transcendence by Shay Savage (which is a desert island keeper book for me). Incidentally I’d love to see what your DIK books are so far. Say if you had to choose 10 books to have on a desert island, what would those be? Sounds like a fun exercise ;) maybe you’ve already done a post about that and I just haven’t found it!

Linda January 15, 2015 at 4:19 PM

I too prefer both POV. If the writing is great it definitely works for me. Some of our favorite books have been from his POV!!! I agree KA does it right always!!! The guys POV usually seems grittier and more raw so both POV please!!!

Carla January 15, 2015 at 7:06 PM

I agree with you Maryse. I don’t like male pov at all. They need him to remain a mistery to me, so I’ll feel like her.

Angie O. January 15, 2015 at 8:04 PM

Love this topic! I have to say I prefer the dual POVs. I like to know what they are both thinking. I think when EL James and Stephenie Meyer gave us those few chapters from Edward and Christian I was hooked and wanted more. However, I’ve read some dual POVs where it doesn’t work because the characters’ voices sound the same.

My favorite dual POVs are from M. Pierce in the Night Owl Trilogy. Matt & Hannah’s voices are so distinctly different. It’s perfection.

Stephanie Christine January 16, 2015 at 1:45 AM

right now i’m very much into the heroine’s POV. I love getting to know the hero through her eyes, and there are times where I just don’t need to be in the guy’s head. I think i’m one of the few people who don’t want or need Christian Grey’s POV. I feel it would spoil the story.

Melissa January 17, 2015 at 9:59 AM

My absolute favorite types of books are one POV-whichever, then followed up by a novella from the other side!

Jana April 21, 2016 at 3:57 AM

Dual, male pov and female pov in that order.

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