f0zKg0J4zFLYz-Yq0aednQVqREE Once Upon a Prologue: Discussion Post - #5: Male VS Female POV in YA Literature
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Discussion Post - #5: Male VS Female POV in YA Literature

Points of View in YA Literature:
Male VS Female POV

It's been awhile since I did a discussion post here, but my mind is always buzzing with thoughts and ideas for us to talk over, and, I wanted to get back to something a little more normal here, plus... I missed discussing!  I do have a link at the top of my blog to submit a question YOU would like to see discussed here, if y'all would like to do that.  It can be something about blogging, reading, plot devices...anything that you'd like to know about.  

Today's topic is something that has been on my mind for awhile now...the difference, pros and cons of male and female POV in YA literature.  Literature seems to be dominated in various genres by female protagonists, and this is most notably evident in YA literature.  Urban fantasy has their kick-ass heroines, while a great deal of heavy-hitting paranormal authors (JR Ward, Lara Adrian, Gena Showalter) feature mostly male narrators.  As far as I know, there isn't any hard and fast rule, but I'm curious where these lines come from, and I wanted to share my thoughts on this phenomenon.  

I think somewhere along the way, characters definitely started falling into archetypes - the "wounded" hero, the "good girl," the "boy next door," and I wanted to highlight a few YA authors who have sort of dared to do something different!  I'm the oddball who REALLY enjoys reading a book from a male POV.  From a writer's POV, some of my favorite characters are my angsty males - I love writing the "broken hero" type as much as I love reading about him.  But there are a few YA authors out there who are taking chances and trusting their lead males to carry their stories - and succeeding beautifully!  So THANK YOU to these fabulous authors!  
  • One of my favorite books of this year (even though I read an ARC last year) is Tempest by Julie Cross.  Tempest is a different look at time travel, filled with a lot of (for me) heart-wrenching moments.  I instantly loved the narrator, Jackson: a normal guy with normal guy problems...except he can time travel.  
  • The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova was one of the first "mermaid" books I read, and features Tristan Hart, a lovable if somewhat misguided guy.  I loved the way Zoraida wrote Tristan.  You KNEW Tristan...everyone has a Tristan in their life.  It was hilarious at times and sobering at others, watching his reactions to what was happening to him.
  • I just finished Defiance by CJ Redwine, which is told in two varying POV - one from Rachel, the main character, and one from Logan, the other main character.  Both POVs are in 1st person, which did rattle me a bit, but it was an unexpected and total surprise that it WAS a dual POV book, and really...honestly...this time it worked for me.  I loved getting Logan's insights, and thought that CJ did a fantastic job of adding in enough quirks and touches to each personality to keep them straight!  
  • And then we have Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi!  One of my FAVORITE books of this year so far, and a tremendously stunning debut.  Told in dual POVs between the two main characters, Aria and Perry, I adored this book so hard.  Perry is a hard character to get to know, but I really loved the glimpses we got into his mindset and his actions.  
So why the fascination with male characters?  Is it just because I'm NOT a male, and I find their thought processes and actions so interesting?  The age old struggle between men, women, and us all understanding the other seems an impossibility, so perhaps that's why I crave more male voices in YA literature.   Males are a puzzle - even women are, sometimes! - and I certainly love watching an author take on a male's POV.  I think it's a fabulous way of setting apart a story from all the rest, when done right. 

I've seen males written well, and written very poorly.  It's a fun struggle for me, writing from a male's POV in my own writing, and hoping that I get it right.  I have to wonder...would my hero do this?  Would he spend this much time thinking about making a decision, or would he just make it?  Would he go after the girl, or take his time and get to know her?  What sort of hero am I writing?  There are the age old "types," and then there are those characters who break the mold, and that's what - I - want to write.  (Of course I'm all too aware that I romanticize my male characters too much, so I'm working on that.)

This post may make it look like I prefer male POV over female.  Sometimes... for certain books, I do.  Looking back, I can't imagine any of the books on my list having been written by a female character.  And I'm sure there are several books that were written from a female POV that would NOT work from a male POV.  Can you imagine Delirium from Alex's POV?  (Actually...that sounds kinda awesome now that I think about it...) 

But it's YOUR turn now!  Do you have a preference in POV?  Do you like a female POV more than a male POV?  Or are there certain types of books where a male POV just seems right?  Sound off in the comments and let me know if you have any favorite books written from a male POV! 


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