April 27, 2012

X is for...XY and XX

We've finally reached the A to Z letter with hardly anything to write on. Unless you really have a thing for xylophones or something. I don't. And seeing as how it's also Friday today, I figured I might as well do a final Friday Fives-inspired A to Z Blog Challenge post. My mashup topic is:

Five Favourite XY + XX POV Books

That sounds a little confusing even to me, so let me explain. I'm referring to books with dual POVs—from a girl's perspective and a boy's as well.

There are few things more frustrating when reading a dual POV book than POV confusion. Do you ever get this? It's that seriously irritating need to flip back to the start of the chapter or section to figure out who the heck the perspective belongs to. It's even worse when there's little to no distinction between a male and a female POV.^ Because guys and girls totally sound the same and think about the exact same things all the time (*snort*). Not really the case in my own experience. 

The following books do an excellent job of juggling the XY POV with the XX POV:
(In no particular order. All books are linked to their Goodreads descriptions.)

1)  Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
I've already mentioned how much I loved this book. The two perspectives bring very different things to the table as they come from opposing worlds—she's a Dweller and he's an Outsider. Of course, these differences provide all sorts of conflict, part of what makes these characters and their story so fascinating.

Perry→ An Outsider from The Death Shop, a "hunter for his tribe."
Aria→ A sheltered Dweller exiled from her home, cast into Perry's world.



2)  Legend by Marie Lu
This is another case of perspectives from different worlds. Us versus Them misconceptions abound, and our MCs must sort out fact from fiction and find common ground. Hard to do when one of them is a criminal, and the other has been given the task of catching said criminal. What happens when they meet?

Day→ "Born into the slums...the country’s most wanted criminal."
June→ "Elite...groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles."



3)  Across the UniverseA Million Suns by Beth Revis
So, you've been cryogenically frozen with your parents and packed away on a generation ship, only to wake up fifty years too soon (300 years into the future) while your parents remain frozen. Oh, and you're the only redhead aboard a ship full of brunettes (smallish breeding circle). Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb. Not to mention the huge cultural and generational gaps you'd face.

Elder"The future leader of the ship", Godspeed, groomed by Eldest.
Amy→ "Frozen cargo" thawed, because somebody was trying to kill her.


4)  The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
The word 'favourite' gets a bit murky here, as I wouldn't classify this book as a list-topper. But, I thought that the dual male/female perspective was done really well (likely due to the male/female authors). There was no POV confusion for me at any point in the reading, so I think it should make this list. The premise of this book was so unique, and you've gotta love the 90s setting.*

Josh→ Gives Emma a free AOL CD to install on her new computer.
Emma→ Emma signs on and ends up on Facebook?? But it's the 90s!


5)  The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
I feel like I'm cheating a bit with this one, because I still haven't quite finished it. But I don't need to finish it (I will) to know that it is extremely well-written, and the two perspectives are equally wonderful. Right off the bat (from the book's description) we know that both of our MCs intend to enter these deadly races. Opponents with their own reasons for racing, both POVs are engaging.

Sean→ "The returning champion...a young man of few words."
Puck→ "Never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races", and the first girl to do so.


I know there will be others to add to the list soon,—Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, and Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld—but I have to get to them first. I'll let you know what I think when I finally do. All three come highly recommended, so I'm expecting a lot! ☺

How about you? Do you have a favourite XY + XX POV story?
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NB: Character descriptions from Goodreads.
^ As much as I wanted to love Ally Condie's Crossed, I felt that it suffered from POV confusion.
* This could/should have been played up a little more, in my opinion. I'm a 90s high school grad...

24 comments:

  1. I think Legend and The Scorpio Races do an excellent job at alternating POV... Lately I've found myself being too critical of male POV written by women. It's a curse, I tell ya ;)

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    1. I often find myself feeling that way too about female-written male POVs. I think they all too often end up too feminine or it just feels like a stereotypical male, you know? I felt like all of the books I mentioned did a good job of distinguishing guy from girl and being authentic to them.

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  2. I'm totally with you on THE FUTURE OF US. I enjoyed it, but I hoped it would be at least a four-star Goodreads read, rather than the three stars I gave it. Perhaps because I remember the early days of the web, AOL, CompuServe, etc., I expected more (as you did, apparently)?

    I was hoping to see LEVIATHAN on your list, since this would mean that you've read it already... you may as well have added it because you will love it. :D

    Great idea for X, Jaime! :)

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    1. Every time a 90s reference cropped up I'd nod my head vigorously and laugh to myself. I wanted more of this, but most of the time it just felt tossed in haphazardly as a reminder that it was set in the 90s. The ending kind of felt a little too convenient as well. It was still a cute and easy read, though, so that's good.

      I put LEVIATHAN at the bottom in the TBR XX + XY POV books section. I know I'll probably love it. :)

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  3. Hi Jaime! Great to see a fellow Canadian on my blog journey!

    Gosh, I really can't think of any for now. But I'm sure when I'm brushing my teeth before going to bed I'll remember one and by that time it's too late! ;)

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    1. Welcome! Always like to have more Canadians around. :)

      I have that same problem. I'm sure once I walk away from my computer I'll think of at least one or two books I should have put on this list. Ah well.

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  4. I'm loving UNDER THE NEVER SKY... Perry is such a complex yet likable character. And THE SCORPIO RACES is absolutely gorgeous. So glad you're loving it!

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    1. I loved Perry. Such a great character. His world and Aria's world felt so uniquely separate and made the book feel almost like fantasy (Perry) meets sci-fi (Aria). Very cool. :)

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  5. I'm a huge fan of duel/multi POVs (my manuscript is multi). Guy and girl are even better! One of my favorites is "Dash and Lily's Book of Dares" by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. They also wrote "Nick and Norah's Playlist."

    I loved Across the Universe, but haven't been able to get into A Million Suns (yet). I'm hoping something sucks me in soon!

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    1. I really like them when they're done well. It's nice to be able to see things from two different perspectives. I think sometimes stories can feel limited when told from only one POV. I started reading DASH AND LILY, but I ended up quitting part way through. The characters didn't feel authentic/believable as teens to me. To each his/her own, I guess. :)

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  6. Great list! I just finished UNDER THE NEVER SKY so I've been thinking about this too. I also really liked the books on your list...and yet, I also get totally skeptical of boys written by women (maybe why, despite a million rave reviews, I haven't picked up THE DISENCHANTMENTS yet? On the one hand, that's terrible; on the other hand, I have 60+ books on my shelf that I haven't read yet and I have to triage somehow.) But I loved most of the guys above...so, hmm. Oops.

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    1. I haven't read THE DISENCHANTMENTS yet, and I only just found out that it's told from a male POV. Totally surprised me. I think when female authors are writing from male perspectives they need to be careful not to be too stereotypical on the one hand, and not too feminine on the other hand. Sometimes I feel like the guys portrayed by women are unlike any male I've ever heard of.

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  7. A great list of books, I've read all but Perfect Chemistry.

    I also just finished BLINK AND CAUTION, a Canadian set book, so I thought of you.

    It had a strange limited third person POV with a lot of "you"s, as in "You just opened the door when...". (is there a special name for that? If so, I don't know it). It also had some omniscient stuff in it too...very unusual for YA. Still, almost equal XX + XY parts to the story, and I really enjoyed it.

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    1. I'm not sure I've heard of BLINK AND CAUTION. That style of writing would just drive me bonkers! I picked up another book recently that was written that way (with the "you"s), and I couldn't handle it. It's such an unnatural way to tell a story, almost like you're hypnotizing someone or trying to tell them how to feel about something. Totally strange. :)

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  8. My WIP goes between a male and female POV. :)
    I've been wanting to read The Future of Us. It's such a cool idea. I may need to bump that up the TBR list.

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    1. I hadn't thought about writing a story that way, but it certainly seems appealing now that I think about it. I'd be worried that I'd write a terrible guy POV, though.

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  9. The Merlin Conspiracy by Dianna Wynne Jones is one of my favorite multiple POV books. The only problem is that I always thought the girl sounded a lot like a guy. The guy was fine, and it wasn't the same voice as the girl, just the girl had more of a guy-like voice than you would normally expect. If that makes any sense... :)

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    1. I haven't read that book. I totally get what you mean about a girl POV sounding more like a guy's. Sometimes I felt like even Katniss in THE HUNGER GAMES seemed to approach things like a guy. :)

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  10. Yeah, the Shiver trilogy is definitely one I would add to the list. I haven't read ANY of the books you listed, but I want to read them ALL! And I agree that this is an extremely clever A-Z topic--very smart :D

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    1. I have the first two books in that series. They've been sitting on my shelf for about 4 years now O_o. Not sure what's holding me back from reading them, especially since everybody seems to love them! :)

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  11. Very nice post, Jaime :D And I have to read UNDER THE NEVER SKY and LEGEND :D
    I love love love the POVs in both ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and THE SCORPIO RACES! Such a wonderful way to treat us to both viewpoints!

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  12. I haven't read any of these books, but most of them are already on my To Read list. I like multiple POVs, as long as it's done right.

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