Friday, May 9, 2014

Discussion: POV

Okay, this has been on my mind for quite a while. The point of view (known colloquially as POV) in books actually influences if I buy them or not. You see, I've never liked the first person POV ('I did this' or 'I did that') and, honestly, the older I get the less I like it. I say that this POV tells you more than you ever wanted to know about the main character and absolutely nothing about anyone else. (I also seldom buy/read these books unless they sound spectacular.) I much prefer the third person limited (with several narration characters) as a storytelling mode.

(I won't get any deeper into my preferences, as that has little to do with my discussion question.)

My question is thus: Why do so many books, especially those in the young adult genre, use the first person POV?

I do understand that some people prefer this POV, but it seems like the YA market it completely overrun by this perspective - even more so than any other genre that I've read. (The only one that would be close is the Mystery genre, I believe. But at least that one has a pretty strong reason for not using a huge cast of characters as narrators.)

Now, I don't know if the first person POV detractors are just more vocal than its fans, but I have heard people say (essentially) 'less first person POV, please' and have never heard someone say how much they love this POV.

So, what's your take?

About the only idea I've got for this, is that the teen girls that YA is directed towards are supposed to be able to insert themselves as the main character and someone, somewhere, thought this would be easier in first person POV. It sounds absolutely silly, even to me, but that's the limit of me being able to explain this in any rational way.

My question is mostly based on the YA genre, but if you've got input from other genre's as well, I'd love to hear it because I'm really curious about this phenomenon.