First person books, love 'em or hate 'em?

It's only been recently that I realized that there seem to be QUITE a lot of people out there who hate first person books. And, I confess, I don't quite get it. I can't understand not reading a book just because it's in first person. I love first person books just as much as I love other kinds. I even read a second person POV in Wendy Markham's What You Wish For in the Never On A Sundae chick lit anthology. It was different, but I got into it. I feel more immersed in a story when it's first, or even second. I'm in the heroine's (usually) head and it's like experiencing the events myself. Though I also have a problem just remembering whether a story is first person or not. Hmmm... It truly doesn't matter to me. I never pick up a book and say, "hmmm...this is first person, wonder if I should read it."

A few of my fairly recent first person books (that I can even remember):

Blue Moon by Lori Handeland
Hunter's Moon by Lori Handeland
Shadow Haven by Emily LaForge (it's got a gothic feel to it, and is billed as a contemporary gothic, but it IS more paranormal.)
You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister
The Next Big Thing by Johanna Edwards (really good chick lit with some romance mixed in. Need to talk about it in another post)

I'm sure there are more, but I honestly can't remember. I just got to thinking of this when a few people said they wouldn't be reading Handeland's Moon series because of the first person point of view, even though they loved the premise and paranormals in general. *sigh* They don't know what they're missing. :-)

So...do you love 'em or hate 'em? Or do you read them, but they go to the bottom of the pile? I'm curious. And can any of you think of more second person stories?

15 comments:

jo said...

Love 'em. I don't get it either. Most of my reading outside of romance is 1st person. I'm dying to write one, but it won't be romance. Odd.

the monkey said...

yeah, i love them tooo....but i can't really think of many books that aren't written in first person, right?

Nicole said...

Most are written in third person, Monkey.

McVane said...

I'm not that keen on 1st POV in a romance novel, but I don't mind it in other genre forms. Weird, eh?

Look forward to reading your opinion on THE NEXT BEST THING. :)

Jill said...

I always say I'm not fond of first person books but then i loved the Shopaholic books, I loved all the Stephanie Plum books ... and both those series are first person POV.

Alyssa said...

This is (was?) going to be my next topic for Romancing the Blog. Since I've seen it on a few blogs now, though, I should probably choose something else.

I like first-person books, though I don't think every book lends itself to that kind of narration. But when there's a reason for it, I think it works well.

Second person, though . . . I've never read one, so I might have to try the story you mention.

(And let me know if you'd be interested in more musings on the topic; my RTB entry is half-written, though I have some other topics I can write about.)

:)
Alyssa

Nicole said...

I'd be interested to see another view on the topic, Alyssa. I think it would be interesting to see more people's responses.

Amy said...

I love first person too! It's great for chick lit. Romance, I don't know...I like getting the hero's POV too. The only thing that kind of throws me off is first person present tense. THAT is weird. But I still wouldn't NOT read a book that was in it, if the book held my interest otherwise.

Rosario said...

If the narrator has an interesting voice, I'm fine with 1st person, though I do prefer third person in romance novels, mostly because in romance, I need the hero's POV *g*.

Second person sounds a bit weird, but I'd have to try it. After all, I was ok with the 1st person, present tense in the Emily La Forge I read (didn't like the book, but in fact, the present tense was pretty much the only thing that didn't bother me ;-)

Nicole said...

Shadow Haven is first person present tense. It wasn't until I was about halfway through it that I realized it though. Hmm..I guess I just go with the flow very easily.

I need to finish my review of Shadow Haven before I talk about it much more. But I did like it.

Meljean said...

I won't avoid a book because of first person, but I do think I prefer third POV -- mostly because I'm more likely to get the hero's viewpoint as well.

Also, I find that I am annoyed more easily by first person heroines -- like getting that deep into their head isn't always a good thing :)

Suzanne said...

I *love* first person books and want to write one (more than one!) some day. I cut my romance teeth on Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart. I've read You Slay Me and it was great!!! A lot of the Next books published by Silhouette are going to be first person and I'm looking forward to that. I've read Mary Schramski's first two Nexts (I critique with her) and they're wonderful.

BJ Deese said...

I enjoy books written in the first person pov. I just finished HOT STUFF by Flo Fitzpatrick, and it was great.

I've never read of 2nd person pov. What is a book in the 2nd that you would recommend? I would like to try one out.

Nicole said...

BJ, the only second person story I ever read was the short in the Never On a Sundae anthology. It was a so-so antho, so I'd recommend trying to find it at the library or ubs.

Shelley said...

All I want is a good book that draws me in. I don't mind if it's 1st person or 3rd person. I read both and in different genres. I've read some great ones lately but one of my favorites has to be the Stephanie Plum series. I've also written books in both ways. Bottom line - it's all in the execution.