Sunday, February 26, 2017

[Book Blogger Hop] Multiple Narrators

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer, where you answer a question and join a "hop". The purpose is to help bloggers discover and get to know one another. 

This Week's Question:
How do you feel about books with multiple narrators?

My Answer:

I find myself conflicted when thinking about books with multiple narrators. My instant thought when reading this prompt was: No, I don't like multiple narrators. 

However, I sat here for a little while thinking about it... And I realized that I do enjoy books with 2-3 narrators. Any more than that though, and I tend to have a hard time following along. Or worse, I get annoyed because I want the storyline to just continue with one or two of the characters rather than all of the others. 

Even so, I think the narration needs to be done very carefully for it to be effective. I need each chapter to very clearly tell the reader which narrator that specific chapter is about. I don't like when an author doesn't specify who's chapter it is, but instead makes you figure it out as you begin reading each chapter. The prefect example of this was in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. When I started reading this book for the first time, it took me a while to realize that there were multiple storylines going on. But once I actually paid attention to the dates at the top of the chapter, it became obvious.

Here are a few examples of where I thought the multiple narrators worked really well:

  • A List of Cages by Robin Roe
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn
  • I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
  • The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain
  • This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwa
  • When We Collided by Emery Lord 
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Thanks for reading!
What are your thoughts about multiple narrators? 


  1. I'm very excited for All the Bright Places and I'll Give You the Sun.

    the multiple narrators also worked really well for The Sun is Also a Star :)..

    Nice post!

  2. Multiple narrators seems to be the "hip" thing in mainstream fiction. While some authors have studied this literary technique and become skilled in executing it, others not so much. I agree it does require concentration (and maybe some caffeine) to follow these stories.

  3. I really like multiple narrators as long as there is a reason for it. Like if the multiple narrators brings something to the story one narrator wouldn't! So many of the books you highlighted are great examples of doing it right!