Just Another Blog

my random ramblings about crafts, writing, books and kids

head hopping

I’m reading this book: Swipe by Evan Angler. It’s meant more for middle grades (the main characters are 12 and 13) so the story is kind of… unbelievable but if my 11yo son read I think it’s the kind of thing his age group would like.

Anyway, it’s not the weird storyline that is annoying me. It’s the author’s insistence on head-hopping all over the freaking place. I’ve heard that this can be a stylistic thing, being able to see into everyone’s head (omniscient 3rd person). But I was taught it’s just sloppy writing. I keep hearing my junior high English teacher telling us you stick with one person’s POV per section (like a chapter or whatever).

I’ve gotten used to books that take place from several people’s POV (even in the 1st person which was different) with each chapter getting inside a different person’s head. But this isn’t like that.

Sometimes a whole chapter will be fine from the main character Logan’s POV. Other chapters will suddenly introduce the thoughts of another character in the middle of a chapters. And worst of all one chapter went from being in Logan’s POV to suddenly being in Erin’s for almost half the chapter then suddenly switched back to Logan’s. There’s no transitions. It’s like a sentence will be talking about what Logan’s thinking and end with Erin’s thoughts and continue on with her POV. UGH.

Even at 11-12 years old (the target audience) this would have annoyed the crap out of me.

It just pulls you right out of the story and leaves me feeling almost no connection with the characters. They’re just there. And then half way through the book they start introducing other characters’ POVs, sometime for just a couple paragraphs for what seems like no real reason.

There’s also supposed to be some kind of romantic feelings developing between Logan and Erin but I just don’t see it. Erin treats Logan like he’s an idiot redneck. Logan is pathetic in his attempt to get Erin’s attention. And then half way through his whole personality changes. He started out timid, afraid of his own shadow, paranoid, sure someone is following him (there is). Then he suddenly becomes super brave and outgoing not only confronting Erin about how she treats him but going into the bad part of town looking for the person he thinks is following him (Logan thinks the guy wants to kidnap and murder him). Huh? The kid is 12 for crying out loud. Not to mention the two of them go all over the place, break into what amounts to their version of the FBI to steal surveillance equipment in the middle of the night. The parents of both kids are completely clueless, lol. I suppose that’s what kids want to read about so I let it slide but still… the kid does a complete 180 in just a couple days time.

Still, I’ll finish the book and the sequel because I have both of them here. I am curious to find out why the guy wants to kidnap Logan, and now his best friend, Dane, too (which came right out of left field). I just wish the head-hopping would stop. The whole idea of seeing what everyone is thinking at all times makes no sense to me. It kills the suspense. I could never write like that.

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