I mean, I do read. But when I read a book now (since becoming serious about this writing and publishing thing) I find myself not just reading. I’m analyzing. Dissecting. Questioning. I look at the author’s use of point of view, the story structure, how smaller subplots are weaved throughout. If a line of dialogue or description speaks to me I’ll highlight it or write it down in a notebook I keep for such things. Not that I’m going to use it in my own work, but other words simply inspire my own.
I just finished Jodi Picoult’s novel Change of Heart. This is only the second time I’ve read her work. I usually avoid it because of the amount of tears they invoke. It can get awkward crying like a baby while sitting in carpool with teenagers walking by staring. Yeah, daughter #1 loves to have those kind of things spread around her high school campus. But I picked up Change of Heart yesterday at the library (yes, yesterday. I read it less than a day. What of it?) and devoured it. Not for the plot or well written chapters. To be honest they shifted abruptly and I found the points of view not consistent in length. One character’s POV was short; the next, pages long. Not for character development either, because I could have cared less about most of them except for Lucius, an inmate sharing death row with our main character. He was intriguing, but not the reason I kept reading.
I kept reading because my author’s brain was looking for something. Something that I usually find in every other book I have ever read. When I realized that Jodi Picoult had left it out in this book I was floored. I had to share it with somebody and my best friend is on a cruise so here I am, sharing it with you. The thing Picoult left out of her book Change of the Heart is … are you ready? She left out the main characters point of view. O.o Seriously. Shay Bourne, the man in prison for murder, doesn’t have a voice in the entire book! And yet, through her other character’s points of view we know Shay. Mind blown. I was halfway through the book before I realized it.
Maybe there are tons of books out there with this kind of structure, but I honestly don’t remember reading them. Of course, back then I was just reading for entertainment. Now I read with a different eye. What are your thoughts? Have you read this book or any other book that does this? Am I late to the party without a clue? Let me know.