Let’s start with some examples. Lately I’ve seen quite mixed views on a Harper debut Tease by Amanda Maciel. After seeing so many DNF notes, Mel's quite positive review sort of got me thinking about this topic. People don't like the bitchy MC and the slut-shaming etc, but at the same time a lot of us (including me) say that it'd be so interesting to see a book from a villain's POV. Does that only apply to fantasy/dystopian books? Since when you get a POV from a villain in a contemporary genre, people are mostly turned off by it. Another example entirely is Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi (at one point it was a villain’s POV; not so sure anymore) which people devoured and loved since even though he’s a villain, the insight to his mind is very much appreciated in this case.
Does a good villain POV depend on the genre? Author? Writing? The villain's gender?
It looks like the audience liking a book depends a lot on the villain having some redeeming qualities as well. After all, it’s more interesting to read about a multi-dimensional character than one with just one or two personality traits. What’s more, I’ve noticed that villain POV novellas/books in a series work better than standalones. Also, does liking a villain POV book depend on what kind of topics authors tackle? Is destroying the world or killing people more interesting and vicious than just calling people names and bullying them? Because I’ve noticed that readers are intrigued by a killer’s POV, but not necessarily a bully’s perspective. Even if they are initially interested in it, they quickly become hateful towards the bully. I mean, it’s a bully! You can’t sympathize or anything, right? You know how we always complain about the good girl-bad boy storylines? When we get a gorgeous, rich, bitchy MC who has it all and perhaps by the end of the novel realizes that there’s more to the world than nail salons, designer clothes and hooking up with jocks, we still complain. It’s like authors can’t seem to get it right no matter what they do. Then again, it’s not like you can please everyone.
So tell me: do you like villain POVs? If so, what’s so alluring about them? If not, perhaps you could elaborate on why you don’t appreciate them. Would you like to see more of them? Do you have any great villain POV's to recommend?