Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

March 18, 2013 4 - 4.5 Stars, Incredible Heroines, Kasie West, Parallel Lives, Paranormal, Time Travel 16 ★★★★½

Pivot Point by Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point # 1
Published by HarperTeen on February 12, 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 343
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

“Stay here with others like you, or leave the Compound and live in a world surrounded by people who only use ten percent of their brains.”  This is the choice Addie must make when her parents tell her they’re getting a divorce and that she must choose with whom to live.  As a Searcher, Addie has the ability to see into the future of either potential option.  With that framework set in place, we are off!  Each chapter switches between the same time period in both worlds, and we can see how the ramifications of Addie’s choices play out.

Aside from the citizens’ extraordinary abilities, life, and in particular, high school life, seems pretty normal in the Compound.  In the Normal world with her father, on the other hand, Addie must adjust to our technologically-deficient and uninformed beliefs, including lights that don’t turn on by themselves and high school history books that don’t have all the facts.  Addie must keep her powers and the existence of the Compound a secret from the Norms; not an easy task since she spent her entire life surrounded by people like herself, with no need to hide.

There are love interests in both worlds, and West not-too-subtly pushes the reader’s support in one direction.  I initially was surprised by the major cheese factor of one of the guys, but it became clear later in the book why he was depicted that way.  In hindsight, I found that refreshing, because I didn’t experience the sensation of an author switcheroo where you’re left scratching your head when the revelation does not match the character’s previous behavior.

Most of the story was light and humorous, but there was a dangerous thread running through it that didn’t makes its connection to Addie clear (at least not to me) until very close to the end.  I was completely surprised – love when that happens! – but again, West left all of the clues.  I think I missed them because I was so caught up in the story.

I loved this quote from Addie: “Thank you seems like too little…or maybe too much, since he couldn’t possibly understand how much I needed to hear what he just said.  How much I needed to know that even without my ability, I am someone worth knowing.  That every little and ridiculous quality I exhibit makes me who I am.”  Addie was choked up during this scene, and it choked me up a bit, too.  Sniff, sniff!

Pivot Point’s central concept may not be totally unique, but West executes it in an exciting, refreshing, and fun way.  This was a fabulous start to the series.  It concludes without a major cliffhanger, but I was nevertheless left wanting to read more about Addie’s life.  Fortunately, a sequel is planned for 2014.

Review posted at Goodreads and Amazon

Stephanie

16 Responses to “Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West”

  1. Chelsea

    Great review! I have been hearing about this book alot. I definitely need to add to my TBR now. 🙂

    Chelsea @ Starbucks & Books Obsession

  2. bookblogbake

    I haven’t read this one yet, but REALLY want to. It seems like a really interesting take on something like hidden abilities & such. I don’t always like those kinds of stories, but I really like the premise behind this one!

    • Go Flash Go - Read, Rinse, Repeat

      Actually, the supernatural abilities don’t play a HUGE role in the story. Well, they do in the suspense/danger angle, and of course, it’s the whole basis of why Addie is able to see into the future. But in her daily interactions, she’s a normal teenager, and the abilities take a backseat.

      Stephanie

  3. malvoliosStockings

    Great review! I really liked this book too. I loved that whole switching back and forth between possible future thing. That would have been a great skill to have when choosing a major in college 🙂

  4. Ashley

    I am glad you liked it, and that the author does a good job writing the story! I think the idea of switching each chapter sounds pretty interesting too!
    I will have to bump this up my list!

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

  5. Bookworm1858

    Great review-I really enjoyed this one as well for similar reasons. Probably my favorite part was how much it read like a contemporary even with its big fantastical twist. I’m not sold on the necessity of a sequel but I am eager for more of West’s writing so I will probably check that out.

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