ARC Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

Pivot Point by Kasie West
Book #1 in the Pivot Point series
Publication Date: 12 Feb 2013
ARC Provided by Edelweiss and HarperTeen

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

Christal’s Review – 5 Skulls – A

Pivot Point wasn’t a perfect book, but I enjoyed it so much that I just didn’t care.  I actually read this all in one night because I couldn’t bear not knowing what was going to happen to Addie.  Kasie West has made a fan in me and I cannot wait to pick up the next book in this series!

Addie lives in the Compound, a secluded world populated by Paranormals – humans with enhanced mental abilities.  When her parents announce their divorce, she has to decide whether to remain in the world she’s always known with her mother or leave with her father and live among the Norms.  This would be a difficult choice for most teens, but Addie has a special way of looking at things… divergence.  She can Search the possible futures of her choices and see what her paths will look like.  As Addie Searches the paths of living with each parent, she finds out much more than she bargained for.

Normally, knowing that half of this story never actually happened would have really bothered me.  Here, though, Ms. West has created such an engrossing story and sympathetic character in Addie that I didn’t care; I was along for the rides.  I loved seeing both possibilities and how Addie would react in different situations.  I loved how both paths flowed and intertwined with each other and how the characters from each would overlap.  I loved seeing how Addie would be affected and changed by the different decisions she might make and how her choices affected the lives of the people around her.  Everything about this plot device just worked for me and I am so glad that I gave this book a chance.

Based on the premise of this book, you would think it might be a really heavy science fiction, but it wasn’t.  The prose was light and airy and clipped along very quickly.  The romance in each path did tend to dominate the plot at times, and I would have liked to see the Paranormals use their powers more, but I barely gave those gripes a passing thought because I was so engaged with Addie and her worlds.  I will say that if teenage angst and romantic entanglements do not interested you, you should probably pass this book on by.  Also, if you are expecting a really straight-forward science fiction, just keep on going.  If you don’t mind some YA romance and want to experience a unique and moving character study, this is your book.

Addison “Addie” Coleman was a wonderful main character with a strong, relatable voice.  I believed that she was a high school junior and felt that her reactions were appropriate.  She was likable, slightly depreciating, and funny.  The humor never felt forced but it was there and kept me smiling throughout many parts of this book.  Addie’s best friend, Laila, was an integral part of her life and I was happy to see that she remained important in both storylines.  It was nice to see a balanced and well-adjusted female friendship take center stage.

Being a YA book, of course there is a love interest or two.  Thankfully, Ms. West didn’t fall into the love triangle trap and, instead, let Addie focus on only one guy for each path.  In the Norm world, Addie meets Trevor – a senior at her new high school.  He is sweet and cute and just Addie’s type.  They made great friends but it was easy to see the sparks between them from the beginning.  Trevor was good for Addie and helped to bring her out of her shell.  In the Para world, Addie ends up dating the high school quarterback, Duke.  The way Addie and Duke came together didn’t feel as organic but they did still share some sweet moments and Duke helped her to realize she shouldn’t make snap judgments about everyone.  Having read the book, I know which guy ends up being the better choice for Addie but I don’t want to spoil it for new readers.  Suffice it to say, there is a lot more going on with one of these guys than we first expect and the relationship between him and Addie takes a dark turn.

Throughout both storylines, there is a murderer in the Para community and Addie’s father is involved with the investigation.  The way this plays out in the end of each Search creates a really tough choice for Addie about which life she will ultimately choose.  It was hard to see her make that choice, but I respect her decision and think she is very strong for doing what she does.  Can you tell I’m trying to keep it vague here?  Don’t read spoilers though, go into this blind and you will appreciate the outcome so much more.  I have to say that I thought the ending wrapped up a little too quickly, but I was so happy to hear that this was just the first in a new series.  The next book doesn’t come out until 2014, and I will be waiting (impatiently!) for my next dose of Addie and her wonderful world.

Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for providing an ARC copy of this book!

Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

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