Pivot Point: A Book Review


Pivot PointTitle: Pivot Point

Author: Kasie West

Published: February 12th, 2014 by Harper Teen

Pages: 343

Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy and Science Fiction

Source: Library / Hardcover

Series: Yes! Learn about the second book that came out this year HERE.

Summary: 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. {Goodreads}

My Thoughts: I have been meaning to read a book by Kasie West for a long time now, and after reading and hearing such glowing reviews of Pivot Point, I knew it was the book of hers that I had to start with. I had a feeling that it was going to be good, but I had no idea that I would become sucked into the story so quickly! Kasie West has made a terrific first impression on me, and I can’t wait to get my hands on her other novels. If you haven’t read Pivot Point yet {let’s work on that!}, you can add my review to an always growing list of reasons to read it NOW.

Addie lives in a world called the Compound, where a group of people with a range of mental superpowers, such as detecting liars and controlling emotions, live. Addie’s power? She has the ability to “search” the different paths she can take when faced with a decision. Her ability may sound useful, but when she has to choose between her parents, it’s anything but. After her mom and dad announce their divorce, Addie can choose to stay in the Compound with her mother or venture into the world of “Normals,” or regular humans, with her father.  Complicated story? Yes. Hard to follow? Not at all. Kasie West manages to not only keep readers engaged, but also prevent any confusion that could arise out of such a layered and complex story. Despite the number of details, the plot never felt too heavy; if anything, I would describe it as a light and a fun read. I think it shows a lot of West as an author to write a story that shows both creativity and focus.

One of the best aspects of Pivot Point was the setting. Although one half of the story is set in “our” world, it felt entirely different viewing it from Addie’s perspective. Even better was reading the story set in the Compound. Although very similar to the regular world, it is the subtle differences about the Compound that truly develops both settings. I love how football is a common element weaved throughout the two possible worlds Addie could choose; attending a game and supporting your school seems like such a simple high school “ritual” that the story came off all the more believable. I honestly can’t ask of anything else of a fantasy novel.

I couldn’t end this review without mentioning the love triangle {however unusual it may be}. I thought that the author pulled it off perfectly, with just enough charm and secrecy from both Trevor and Brandon to keep the reader guessing. If I had trouble throughout most of the book picking a favorite, I can’t imagine living with Addie’s ability! :) On a similar note, while she wasn’t perfect {and really who is?}, I appreciated the friendship between Laila and Addie. I hope to see it further developed in the sequel, and speaking from the synopsis, it looks like it is.

Overall, I’m disappointed in myself for pushing Pivot Point off for so long! It is an incredibly fun and addicting read, and although not my usual taste, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I have high expectations for Split Second, which was immediately added to my birthday wish list – fingers crossed it’s coming to my bookshelf soon!

Pros: The author does a terrific job capturing the attention of the reader with an unusually set-up story. The two different “worlds” Addie can choose from are another strong point of the book.

Cons: As much as I love many of the characters in the book, I do realize that a handful of them would benefit from more development; the secondary characters outside of the Compound, particularly, fell a little flat for me.

Heads Up: The plot does get a bit intense near the end as more details about the murder are revealed, but on the language/romantic side, it is fairly clean. Addie mentions sexual abuse as part of one of her “searches,” but she does not go into deep detail about it.

Overall:  I give it 4 1/2 stars {**** 1/2}, and I recommend it for ages 13 and up.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


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