Series: Pivot Point #1
Published by HarperCollins on February 12, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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.
Pivot Point takes a while to get off the ground; it starts off as a contemporary but weaves in elements of the paranormal and mystery/suspense. I’m fond of alternate realities like Just Like Fate and Ask Again Later so Pivot Point following this formula, pretty much guaranteed my enjoyment.
Unlike the other two ‘alternate reality’ books I read, Pivot Point uses an intriguing mix of paranormal elements to explain how the two split paths are undertaken. When presented with a choice to live with either parent upon their divorce, Addie searches both of the realities to find out what the best path will be. Both realities happen to be centered around a love interest, Duke, the popular quarterback and Trevor, the quiet artist. One occurs in the paranormal town where she lives, and the other in the ‘norm’ world without powers and a new school. I enjoyed both of these perspectives, as they presented a fresh outlook on Addie’s life.
The romance was fantastic – yay for no insta-love! Kasie West takes it even further by not making either one of them as perfect, each with their real problems and issues. With both Duke and Trevor, Addie is realistic and from the get go she knows what she does and doesn’t want in a guy. She treats the relationships with curiosity, getting to know the guy, and maturity, knowing when to pull back. I loved how she went through some realistic character development here and it’s not often YA relationships are treated this way.
I loved Kasie West’s somewhat effortless, refreshing, easy to read writing. All of her characters seemed so real and relatable, especially Addison who is smart, caring and wants the best possible outcome for her parents and friends. It was refreshing to read a novel that wasn’t bogged down in drama and angst, yet still present a realistic high school perspective with cliques, footballers and strict parents.
Even though Pivot Point has some paranormal elements, it is mostly a contemporary with superpowers thrown in. If you look for explanations to why Addie and her town have these superpowers, you’re going to end up disappointed. Instead of offering us direct parallels, things which Addie discovers in one reality, applies in the other. My heart broke for her as she goes through some pretty dramatic and traumatising experiences in each one, but in the end, she chooses the right path for everyone.
Pivot Point was an engaging, refreshing take on the alternate realities formula and delivered an excellent exploration into two different realities. Kasie West seamlessly blends two different realities with paranormal elements. What starts off as a light contemporary, will morph into a mystery/suspense novel where Kasie is trying to solve various mysteries in each one – each with their different consequences. I recommend it to YA lovers of contemporary and paranormal and can’t wait to read Split Second.
Rating: 4 out of 5