Pivot Point by Kasie West Review: Refreshing Take on Alternate Realities

May 7, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Pivot Point by Kasie West Review: Refreshing Take on Alternate RealitiesPivot Point by Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point #1
Published by HarperCollins on February 12, 2013
Source: Borrowed
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.

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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

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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65 responses to “Pivot Point by Kasie West Review: Refreshing Take on Alternate Realities

  1. Glad you enjoy Pivot Point, this book is one of my favorite last year! I love the romance, it felt realistic and no insta-love. I enjoyed going through Addie's perspectives too, it was so engaging!

    I agree with superpower thing, I actually wanted to know more about how the superpower exists but no explanation. But it's still enjoyable to stay with Addie's story 😀
    Ikao @ Sky Duck Book recently posted…Book Haul + Wrap Up : April 2014My Profile

  2. RIGHT?!?! Wasn't this book just amazing? I remember reaidng it last year and LOVING it. Sure, this doesn't focus on the why of the superpowers but on the 'how' (how are they used? how are they controlled) and so on. i was a huge fan and completely agree that this feels very much like a contemporary and with superpowers thrown into the mix 🙂

    Great review jeann!

    So happy you liked

    Lily
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  3. I'm the same Amir, I've been really curious about her writing and now I can see why people love it. I think there's only 2 books in the series and I really enjoy the new format 🙂 I can't wait to read The Distance Between Us!

  4. YAY! So happy to hear you loved this one, Jeann!

    I did too, and I wasn't entirely sure at first about these books, but I was so happy when I read Pivot Point and then Split Second back to back!

    I was so pleasantly surprised about how both relationships developed and how details and happenings from both realities kept on complimenting each other during the narrative.

    Great review, Jeann!
    Pili recently posted…Friday Reads: ARC Review of A Time To Dance by Padma Venkatraman!!My Profile

    • Thanks Pili, ever since I read reviews about it when it first came out I really wanted to read it! I need to read Split Second but my library doesn't have it, might have to purchase it! Glad to hear the relationships are developed further, that's the sign of a good novel 🙂 Thank you lovely!

  5. Have I ever told you that you have an amazing writing style? Because you do! I swear, your writing is like top quality and poetic and beautiful. I love it! And I also loved Pivot Point! It was one of my favourite reads from last year. I've been meaning to get onto Spit Second for the longest time. I will never ever get over the amazingness of the alliteration!

    • OMG thank you so much Laura, that is one of the best compliments I've ever received! I am so glad you guys enjoy it! Thank you lovely, you made my day. <3 Can't wait to read split second.

  6. Jeaaann! If you like stories like this, you really need to check out Lauren Miller's PARALLEL. Same concept, but more science fiction in explanation, and it's really, really, really good. I hope you get around to it so we can discuss, you and I. I''m glad you liked this one! I've yet to finish it though (Haha) but I'll get to that sooner or later 😉
    Faye @ The Social Po recently posted…ARC Review: The Dolls by Kiki SullivanMy Profile

    • Thanks Shaheen, I've heard the same about Kasie's writing and can't wait to catch up! I hope I get to read Split Second soon too, I will need to purchase it as my library doesn't have it. Glad to hear it's even better!

  7. Loved this book! Actually, I love Kasie West's books. And Pivot Point was no different. I loved how it blended contemporary with just a splash of paranormal, and a touch of mystery. I loved reading the different paths Addie could take, and I liked her decision. She was also a spunky MC, and I can't wait to see where Kasie takes this series. I still need to read Split Second, though! 🙂
    Holly U recently posted…Release Week of Fighting for InfinityMy Profile

    • Glad to hear you loved it Holly, I did enjoy the contemporary, paranormal and mystery blend as well. It was fun reading the different paths too. So do I, but hope I'll get to read it soon!

  8. I think I must be the only one who didn't love this one! I liked it, mind you, but for some reason I wasn't really blown away–and honestly, can't remember much about it a year later. Most people I know really enjoyed it, though, including my coblogger Kate. 🙂 You're right, it IS nice to have non-angsty YA books, though.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…TMG Updates + summer giveawayMy Profile

    • Oh that's a shame Wendy! I know, I picked it up thinking I was going to love it straight away but once it got through the bulk of the novel, I'm glad it hit me. Yes, I like angst but not all the time!

  9. Really? No isnta-love? I love that fact! More and more writers use that and I confess I'm a little tired of it. But now I'm curious about the romance. I'm also very curious about the world the author built. Thanks for the great review.

  10. I love Kasie West's work and I loved Pivot Point. I'm Team Trevor all the way and I'm interested to see what's going to happen in Split Second. I still don't know what genre you can call this novel though, it's a weird mix of contemporary and paranormal. I notice we tend to read the same books around the same time which is funny 🙂 Oh well it makes it easier to discuss!
    Francoise recently posted…{Review} The One by Kiera CassMy Profile

    • Glad to hear you love her stuff because I can see the appeal now! Trevor is an awesome love interest, and yeah I think I'd mostly categorise it as a contemporary. It is funny isn't it Francoise, like minds (and good taste 😉 )

  11. I have heard many amazing things about this one and what was always so appealing to me is the fact that many have said that it starts as contemporary. It seems unusual and I'd love to see that change. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Jeann 🙂
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  12. I definitely love how Kasie West handled the alternate realities. Her writing's really good, fun, and entertaining too. I'm glad you liked this one. I actually wasn'tempering the contemporary feel from it so I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed this one.
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  13. Glad to hear you enjoyed this! Love Kasie West books =D I went crazy after finishing this because I wanted to start Split Second right away! I just wanted happy endings and rainbows for Trevor and Addison =)

    • Thanks Kelly, thought it was good to signify where the summary was, for people who didn't want to read the full review. I did read your review on Tandem, I will have to check out that book sometime. Thank you Kelly!

  14. I really liked this book as well and I'm dying to get my hands on the second one. I want to know what's going to happen! The romance was fantastic! I agree that there wasn't as much explanation about the powers as I would have wanted, even if they said it was because they used a higher percentage of their brains or something like that. Great review, Jeann!
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  15. Buona loves this also and I don't think I've read a negative review of this author's books yet! I'm actually interested to see a love triangle that works and thank goodness there's no insta-love. I also love the fact that there are just two books in the series (am I right about that?)

    The Distance Between Us is in my wish list but I think I would just have to give this one a shot also, almost everyone I know loves it. Great review!
    Amir recently posted…The Book Blogger TestMy Profile

  16. Really glad you enjoyed this book Jeann. I remember really enjoying it and giving it 4 stars too. I do think that Addie was a fantastic character and her development was well executed, and I liked that both the paths were realistic too. The twists that came out too were great and I'm excited for Split Second at some point. Once again, so pleased you liked it, and this was such a good review 🙂
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Book Review – See Through MeMy Profile

  17. I waited WAY too long to read this one. I thought it would get confused because I usually do in time travel books and I mistakenly thought this would be something like that. I ended up staying up through the night to finish this one it was so good. Definitely one I'll be re-reading. Glad you liked it too. I can't wait to see how Split Second turns out.
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  18. I have been eyeing these ones off…honestly! I guess the only reason I'm hesitant is that a) I have waaaaay too many books to read and b) I often get confused with alternate realities. Gah. My small brain suffers. But these sound like they're really excellently written, and I know the sequels already so GAH. I just need to stalk my library and see if they have them. 😉
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    • That's a great idea, I really enjoyed those alternate realities books especially the contemporary ones because it keeps things lighter 🙂 There are also some points at the start of each chapter to remind you which pov you are reading.

  19. I'm glad you liked this one! I read On the Fence and The Distance Between Us by Kasie West, and I've wanted to read this one for aaaages. Well, a couple of months. But it FEELS like ages. Unfortunately it's been overdue at the local library since, like, February or something. Which sucks. Maybe I'll have to buy it :O

    Great review! Just another reason I want to read it 🙂
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