Friday, February 1, 2013

Pivot Point by Kasie West

Title: Pivot Point
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Pages: 352 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: ARC via Amazon Vine
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: author website

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)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.


Nothing about Pivot Point really screamed "READ ME" to me, but on a friend's recommendation, I decided to pick up an ARC when I had a chance. (Amazon Vine is beautiful. Just sayin'.) Well, color me swoony because it came out of nowhere to impress me. Books like this are why I still take chances on novels I'm unsure about: gems occasionally pop up.

Addie's such an accessible character that growing to care about her happens quickly. There doesn't seem to be much conflict in which life she should choose because one life seems leagues and leagues better than the other, but her personal struggle with it is perfectly understandable. West's easy prose and quick pacing as each chapter rotates between each life make the book a quick read, but it takes a while to get used to the constant switching. You just have to remember they switch with each chapter or recognize if the defined word at the chapter's start has "para" or "norm" in it.

The love interest Addie has in her life with her father is such a sweet guy and I'll remember him as one of my favorite love interests in any novel. Trevor's not really swoonworthy, but he's the subtle kind of sweet you like anyway--kind of like my Paris-themed, candy-scented perfume. The other one, football player Duke, should go to a special hell where he has to kiss a cactus that kicks him in the nuts every three seconds forever. THAT'S how bad he is in my eyes. One character deserves that and a whole lot more.

Laila earns almost as much of my ire as Duke does thanks to her lack of depth and character development. Also, rule number three of the sister code? NEVER push your best friend off a stage just to get her close to a guy you think she might be good with. Matchmaking attempts will happen, but there are limits and that is well beyond them. I'm also unimpressed by the one-note characterization of jealous love rival/cheerleader/Norm Stephanie. Her only characterization is that she dislikes Addie because she's a girl Trevor is close to.

There's just one question about the ending. There's really no way to explain it otherwise, so here's a vague explanation that may seem like a spoiler but it's not: Addie has Laila Erase her memory of both paths to keep them from effecting whatever path she chooses to take. With no memory at all of what she saw in her Search to guide her in her decision, why does she choose to live with the parent she ultimately does? She just gets lucky and chooses the "right" path?

I honestly didn't expect to care much for Pivot Point, but it came out of nowhere to surprise me. I'm staying tuned for both the next book in this series and West's next novel, The Distance Between Us (July 2013).

3.5 stars!

What am I reading next?: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi