PIVOT POINT (Pivot Point, #1)
Author: Kasie West
Published on: February 12, 2013
Genre: Science fiction, paranormal
Published by: HarperTeen
Format: E-book, paperback, hardcover
Perfect for fans of Sliding Doors, Kasie West’s riveting novel Pivot Point follows a girl with the power to see her potential futures.
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, a special type of clairvoyant, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she is able to look into the future and see both outcomes. So when her parents tell her they are getting a divorce and she has to pick who she wants to live with, a Search has never been more important.
In one future Addie is living with her mom in the life she’s always known and is being pursued by the most popular guy in school. In the other she is the new girl in school, where she falls for a cute, quiet artist. Then Addie finds herself drawn into a murder investigation, and her fate takes a darker turn. With so much to lose in either future, Addie must decide which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she’s willing to live without.
The premise of this book is one of the things that drew me to it. A young woman who can “see” the outcomes of her decisions before taking them? That power is cool! Most of us would like to be invisible or super strong, but Addison “Addie” Coleman’s gift is so useful. Just imagine how many mistakes or wrong choices you could avoid. I think I’d take this gift over Felix Felicis.
At the start of Pivot Point, Addie’s parents drop a bomb on her: they’re getting divorced. Not only that, her father is moving away. So, Addie has to choose who she wants to live with. In a normal world, the decision would already be difficult to make. Addie, though, lives in the Compound: a town where only people with special abilities reside. They’re sort of a secret society that’s closed off from the rest of the world. That’s one thing that surprised me at the start. I thought Addie would be the only one with a gift.
The abilities that the characters have in this book are all mind-based. Addie is mostly referred to as a Searcher, but her gift is termed Divergence. It is a special type of Clairvoyance, and allows Addie to see only her future. Laila, Addie’s best friend, has the ability to Erase memories. Other abilities in Pivot Point include telekinesis, lie-detecting, and even phasing.
If Addie chooses to live with her father, then she’ll have to adapt to life in the outer world. To help her choose, Addie Searches her future to see which one would be better. The rest of the chapters in the book alternate between two timelines. In one timeline, Addie stays with her mother and lives life as she’s always known it. Only, Addie is pursued by her school’s popular quarterback, Duke. In the other timeline, Addie moves with her father. She attends a Norm (that’s what they call people without powers) high school. Soon enough, Addie makes new friends. One of them is Trevor, a laid-back but cute boy who draws Addie’s attraction. At first glance, both of the possible futures seem all right. Addie has no idea what awaits her, though.
Keeping track of the two timelines seemed challenging at first. I thought it would be like reading two books at once. I’ve never done that to avoid losing track of either story. In Pivot Point, the dual timelines worked well, though. I was never confused when I continued reading. You may notice that every chapter starts with a word definition. They’re not there just for decoration. Starting with chapter three, you’ll find that those definitions give you a clue as to which timeline the chapter belongs to. The definitions are also loosely related to the events in that chapter. I thought those were clever additions, and quite helpful.
As the events unfold, Addie is drawn into a murder investigation in both of the timelines. Simultaneously, she falls for both of her love interests. Addie seemed to grow closer to Trevor, though. I thought they made a better couple than Addie and Duke. There’s the obstacle of Trevor having an ex-girlfriend, but he isn’t interested. Addie’s feelings for Trevor grow, but she tries to resist, thinking they should only be friends. The two end up falling for each other, though. Addie eventually decides that Trevor must know the truth about her, even though she was warned not to do that.
The ending chapters were riveting. Addie’s decision turns out to be much harder to make than I expected. Both futures end with dreadful consequences, and Addie must choose the future she’s most willing to live with. I felt so bad for her. How can you choose one of two futures if both of them come with great loss? The synopsis tells you that Addie needs to decide who she’s willing to live without. Will it be Duke, or Trevor? The answer may surprise you.
As marvelous as Pivot Point was, there were things that turned out plain silly. It appears that the author tried taking a leaf off J.K. Rowling’s book, and the results were exasperating. You know how wizards are all but helpless in the Muggle world? They suck at picking an outfit, for instance. The author of Pivot Point tried to do the same with her gifted people. There was a scene with Addie and Duke in which the latter gets stuck in a bathroom in the Norm world. He has no idea how to unlock a door with a knob, as all the doors he’s ever used (those in the Compound) are automatic, thus knob-less. I mean, seriously? And the people of the Compound are said to be able to use 100% of their brain (that’s why they have gifts). Getting bested by a freaking door? Face-palm.
Should you pass up this book? I say definitely not. If you’re a fan of romantic sci-fi with really likable characters, you’ll enjoy Pivot Point. Just forgive the author for the gaffe I mentioned above. Other than that, this book is a gem. It was riveting.
Seriously liked it!
BUY THE BOOK