Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pivot Point - Review

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, # 1)

By: Kasie West

Published: February 12th 2013 by HarperTeen

343 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Personal Kindle Library

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Goodreads description--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.

I’ve read three Kasie West books at this point, and I have to say that I’ve been impressed with every single one of them. I’ve had Pivot Point in my possession for MONTHS. And anytime the subject of Kasie West came up someone would ask if I’ve read Pivot Point or they would recommend Pivot Point to me, and I would always say “I have it in my possession, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.” And so with the March Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge that Kimba The Caffeinated Reviewer hosted, I decided that was the time to pick up Pivot Point. It just so happened that I was also off work for a day. I woke up around 8:00 am and said “I’m just going to read until 9:00 am.” Nine came and I said “I’m just going to read until 10:00.” Ten came and I said “I’ll just read until 11:00 and then I’ll eat lunch and get up and get some stuff done around the house.” Eleven came and I did put the book down, ate lunch, and then I said “I’m so close to finishing. I might as well just knock this book out.” HA! That’s how that all went down. I just didn’t want to stop reading it. I also have to say that I was impressed with how different Pivot Point was from the other two (contemporary) books I’ve read by Kasie West.

I haven’t read as much paranormal over the last year or two as I used to so that aspect of Pivot Point I was both looking forward to and dreading. As descriptions can sometimes be, I felt like the Goodreads description above was slightly deceiving and gives off the impression of this book being “less” than it is. The description feels a bit juvenile to me. It kind of reminds me of the Vampire Academy movie advertising. The wrong portrayal of the book can give you a totally different impression of what this whole experience is about to be about. For one, Addie doesn’t enjoy Searching the future that much. I actually got the impression from reading the book that she only tries to search major decisions. It’s not about having an insurance plan against the menial aspects of teenage life. Though there are times she’s able to avoid disaster thanks to her ability.

In this particular case as the description says, her parents tell Addie that they’re getting a divorce and because of her gift they want her to see which future she will adjust to the best and which one she should pursue. So using her gift in this rare instance, Addie Searches even further than she normally would and Searches six weeks into the future. She sees two futures that both hold their own pros and cons. But unlike the description seems to indicate, it’s not really about which guy to choose or whether she wants to be popular by dating the quarterback or stuck in some boring Norm school. It’s much deeper than that.

We basically start Pivot Point in the present. Then when faced with the choice of which parent to live with Addie Searches both futures and the narration swaps back and forth between the potential futures—the one where she lives with her mother in the Paranormal compound that she grew up in or the one where she lives with her father off the compound in the Normal world. And then eventually Addie comes out of her Search and she has to choose a future. Luckily since we already know how that future goes for the next six weeks, we don’t have to live that future out, but instead skip six weeks ahead so that we know what happens after the last thing that Addie sees in her Search.

Addie as a character was easy for me to get attached to. I enjoyed seeing how true to character she was despite whichever future was playing out at the time. She’s all for the paranormal side of things and having gifts, but yet, she’s been manipulated by the different gifts she’s been around her whole life. Even when people aren’t using their gifts on her, she knows they have the ability to which prompts her to behave in a way that doesn’t force them to use their gifts on her. She dreams of a world and a relationship where she is completely not manipulated.

Addie’s best friend, Laila, has had a rough childhood. Her father has a drug addiction which has caused all kinds of problems for her family. This has led to Laila acting out at times as children from troubled homes often do. I got annoyed with Laila in both futures that Addie sees, but when push comes to shove Laila is a good friend to Addie despite everything.

And then there are the guys. Bobby who wanted to take Addie to homecoming but Addie saw him being a bit too aggressive in a Search prior to the start of this book. Duke who is the quarterback from the paranormal compound who pursues Addie in the future where she lives with her mom, and then normal Trevor who was injured last year and no longer plays football. Trevor is Addie’s only friend for a while in the future where she lives with her dad. I enjoyed all of the secondary characters, and I love how they are all present in both futures even if their roles and events that take place are different in both futures.

Pivot Point does have a mysterious aspect that Kasie West plays out quite well. Aside from wondering which future Addie will choose, the reader is given clues to each puzzle in the opposite reality. I loved this. Only the reader and the version of Addie performing the Search know all of the pieces to the puzzle. Information is released slowly, but as information is released I don’t think the reader will have too much difficulty figuring out the majority of the plot. This didn’t bother me because I was so wrapped up in seeing how every piece comes together that I wasn’t worried about the parts that were predictable.

Kasie West’s writing style is smooth and easy to get wrapped up in. Having now read three books by her, I find her stories and writing very consistent in quality. Pivot Point was so much more than I expected and so much more than I think the description lends to it. I loved the unique concept as well as the way Kasie West executed everything. I’m definitely looking forward to Split Second and would recommend Pivot Point to anyone who enjoys a bit of paranormal, a bit of mystery, with likeable characters that I found myself rooting for. Pivot Point gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Pivot Point? What did you think? Let me know!

Favorite quote:

"Sometimes perfection reveals the lie, Addie, not the truth."

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