Author: Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point #1
Release Date: 12 Feb 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult (YA)
Source: Borrowed from the Public Library
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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.
Addison’s ability is called “Divergence,” which I didn’t like. I realize that Veronica Roth doesn’t have a monopoly on the word “Divergent” but I wish that West had found a different word to communicate this distinct plot point.
At first, the alternating “paths” each chapter really threw me. It was especially bad if I put the book down and came back, and couldn’t remember which “path” I was returning to first. I still think labeling them “Compound Path” and “Norm Path” would’ve been helpful. As I got more into the story though, it stopped bothering me as long as I was careful to determine which path I was in before starting the chapter (if it wasn’t obvious, and it usually was). The story was paced really well, with whatever events or information being revealed in each chapter back to back. Since you’re getting different versions of information in each “path,” the reader has a better idea of what’s really going on than Addie does.
As far as predictability goes, there were several elements that were pretty obvious. About halfway through the novel, I guessed what would happen although I did NOT guess the character roles exactly right, which was a pleasant surprise. (Kasie West, you sneaky author! That red herring character totally had me. I was 100% fooled.) As always, spoilers will be posted in the GoodReads review because I’m bursting to talk about it!
What I liked about Pivot Point is that right up until the end, I wasn’t sure how I felt or what I wanted to happen. In most books, you’ll think okay, the character is trying to do *this* and *this* is how I want that to happen. Pivot Point kept me indecisive until the end! Which future did I want her to pick? Would she pick her familiar life in the Compound, surrounded by other kids with talents, where she was being pursued by a charming football player who seems to be defying all the jerkwad stereotypes? Or would she choose the “Norm” world, where she’s woefully out of touch and having to make new friends, getting along with Trevor, an artistic guy who seems to like her and want to be her friend? Reading the synopsis, the football love interest (Duke) isn’t even named. You think that the Duke path will be the one that she obviously does not choose because he’ll probably turn out to be a stereotypical YA jerk. But things happen that you’re not expecting, and neither of the characters are the sum of their stereotypes. It also doesn’t read as a “real” love triangle because by the end of the book, there is a clear choice, a clear preference, and a clear idea of which of the guys is a jerkwad and which one makes us (me) swoony.
Pivot Point really surprised me, and I can’t BELIEVE I waited so long to read it! When it was over, I was ALL CAPS EXCITED. Actually, I’m still pretty intensely excited about it, so much that I demanded my BFF read it and now she too is all jumpy and anxious for book 2. MWAHAHAHAHA lova ya Susie.
ALSO: Can I just give Kasie West some bonus points for redeeming the name “Trevor”? Sure, my first thought will still be “Neville Longbottom’s oppressed pet toad” but my SECOND thought will be “Pivot Point!” and that’s pretty awesome.