Review: Pivot Point by Kasey West

March 15, 2014 2014, B+, book rating, Reading Challenges, reviews, TBR Pile 3

I’m participating in the 2014 New Author Reading Challenge hosted at the Literary Escapism blog. I’m also participating in the TBR Pile Challenge hosted at the Bookish blog and in the Book Bingo Challenge.

pivot-pointPivot Point
by Kasey West
Series: Pivot Point, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published by HarperTeen, 2013
E-book, Purchased
343 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: 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.

“When I read, I feel emotion all on my own. Emotion no living person is making me feel. To me, it almost seems more real, because I know that those characters can’t influence me with any power. So I like to remind myself that I can feel without anyone manipulating me….”

and

Over Laila’s right shoulder, painted on my wall, are the words “… we had everything before us, we had nothing before us …” I remember when I first read those words from A Tale of Two Cities. They spoke to me. They speak to me again now.

What worked for me:

  • Clever and fun book. I like the imagination in this book. People have mind powers, but not “super” powers like flying.
  • Addie reads books!
  • We all wonder what our life might have been like if we had made different choices in our lives. Addie’s power is the ability to search two paths in her life.
  • Addie knows her mind power isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She chooses to remember both paths so she feels like she’s lived both paths. If one path is very bad she still feels she lived it and has the memories as if she lived it.
  • One of the things Addie doesn’t like about her life–not always being able to trust her reactions and emotions. This is mainly because her mother can manipulate emotions.
  • This book begins with Addie having to make a choice–live with her father or her mother since they’re divorcing. They encourage her to search both possible futures so she searches further into the future than she normally would. Even though the searches don’t take long in real time she feels she lives each of the six weeks she searches. The book is mostly about those two searches in alternating chapters.
  • I don’t normally like alternating viewpoints or stories, but this was fascinating. We see the same people, but from different points of view. It’s also interesting how the two lives intersect even though Addie doesn’t know it at the time.
  • Addie has a great sense of humor. She also doesn’t spend a lot of time feeling sorry for herself.
  • Addie’s friend Laila can make people forget things so Laila could make Addie forget a search, but Addie always tells her not to do this. However, she asks Laila if Laila has made her forget in the past. Laila always says she won’t tell Addie so Addie is never quite sure. This is one of the reasons Addie loves books and put pages of books and quotes on her bedroom wall.

What didn’t work:

  • The book doesn’t talk about abuse of powers, but I think that would be a problem in a society like this. Addie is aware her emotions might be manipulated (see the first quote), but it doesn’t seem to be an overarching problem in the Compound. Perhaps–since the book is from Addie’s point of view–she just doesn’t know about it.

My thoughts:

I really like this book! I started it unsure how I would like it since this is Kasie West’s debut book. I knew it was popular, but I hadn’t read any reviews. I’m surprised how much I like the story and the voices of the characters. I went into this book thinking that a compound with people having all these powers couldn’t be all positive. I am  happy to see Addie shared some of these views though she loves her life and friends and just wants life to go on like it always has. Unfortunately, she has to make a choice and this is the story of that choice.

After writing most of this review I read a review by Nathan at Fantasy Review Barn who coined a term called the ‘x-men magic’ approach. He felt the book in his review had gotten the magic right, but other books don’t explain how people managed to get all the different types of magic. When I read his review and thinking of Pivot Point I have to admit I don’t think how the Compound is created and how these people got their powers is addressed! Maybe it will be in future books. I still like Pivot Point a lot!

Split Second, the second book in this series, just came out the middle of February (which I didn’t know before I read Pivot Point!) I haven’t bought the second book yet, but plan to soon!

Have you read this book?

 

3 Responses to “Review: Pivot Point by Kasey West”

  1. nath

    Hi Jan! So happy you enjoyed Pivot Point! It was one of my favorite books in 2013!! I agree with you, so cleverly written! Loved how the two lives intersected.

    Yeah, the compound and how people came to have powers is not addressed… but sometimes, it’s a good thing in my opinion. It let the writer and reader jump right into the storyline, without bothering too much about those details. I mean, if Ms West had to explain everything, the book would not have been as good… and personally, I felt I didn’t miss it that much.

    Hope you enjoy Split Second as much!

    • Jan

      I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this, nath! Really looking forward to Split Second though it will be a few weeks before I can get to it…
      Jan recently posted…Sunday Post: March 16My Profile

  1. My favorite books so far this year...

    […] Pivot Point by Kasie West (young adult fantasy, Grade: B+)–this isn’t a perfect book (what is?!!), but it has stuck with me because of the premise of the book. The main character is able to look at two different futures to see which she wants to choose. I always wonder about the choices we make in our lives and what that does to change us. […]