Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pivot Point ~ Kasie West review

Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1)
February 12, 2013
352 pages
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Addison Coleman's life shouldn't be full of any unwanted surprises.

Addie lives in the Compound, where everyone has an ability, a place hidden to those who aren't supposed to know about it. Addie is a Searcher, able to look at any choice and see both possible outcomes, to live them inside her head.

So, when her parents tell her they're getting a divorce, it's a huge surprise for Addison. One thing that won't be a surprise, though: which parent she should live with. Addison can 'live' six weeks into the future with each, her mother who will stay at the Compound with the life Addie's always known or her father who will leave, choosing to live with -- and as -- the 'Norms.'

Addie finds a love interest in each possible life, along with more than her share of danger. As she lives through the time in each, a choice that should have been so obvious, may become less so.

I'd forgotten, between first reading the synopsis and then reading the novel, that there was a supernatural element to this story. There was, of course, one to some extent with the alternate/dual lives, but I didn't remember about the Compound and the characters' abilities. It's a great way to make the divergent paths Addie views possible. Rather than the result of some wacky dream or a bump on the head, they're something she expects and doesn't later try to explain away.

This premise, of Addie being aware that she's going to be viewing/living the two possible futures is a great setup. With chapters alternating between her 'para' world and her 'norm' world readers can see how she stays the same as she adjusts to each new life, then the major differences as well as any things that may happen similarly despite the alternate choice made.

There's also the possibility that Addie may, in her Search, wonder if it is, in fact, a Search and not reality. That presents another level of interest.

While the alternating chapters can make it hard to always remember what happened in which world -- or when -- especially when some of the main characters are present in both, its the best way to tell the story. With the knowledge that they're both coming to an end and a decision, suspense builds. They're not 'really' happening and one's not ever going to. It's just a question of which. If the story lines were done consecutively rather than concurrently, it just wouldn't work.

The end of the dual worlds is the other time that having Addie be a Searcher rather than a girl trying to make sense of some 'dream' world is so brilliant. She really makes a fully informed decision, knowing that both futures are true possibilities.

Kasie West did a fantastic job building both possible worlds here. As different as the two worlds are, in spite of both being set in or around high schools, they each had their appeal. In one world Addie befriends (possibly more?) Trevor, the arty former jock, in the other the quarterback is going to convince her she can like football players. With her best friend Leila either constantly by her side in one world or a phone call away in the other, Addie has someone to help her through tough situations.  It was great seeing the differences brought about in her character in the different worlds and the situations each presented.

The ending of Pivot Point was not quite what I expected but I liked it -- more so after seeing the (#1) after the title. I can't wait to see what #2 brings.

Rating: 8/10

If you like this book, you might also enjoy: Through to You by Emily Hainsworth and If We Kiss by Rachel Vail

final copy reviewed, thank you to Harper for approval for review copy through Edelweiss. (snafu with Edelweiss download equaled me not actually having it.)

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