Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Pivot Point (Kasie West)

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)
Title: Pivot Point
Series: Pivot Point duology, Book 1
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy Mystery
Told: First Person (Addie), Present Tense
Content Rating: Teen (sensuality, minor violence, minor language)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find It On: Goodreads 
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

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.

*          *          *

Writing: Fun, laid back, highly engaging prose. Excellent delivery, dialogue, and tension - overall a very well-written book. Near the end I got a little lost with the alternating chapters, but I believe it was a smart set-up that worked well.

Setting: There were two "worlds" - the Compound, where the Para-community live in secret, and the Normal world. Both felt natural, most of the time interchangeable except where powers were concerned. None of the "upgrades" in the Compound felt overly foreign; the powers themselves were pretty low-key, to the point where the reason for their existence wasn't even really explained. At the beginning, the "fact" that "Normals only use 10% of their brain" is mentioned, so Paras could be using so much more thereby giving them powers, but as "10%" is a myth I was glad when Kasie didn't stick to it. I really would've liked some type of explanation, but it wasn't important to the story.

Story: I thought this was going to be about how Addie sees two futures, picks one, and then what happens is different from what she saw. Instead, the entire book followed both futures in alternating chapters, Para & Norm. And it was a mystery - sort of. The clues were subtle yet obvious (to me, anyway), and often had me exclaiming my surprise and excitement out loud as the pieces fell into place. The tension was constant and gradually escalated at just the right pace until the very end - and I expected a different ending, so definite props there for the surprise. (Although I kind of wish it had been what I expected - I'm hard to please like that. ;)

Characters: Addie felt very normal to me, even with her rare and extraordinary ability, but this was not a bad thing - she was capable of mistakes and courage and misunderstandings and All The Human Things, and this made her highly relatable. As far as the boys were concerned, I am definitely Team Trevor - I never liked Duke, although that could've simply been because I don't like sports (especially football). I never quite trusted Laila, and had mixed feeling about her at the end. The parents were never "too" either way - they simply felt like parents, with their quirks and faults. Overall, a normal and highly relatable bunch, even if some of them did have powers.

Conclusion: This was a highly engaging read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I would even recommend it as a textbook to writers for delivering clues and escalating tension. I don't know where Kasie plans to take this  series (it read like a stand-alone), but I'm ready and willing to find out.

Scribble Rating
5 of 5 Scribbles


  1. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the review.

  2. whoa, "recommend it as a textbook to writers..." that's cool. you've convinced me to get it. great review.

  3. I have been wanting to read this book for many reasons, especially the cover! I love it! Thank you for your review! I finally decided to give it a try! :)