Pivot Point by Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point #1
Published by HarperTeen on February 12th, 2013
Shelve It: Goodreads
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.
One of the first parallel universe books I’ve ever read, Pivot Point has made me an immediate fan of the genre! With intelligent and witty characters, simple, but well thought-out world-building, and a fantastic concept, Pivot Point was a page-turner from the first few chapters!
My biggest fear going in to Pivot Point was how complicated it was going to have to be, for me to learn not only about two completely different futures, but about a whole new world where people possess those kinds of powers! Fortunately, Pivot Point is set in modern-day USA so the basis for West’s world-building was one I could easily believe in. The Compound where the Paranormals lived was described loosely, but in enough detail that I really didn’t need to probe further, and the bits and pieces that were dropped throughout Pivot Point helped to build a relatively complete picture of Addie’s society. While I know there were definitely a few details that nagged at me periodically, I enjoyed everything else Pivot Point offered so much, that any minor grumbles I had towards the world-building have been promptly forgotten.
One of my favourite parts of Pivot Point was the parallels between Addie’s two possible futures. Alternating between possible futures with every chapter, I was really impressed by how smoothly the same topics were covered in both worlds, but how each situation was manipulated to fit the future Addie was searching. So while future Addie who lived with her father learned about the mysterious football accidents from her new friend Rowan and his conspiracy theories, future Addie who lived with her mother learned about the same mysterious football accidents, around the same point in the timeline, by overhearing a conversation between Duke and his football friends. I really enjoyed seeing how the outcomes for various situations could be so similar when Addie was making such drastically different choices! Even now, I keep pausing to think about the genius of it all!
But easily, my favourite part of Pivot Point was it’s characters. Addie was an absolute treat as a narrator; she could be awkward, but in an endearing way where she called herself out on being so awkward, and then was usually able to laugh it off. Her sense of humour was contagious; I often found myself laughing right along side her. Her love of fiction spoke to my soul, and I now wish to cover my walls with my favourite passages from my favourite books just like she did. And her flirtatiousness! Whether she was actually naive or just completely shameless, Addie wasn’t afraid to be forward. She had her moments of self-consciousness and her moments of denial, but those moments just made her seem more…real.
I adored Trevor! He fell for Addie’s personality and, without knowing it, he solidified her belief that she had worth outside of her ability. No insta-love here! Damaged goods, Trevor had his own battles to fight when it came to self-pity, but he always managed to put on a brave face for his friends. Fortunately, Addie saw right through his fake smiles and found out who he truly was, showing him that he had worth outside of his talents in football. Laila was spunky and just an overall great best friend. She helped Addie through every moment, whether it be in person or over the phone, showing us all how important it can be to have a best friend to rely on. I loved that West didn’t use Laila as a convenient plot point; their friendship felt genuine. The same thing can be said of Addie’s relationship with her parents: while it was far from perfect, it felt genuine. And it was so refreshing to see a set of parents as present in their young teen’s life as Addie’s parents. No disappearing parent syndrome here! And then there’s Duke. I flip-flopped about my feelings for Duke for almost the entirety of Pivot Point. One minute I was convinced by his charm and sincerity, the next I was mistrustful as he was seemingly caught in a lie. He took my emotions on a roller coaster and I enjoyed every minute of the ride! His relationship with Addie was a little rushed, but I got so swept up in their excitement that I
mostly didn’t even notice.
I’m not sure if it’s come across well, but books like Pivot Point are the reason I love YA so much; my emotions were put through the ringer and I couldn’t be happier about it! I enjoyed EVERYTHING; from the characters, to the world-building, to the concept, it was all fantastic! If you haven’t read Pivot Point yet, I’ve only got two words for you: why not?!