Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

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I received this book for free from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie WestPivot Point by Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point #1
on February 12th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, YA
Source: HarperCollins Canada
Buy on Amazon

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.

para·nor·mal: adj. not scientifically explainable : supernatural

Meet Addison, or preferably Addie; Clairvoyant Divergent. Addie has the unique and thought-provoking ability of being able to see both sides of the coin. In other words, when she has a decision to make, she can see the future of each choice and pick the one that’s best. Fascinating, no? But what happens when you don’t want either future you foresee? This plot revolves around Addie’s venture into two futures after she was asked to pick between staying in the paranormal compound, or going with her dad in the normal world.

Told in dual reality perspective, reality one keeps us in the compound where life with abilities is the norm. From telekinesis to lie detectors, living with knowing someone may currently be manipulating your mood is the way of life for these people. Stories where characters have superhuman abilities have often been favourites of mine. We all wished, at one point or other, that we were able to move things with our mind, or know what another person is thinking, so this reality had me hooked from the start. Learning what everyone could do, as well as their advanced technology promised limitless entertainment. This future has a less than likeable love interest, however. If this was a triangle, he would have been the bad boy. His personality clashes with Addie’s and I never trusted him for a minute. This is how he was meant to come off, though, so I am not saying this with negativity. It has a purpose in the story and it is not for us to fall for a jerk–Phew! This reality also involves a creep with a menacing ability who we learn early on is bad news, giving the story a bit of a dangerous vibe.

nor·mal: adj. conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern

Reality two takes us to the normal world where Addie has to learn our present ways of life which lacks the technology that she is used to in her compound. She also becomes the new kid at the Norm school. This was my personal favourite reality. I love seeing how someone adapts to a new surrounding, including who they meet and connect with. Plus the love interest in this future is a definite sweetheart. They start out as friends, and her intention of never becoming more than consequently makes us long for them even more, not to mention magnifying their chemistry. They have an easy way about them that makes their relationship completely down to earth and genuine. This reality also involves the football team trying to figure out the mystery behind these seeming unrandom injuries that have been incurred by their teammates.

Screwed: adj. Having to choose a bad path to avoid a worst one
-Quoted from the uncorrected proof

The gist of the story: What side do you choose, when you want neither?

In the end, Addie has to make a very difficult choice of what she came to understand is deciding which is the lesser evil. This gives the ending an emotionally gripping edge. However, I did have a small qualm with the logic behind the decision. Knowing your future, wouldn’t you be able to change it? Perhaps no matter what she does the end result will be the same, but one must follow the logic that if every choice creates two alternate futures, then no future is definite; she could modify additional choices along the way which should, in turn, modify how each future culminates. With this said, I’m not sure I completely agree with the decision that she eventually makes. With such an intricate concept, it seems a little simplistic that it has to be definite A, or definite B. This is why playing with time in any way is tricky with over-analyzing minds such as mine!

No doubt a unique read, Pivot Point encompasses a lot of plot characteristics that turns this could-be cliché into an enticing novel. With two stories in one, there is no time to get bored. These two alternatives each have a love interest, each have interesting secondary characters, each with different dilemmas and mysteries of their own. What makes it even more interesting is that, as one reality happens, the events of the other still come about, but without Addie in its direct path. I found this gave it a very neat spin as, even tough we get two different reality perspectives, they’re intertwined together to give us one complete story.

With plenty of romance, friendship, and paranormal abilities, Pivot Point is a refreshingly original read that is sure to delight any fan of the genre.


4 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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31 Responses to “Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West”

  1. Kathy Ann Coleman

    I have this one coming via Amazon and have wanted to read it for a long time. I’m glad to hear that there isn’t anything major that’s likely to have me using it as a frisbee. I do agree with what you are saying about the A vs. B thing; I’m curious to see whether I’ll feel that way too. Despite this, though, I’m definitely excited to get started on Pivot Point when it arrives. 🙂 It really does sound like my kinda book.

  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Most definitely sounds like a unique read! I’ve waffled on this one — do I want to read it or not? I think it’s your review and her definition of screwed that’s pushing me to read it. The poor girl, having to make such difficult choices! I want to find out what they are!

  3. Nick

    I just reviewed this yesterday, Giselle and I found myself really enjoying it even though the plot could be considered as cliched.
    It was a lot of fun and I thought the strongest point of the book was definitely the strong characters.
    I’m glad you liked it, Giselle! Lovely review, Giselle! 🙂

  4. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    HA love how you used the definitions like in the book. Good idea! I really liked this one too. The story was really good and I liked how the two paths would overlap and we would see instances from each one in the other. I was a bit bothered by the ending too but I guess we just have to not think about it and take what we are given.

  5. Amy

    This book sounds really awesome even with the small things that don’t make sense, like doing something different to change an outcome. This is a book I am definitely going to read at some point. Even with the things that seem to be bothering people, it’s still getting really awesome reviews!!

  6. Ashley

    Great review Giselle! I’m so glad you loved this book because it became one of my favourites. 🙂 I do understand what you mean about the ending. But despite that, I still enjoyed it and thought it was pretty intense!

  7. Sirtsu

    WHOOP WHOOP! The fact that you, ever hard to please with books, gave it four stars is definitely something. I’ve been keeping my eye on this one for a while and I’m glad you liked it. It’d be a shame to give a bad rating to a book with such a beautiful cover, lol. I’m always up for originality. Btw, every review I’ve come across has something about changing the future part. I think it depends on how the author has created the world and what the reader believes in – do you believe that you make your own future or is it ruled by destiny, perhaps? Basing on your review I’d say you belong to the first group. I think this is going to be an interesting read for me and I can’t wait to finally read it, yay!

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination

    • Giselle

      LOL @ Hard to please! 😛

      And I guess it depends on the situation for what I believe in. In this case she was able to choose after she saw both futures, which one was best for her. So that makes it so that she CAN modify her future based on her decisions. So one should assume that ALL decisions gives us two alternate universe based on what we decide, so she should be able to change other future decisions and it would in turn modify any of the 2 futures she chooses. That was my logical complaint on this one.

  8. Christina

    It did strike me a bit off that they called her power Divergence, just because of Veronica Roth’s book. Was that weird for you too?

    The romance was super sweet, wasn’t it?

    I’m SO glad you liked this one, because I thought it was AWESOME!

  9. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    Yes, I’m afraid her choice in the end didn’t make much sense for me either. There were so many other ways to handle that situation. And besides, the entire thing focused far too much on the romance, when the other parts had so much more potential. All in all, this was enjoyable, but I thought it could have been better.
    Great review!

  10. Candace

    I don’t think I have really seen any bad reviews of this book. I do have a copy so I need to get busy reading it, your review has me really excited!

  11. Megan R

    This one sounds really interesting and it’s definitely on my TBR list. Although I can see myself having minor problems with why she didn’t change a second choice along the way if she didn’t like either option.

  12. Mel@Thedailyprophecy

    I hear so many good things about this book. I’m so fascinated by this concept. It sounds unique and I can’t wait to see how it works out 🙂 I’m not sure if I would like to have such an ability, so I’m looking forward to see how Addison uses this ‘gift’.

  13. Aman

    I was going back & forth about reading this book, alternate reality theme gets confusing sometime, but I’m so glad that you liked it. Now I’ll add it to my tbr. Thanks 🙂

  14. Renae M.

    Hmm, interesting review, and very thoughtful. I’ve read a ton of positive reviews for this one, but I think yours is one of my favorites, Giselle. I like how you highlighted the difficulty of Addie’s choice and the pointed out some logic issues.

  15. Eileen

    DUDE. I totally agree with the two different worlds it was SO fun and I was like “I LOVE THIS ALREADY OMG” And it wasn’t a cliché at all which is TOTALLY why this was so amazing! So amazing.

    *wanders off contemplating*

    *runs back to finish comment*

    Addie was such a cool character.


    And Duke was seriously creepy I loved him at first and then I was like “AHHHHH!!!! STRANGER DANGER!”

  16. Camille Picott

    Wow, this sounds like a very creative take on the superhero/X-men concept! I have to say I am intrigued! It’s pretty hard to pull of dual timelines, but it sounds like this one is very well done.

  17. Annabelle Marie Veronica

    Oh, I loved this one too, Giselle! And I love the way you formatted your review with the definitions. This was a fun but also heavy read and I was shocked by the ending. Like you said, it’s definitely a unique read and the romance was hot. Wonderful review!

  18. Alexa Y.

    I do like that this book sounds really original. The fact that it gives us an idea of what the results would be should Addie choose one or the other is already pretty interesting, and I like how it sounds really fleshed out and detailed. I’m pretty curious to see what she chose!