Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Review: Split Second by Kasie West

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Review: Split Second by Kasie WestSplit Second by Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point #2
Published by HarperTeen on February 11th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, YA
Buy on Amazon

Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

PIVOT POINT was a fast favourite of mine from last year so when SPLIT SECOND came out I was quick to run out and get it and make the time to read it. Coming out of it I am happy with the story but I I feel it was missing some elements of a successful sequel. After reading through the reviews of this I see that I may be the only one who had this issue, but I haven’t come across this so strongly before so I feel the need to point it out.

So my issue is this: I was completely lost as to almost all of the references to the first novel. I have a terrible memory and I know this but I can usually carry on pretty well with a brief reference to events from the first novel. In SPLIT SECOND the characters would mention something that happened in the previous novel and I was just so lost! PIVOT POINT had a lot of twists and turns and little plot points that had to be remembered to get why Addie chose the life that she did and what she went through to come to that decision and I don’t feel like SPLIT SECOND refreshed any of that in my mind. I actually ended up going to some blog that recaps novels for people (who knew this existed?) and I really didn’t like that I had to do that. I understand that the author can’t just rehash the first novel because it would be boring but there is generally a conversation, or a character reading something that refreshes everything for the reader.

Now that that is out of the way, here’s what made the novel work for me. I really liked Addie and Laila, the latter more-so than the former. Laila is a spitfire, she is snarky and not afraid to do some dirty things with her power to get her way or to help out her friends. We get to see quite a bit of her home life here as she struggles with dealing with her suppressant addicted father and tries to help out her younger brother, Eli, find out what his ability is. I liked seeing her not only fighting to help out Addie, but also putting her neck out for her brother and the repercussions of that. Addie was great too, but I felt that her character played everything more safely than Laila. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding her family out in the norm world here and she has to weed through so much stuff to get to the truth of it all. She’s thrown curveballs about the life & death of her grandfather which really tests the trust between her father and herself. Through it all I liked that she was constantly digging to find her own truths instead of just eating up everything that she was fed from the people around her.

The true gem of the novel here is the romances. Both Laila and Addie build up these wonderful romances that slowly grow until the reader is just dying for it all to culminate into a moment of heated passion. Connor, Laila’s love interest, was my favourite. He had his own mysteries surrounding him and he was just as snarky to Laila as she was to him. I liked the balance between them and how once they stopped fighting their feelings they were so perfect for one another. Addie and Trevor were fantastic as well. Their romance was interesting because Addie comes into it all knowing so much more than Trevor and they have to work to a time when they are finally on the same page.

The novel is filled with action sequences that highlight the abilities of the characters and keep the plot moving forward at a break neck pace. The way the abilities grow and take the reader by surprise is really great. I think I would have been able to get much more lost in the novel if I didn’t feel so darn lost through the majority of it. As I said before, that complaint is probably just me, but I have never found myself so oblivious to the previous book before. There is nothing wrong with a little refresher for the reader when we have to wait upwards of a year to read succeeding books. All in all this was a very fun read and a nice wrap up to this duology.


3.5 Hot Espressos

28 Responses to “Review: Split Second by Kasie West”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I’m glad you enjoyed this overall, Jenni. I liked Laila a little more than Addie too. You are the only other person I know who shared that feeling. I also adored Connor too. It’s a shame you didn’t remember events from the previous books, but that’s happened to me before too, so that’s understandable.
    Lovely review, Jenni.

  2. Pili

    I really loved Pivot Point and this one and I didn’t have any issues with knowing what had happened with the previous book because I binge read them both back to back!

    I loved how we get both Addie and Laila POVs and I felt it added so much to the book!

    Great review, Jenni!

  3. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Actually, you probably have a pretty decent memory. The problem is that we read too much. I have the hardest time with some second/third books in a series sometimes. Thank goodness for those wonderful souls who write series/book recaps that trigger those memories! I haven’t yet read the first in this book but, now that both are out, might binge them.

    • Jenni

      This is very true, when you read as many books as we do it’s easy to not remember what was from what and stuff. I had no idea that recap blogs existed until reading this book. Will definitely be using them more often in the future!

  4. Nadia @ Nadia Reads

    This not remembering exactly what had happened in the previous books happens to me quite often actually… My memory sucks! Very excited to read this, though! I loved Pivot Point!

    • Jenni

      I hope you fair better with remembering Pivot Point better than I did, Nadia. It’s still a fun book no matter what though!

  5. Bethzaida (bookittyblog)

    I have a horrible memory too! That’s why I try to start series when all the books are out. But it doesn’t work that well always. This series sounds very interesting, though. Maybe I won’t be able to wait for all the books to come out! 🙂

  6. Lisa (Lost in Literature)

    Yay Jenni! I’m glad you enjoyed it. To me, Kasie West can do no wrong. 🙂 Though I do know what you mean about the confusion as far as how things were left in Pivot Point. I have a HORRIBLE memory myself, so I went to http://recaptains.blogspot.com/ myself to read up on what had happened in Pivot Point. I love this website and visit it often when starting a second book in a series, so to me, this is just normal practice. But I can understand why that was bothersome to you. Overall, I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

    • Jenni

      Yes! This is the site that I ended up going to as well and it really helped. Too bad I didn’t know about it until I was 3/4 done with the book!

  7. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    I love these books! I think they are so brilliant and unique. But I did read these back to back so I didn’t have the same problem you did. I didn’t think I was going to like Laila but I ended up loving her and her story. I wish we had one more book because I still have questions about The Compound.
    I love Kasie West!

    • Jenni

      Happy that you didn’t have trouble with this one like I did, Nereyda. Also, yay for Laila, her story was so much fun. I have questions about it too, so many seeds about a corrupt system were planted and I wanted to explore that more.

  8. ShootingStarsMag

    Thanks for the review. I haven’t read the first book, but I’m glad the sequel wasn’t too bad. I have a difficult time remembering things from previous books in a series too, so I hate that there wasn’t much of a recap to help readers out.

  9. kimbacaffeinate

    I have book one and think this is a series I will read back-to back since I too sometimes need a little refresher. I read 307 books last year..and need those references or recaps on some books, others like Meyers I just slide back in.

  10. Faye @ The Social Potato

    Once more, Kasie West has proven herself to be a really excellent storyteller! I know, I know, I’ve yet to read any of her works, but i’m going to change that when I get to her “On the Fence” book, which I fortunately got as an ARC. Haha! I DNFed Pivot Point (I already forgot the reason why, probably something very shallow) but I think I’ll give it another go since so many love it AND the sequel (as you’ve just shown here!). Yup, Faye, time to stop slacking!

    Great review, Jenni 🙂

  11. Maya

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Pivot Point and it’s certainly got a great premise, but it’s a shame the second book didn’t quite live up to that. It’s always a disappointment when “Second Book Syndrome” strikes! Thanks for the review, Jenni 🙂

  12. Abbe Hinder

    I just bought Pivot Point and I’ve heard nothing but great news about it! I’m glad this one was is a really good one too although you didn’t get much of a recap on the first. Great review!

  13. Lauren

    Lovely review Jenni! I am worried because it seems like a lot of people had trouble getting back into the story, so I was contemplating a re-read, and now I’m sure I at least want to go back and read a few chapters of PP before tackling this. I’m glad you still enjoyed it overall, even if it wasn’t a perfect sequel.

  14. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    Yay I’m glad you liked this one! I agree, it was so hard to get my bearings at first of Split Second, but after I found that I liked it a lot more than I expected from the beginning. I agree, Laila is the snarkiest, most hilarious character I’ve ever read and I loved the romance between her and Connor. Also the fact that Kasie managed to almost completely rebuild the relationship between Addie and Trevor was so great! Fantastic review, Jenni! <33

  15. Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction

    I really enjoyed Pivot Point but like you, I can’t remember a lot about it. I figured I’d reread and then read this one. Of course, I don’t know when I’ll have time for a reread. I’ve seen very positive reviews for this one and I’m glad that overall you enjoyed it.

  16. Alexa

    I agree with you that the book was a little weird because of those mentions of things from the first book. Unless you had just finished reading Pivot Point before starting this it was easy to be a little lost. I felt I was a little lost at times myself. Plus while I like dual narratives I felt this one was thrown in when the first book was about Addie. I don’t really like narratives just thrown in when the character wasn’t a narrator in the first book.

    Thanks for the great review!