YA Review: PIVOT POINT by Kasie West

I know I said I wouldn’t have a review for a few weeks because I was catching up on all the adult books I received for Christmas, but then I went over to my parents’ house for New Year’s Day without one of said books and they decided to watch “Dumbo” with the kids. It’s not one of my favorites, so I went to browse my library e-book wish list and found PIVOT POINT by Kasie West was available to check out immediately. Thank goodness for smart phones! Anyway, I was slightly distracted reading the first few chapters with the flying elephant in the background, but when I came back to it a few days later after finishing the other book I was reading, I could not put it down until I got to the end. So I was up a little late that night :). And then the next morning I found out there was a sequel, so I read that, too. Anyway, here’s the description for the first book.

Pivot Point by Kasie WestAddison 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.

And here are the five things I loved best:

1. The premise – It’s like the movie “Sliding Doors.” Ok, maybe that wasn’t a huge movie (my husband had no idea what it was when I mentioned it), but I loved it. One choice sends you on two completely different paths. Granted, choosing which world to live in is a big choice. It adds a great layer to the premise.

2. The alternating viewpoints – I loved the way the storyline alternated between the two choices and managed to show how some plot points continued along the same path regardless of Addie’s choice. So even if each alternating chapter wasn’t at exactly the same point, there were markers where you’d go, “Oh, that’s where we are.” I also enjoyed the way each chapter began with a play on “Para” or “Norm” to ground the reader in which POV it was. Here are a couple of examples:

PARA-A-digm: n. something that serves as a pattern or model

NOR-Mal: n. conforming to the standard

3. The romance – I’m not giving anything away when I say there are two romances going on. You can tell that from the description above. And I loved the way one of these in particular developed. I have a real weakness for books where there’s a completely heartbreaking choice to make, and this book totally delivers on that point. I really have to stop now because otherwise I will give something away.

4. The twists – There are twists the reader doesn’t see coming, and there are twists the reader anticipates and wishes she could warn the character about. I’d say the twists in this book fall into the latter category, but that may be because I’m a writer and am looking for them. I didn’t anticipate everything that was coming, but I had a gut feeling, and I was already bracing for that heartbreaking choice before Addie had to make it. I admire the way Ms. West planted these twists in the alternating timelines. So well done!

5. The ending – So, I finished this book and was satisfied with the ending, even though I wanted more. That’s not an easy feat. But imagine my joy when I discovered there was a sequel! I immediately checked that one out from the library, too. And it was just as good, but I can’t tell you anything about it because it would spoil this first book. I’ll just say most of my favorite things about this book would apply to SPLIT SECOND as well, including a great ending :).

Have you read PIVOT POINT and SPLIT SECOND? What did you think? I’ll allow spoilers in the comments, so don’t look if you haven’t read them yet!

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