Pivot Point by Kasie West [book review]

Pivot Point coverPivot Point by Kasie West
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon
Release Date: February 12th 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series:  Pivot Point #1

Goodreads description: 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.

I bought Pivot Point when it was on sale for $1.99 on Kindle. I kept hearing so many great things about it that I thought I should check it out!

Addie lives in a compound where everyone has paranormal abilities. Abilities such as Clairvoyance (close to what Addie has), Persuasion (her mom has this ability), and Telekinesis (a guy at school). Addie’s actual ability is a rare one called Divergence (that it was called this made sense but it also annoyed me slightly) where she can see what will happen with every possible future, if she chooses to Search it. If she comes to a choice, she can Search both options for possible outcomes. Addie’s parents are splitting up and her dad is moving off the compound which means she has to decide if she wants to stay with her mom or move with her dad and the only thing to do, instead of just making a decision, is to Search each option for possible outcomes.

I liked Addie, but she also annoyed me and I had to roll my eyes at her a bit. It’s lovely that she would rather read than party and her friend Leila has to try to pull her out of her shell. That’s pretty normal, people like to read. But Addie is also very set in her views about certain things and how people act, and I didn’t always think she was being very fair. She was also really extreme about her parents and she was banking on her reaction as a moody teenager and manipulating them in ways that were unfair. It was even a somewhat believable move for a whiny teenager, but I found it annoying. Her friendship with Leila is nice, but Leila could be extreme and reckless. Leila and Addie did have some funny conversations such as the following:

“So let me get this straight. If I didn’t have an ability, you wouldn’t like me?”
I sigh. “Of course I’d like you. But that’s because you’re outspoken, bossy, and don’t care what anyone else thinks.”
“You just made me sound like a total witch.”
“I know, but let’s not get sidetracked. This is my meltdown.”

The idea for the abilities and Addie’s Searching is really interesting, but the execution was frustrating. In the Searches, there were more decisions that would cause everything to go a different way. I mean, there are so many decisions in every day so why would every decision after one decision be exactly the same and lead to the exact same results? Plus some decisions have more than two choices! Just because she chose one or the other doesn’t mean the exact same things would happen, or it shouldn’t mean that. The book kind of discusses the limitations of her ability but I do feel like it was kind of ignored in general. Am I being too critical and nerdy about this? Maybe I am, but it bugged me!

The story alternates between the Search for Addie that stays and Addie that leaves. Some things are really interesting, what similarities happen and what ends up being really different. There’s a larger threat lurking in the back in both options and watching it play out in both options is interesting, but not perfect. I feel like a lot of the action at the end is contrived to force Addie’s decision and make it more difficult. I know a story needs conflict, but some of it was just weird and didn’t seem to fit the story.

After Searching both options, Addie has to make a decision, and I hated the decision. Maybe I didn’t actually hate the decision itself, but how it was handled. I thought the ending of the book was weak and disappointing. I wanted more. I wanted something proactive. I think the limitations of her ability were just sad and make the story about the ability almost pointless. There are just so many possibilities out there, and I think the science fiction/paranormal aspect of the book just fails to look at the scope of it all. 

2.5 stars

This book wasn’t bad, it was even enjoyable. It had nice romantic scenes and some funny moments that I enjoyed. I was a little letdown by the execution and Addie’s ability and attitude. I’m not sure if I want to read the next book, Split Second, but I’m interested in reading West’s contemporary, The Distance Between Us. It might not have been for me, but I know a lot of people did so if you think it sounds like something you would enjoy, I definitely think you should read it and not let my picky ways sway you! I would recommend Pivot Point if you enjoy mental abilities, indecision, two love interests but not exactly a triangle!

Check out Kasie West‘s website and twitter!