Author: Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point, book #1
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Source: from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
We've all wondered what might have been, where life might have taken us if we'd done things just a little differently. I know I have. But Addison Coleman has a gift: she is divergent, which means she has the ability to view a choice by looking into the future for a specified period of time and determining which path will leave her with the least regrets once it's run its course. Her ability is often confused with clairvoyance by her peers, but either way, it's a superpower I wouldn't mind having.
When I started Pivot Point, I was expecting more of a science fiction story, mostly because of the paranormal elements and superpowers, but in truth, once Addie uses her power and the two paths diverge, it became more of a contemporary story, not that I'm complaining. Each chapter is split between her time in the Compound (PARA) and her time in the Normal world (NORM). At times, the two paths converged, and I liked the sense that no matter which choice(s) you make, some things are meant to be. Maybe it's not set in stone how they come about, but one way or another, they are going to occur.
Besides the diverging path plotline, there was an underlying murder mystery plot that I found equally intriguing. Even more so was how it involved Addie and those closest to her and it ended up intermingling with each of the separate lives Addie was living. And even better was the fact that I thought I'd put all the pieces together, that I knew who the culprit was and how they were doing it, only to be completely blind-sided by several aspects of the story at the conclusion. Bravo to all these new YA reads that are capable of fully throwing me off the trail. I'm an avid reader and that's admittedly a hard feat for a novel/author to accomplish. So, whether the author really is that tricksy or I'm simply so immersed in the story that I'm not watching as closely for clues, the author deserves a big ole pat on the back.
I immediately connected with the characters, as well, even the ones I didn't like so much, because they all felt authentic and true to self. Each of Addie's relationships -- be it with her parents, her best friend, or the potential love interests -- was realistic and full of the emotions and drama that befit a confused teenage girl. Not once did I question the authenticity of Addie's narration or whether she was manipulating Searches for the best possible outcome. It was clear that she used her gift with extreme caution, unlike many of her fellow paranormals.
One aspect I would have liked to see expanded was the setting, both in the Compound and in the Normal world, but that's simply because the book is set in Texas, specifically Dallas in the Normal world, and I love novels set where I live. But the only thing that really came about because of the setting was the stereotypical obsession with football. I get it. Anyone who's seen Friday Night Lights assumes all Texans are inclined toward a preoccupation with the sport. Whatever. It's fine...I just think that more could have been done with the setting and the abilities, but this is totally on a personal level and should no way impact your reading enjoyment because the passion for football does play an important role in both of Addie's paths. I'm just spittin' out my two cents here.
Overall, I really enjoyed Pivot Point. I've never seen that movie Sliding Doors, though I've heard that's the best comparison to make for this book. Either way, I loved the duality of this book, the two possible outcomes. I mean, how do you choose if both options seem right...or if neither of them do? That's a difficult question that inevitably leads me to believe that it's better that I can't see the outcome of my decisions until it's too late. Be steadfast in your choices and have no regrets, right? At any rate, I liked the ending to this book immensely and am so excited to see that this is only the first book in a series. I can't wait to see what other paths Addie's decisions might lead her down.
“When I read, I feel emotion all on my own. Emotion no living person is making me feel.”