Friday, June 28, 2013

Pivot Point (Book Review)

Friday, June 28, 2013 10:31 AM with 21 comments

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)

Pivot Point

Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 343
Release Date: February 12, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.


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I  featured this book on my Top Ten Tuesday post of favorite books so far this year. I wrote this review before I started this blog, but decided to feature it today. (1. Because even though I have a review to write, I'm too lazy to do it and 2. because Kasie West's new book, The Distance Between Us, comes out Tuesday and I can't wait to get my hands on it. In fact, I already plan to snag it on my way out of town for my mini-vacation.

MY THOUGHTS:

It felt like the author of Pivot Point, Kasie West, got herself a giant mixing bowl and stirred in those old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, the movie Sliding Doors, the X-Men, the TV show Heroes, and just about any YA romance ever and stirred. Honestly, though, it totally works. I found Pivot Point engrossing and fast-paced and while it had some issues, I had a pretty good time reading it.

The novel follows Addison (Addie), a teenage Searcher living in the top-secret compound of mentally advanced people (I can't remember if they have a special name). All of the people who live in the compound have mental abilities. Some examples include Addie's mom who is a Persuader (she can, you know, persuade people to do stuff), her dad who is a Human Lie Detector, and her best friend who can erase memories. Others can control moods and manipulate mass. Addie falls under the category of a Clairvoyant, but her ability only works for her. What she can do is "search" two possible futures, if a question is proposed, allowing her to pick the best one. This ability is also sometimes referred to as Divergent, which was, I don't know, kind of weird. The novel opens with her finding out that her parents are getting divorced and they are giving her a choice, stay in the compound with her mom or move away from the compound into Normville with her father. The bulk of the novel is split into the two possible futures.

Staying at the compound would mean she wouldn't have to leave her best friend, Leila, behind. This possible future also contains the cute, popular quarterback who is suddenly showing interest in her. Addie is somewhat confused when Duke starts paying attention to her. He's the star of the school and has never paid any attention to her until now. While he seems genuine, I couldn't help but be skeptical about his intentions, as well, and wondered if he could really be trustworthy.

Moving away would allow her freedom from the compound she doesn't think is always doing the right thing (but this isn't the Hunger Games or any of those other rage against the machine books). This future also brings the cute, funny, former quarterback at the "normal" high school. Trevor is totally swoon-worthy and I couldn't help but root for this outcome, even if it meant life away from the compound, Leila, and Duke. 

Definitely one of my favorite aspects of the book was learning about the different powers of the compound's inhabitants. I've always been a huge fan of anything dealing with superpowers and have wasted many an hour contemplating which one I'd like best (and have still never really decided. Definitely not mind reading, but maybe being able to be invisible, maybe the ability to fly, or maybe something x-men style like being able to control metal). Regardless, I loved that aspect of the book and definitely felt bad for Addie that her mother can persuade and her father can tell when she's lying! How bad would that have sucked as a teen? I'm really excited for the next book and hope that it explores what everyone can do more thoroughly. 

Overall, I did enjoy Pivot Point. I really liked how the two possible futures were separate, but how both had common elements that tied them together--showing how some things are destined to happen no matter what choices are made. Both had the same character in danger, both had the scary bad guy, and both have a football controversy. While the story line isn't completely unique (with the obvious influences already stated), it was unique enough to be enjoyable. I liked Addie, her friends and love interest(s) (although it wasn't a true triangle--which is awesome). The story was fast-paced, the ending wasn't completely predictable, and I was invested to see which future she chose.

*I received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*

21 comments:

  1. I love that comparison you make at the beginning of the review...it was a big ole mash-up, wasn't it? But in a good way. I loved this book, but then again, I'm a big fan of parallel worlds and timelines, so this was right up my alley. Glad you enjoyed it. I can't wait to pick up her new book on Tuesday. It's totally different, but I like the author's writing style, so I'm sure it totally works. :)

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    1. I'm a huge fan of parallel worlds, too. I really did enjoy this one. I cannot freaking wait to pick up her new book. I'm excited to see what she does with straight contemporary. I was checking Edelweiss obsessively hoping that it would pop up there (since that is where I snagged this one), but no such luck. Oh, well. Tuesday's right around the corner. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I need to read this one! Great review girly!

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    1. Thanks! It's really fun. I think you'd like it.

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  3. At the start of your review when you listed all those things the story seemed like, I was scared that it would end up being messy or something like that. I'm glad to hear that it wasn't and now I'm officially interested in getting to read this book! :) I love reading about characters with some kind of power so this ought to be right up my alley.

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    1. If you love books about superpowers, I really think you'd enjoy this one, Ana. You should definitely check it out. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Great review! As I started reading I was afraid you didn't like it, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I really liked this one. I agree that calling the skill "divergent" is a weird choice. I'm really excited to see what happens in the next book.

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    1. Thanks, Maggie! Calling it divergent was just odd, especially since I didn't think it necessarily fit. I cannot wait for the next book. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I've been wanting to read this book for a while, but the first paragraph of your review made me NEED to read this and the rest of the made me want it even more!

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    1. I really enjoyed it. I hope you like it once you pick it up. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I have this book and am mad I have yet to read it. I am hoping I didnt give it away to a friend! I know I would enjoy it but I was a bit leery because a lot of similar style books came out around that time and a lot of them were not good.
    BUT she has my last name so the book cant be that bad..lolz..
    I love stories where the characters have diff types of powers. Xmen type stories have always been my fave :)

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    1. I love the X-Men and am fascinated by the different types of powers that the series portrays. I really enjoyed this one. I hope you're able to find your copy. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Loved this one! Definitely can't wait for Split Second. I adored the way West ended it! Fantastic review :)

    -Taylor @ Reading is the Thing

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    1. I know! I'm so excited for the second book. The ending was very different from the way I imagined it would end. Thanks, Taylor!

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  8. This sounds so good. I really want to read this. I love these kinda of stories.
    Great review!

    DaydreamerN

    Http://www.daydreamerN.blogspot.com

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    1. It really is a fun book that I think most people would enjoy. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Hi, Natalie!

    I'm sorry I didn't comment back on your WOW, but I have to be honest...that book just isn't my cup of tea... So, I'm commenting here instead. Hope that's okay with you.

    I LOVE your review of this book!! You've given your readers a very nice overview of the book, with hardly any spoilers at all. Great job! This is definitely the type of read I enjoy -- YA with paranormal elements! And this plot just sounds completely fascinating! As you have pointed out, it's a mix of different things, but the author has obviously made it all work.

    Thanks for the AWESOME review!!
    :)

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    1. Thanks, Maria! And of course it's ok. Not everybody is going to be interested in the same books. The plot of this is fascinating. I'd definitely recommend. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  10. P.S. And thanks for commenting on my WOW!! :)

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  11. I recently read another book by the the author and loved it, so this is definitely in my tbr. I thought it was a normal contemporary with special characters, but knowing that there is a whole facility of extra-ordinary people present, I'm even more excited to read this. Great review, Natalie!

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    1. Did you read The Distance Between Us? I'm seriously buying that tomorrow on my way out of town. I can't wait. This one is really good. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by!

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!