February 15, 2013

Review: Pivot Point

Pivot Point By Kasie West
Available now from HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Review copy

Addison Coleman lives in a compound with other people like her who have psychic abilities.  But when her parents decide to divorce, she must choose who to live with.  And when Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future to help guide her way.  Should she leave the compound and live with her father, or stay with her mom and the world she's always known?

If there was one thing I'd change about PIVOT POINT, it would be to see less of the branching paths and more of the outcome.  This isn't a book with many surprises.  But there is quite a bit of pleasure in the journey.

I particularly liked seeing Addie's adjustment to our world in the NORM sections.  (The chapters alternate, PARA and NORM, laying out her two possible lives.)  She's trying to learn to use older technology and tell everyone a fake story about her life and it makes moving more stressful than it already is.  Some bits of the world didn't make much sense - apparently the compound has high-tech bathroom locks.  Look, there's a reason bathroom lock technology hasn't changed in ages.  It's because no one needs an electronic bathroom lock, not unless they're Tony Stark.  But most of the time the worldbuilding was top notch.  If I had a quibble with something, it was addressed later in PIVOT POINT.

Addie's choice is a difficult one.  In one life she is much, much happier - but bad things happen to the people she cares about.  There is a boy in each life.  There is Trevor, who is just a normal guy, and Duke, who is the head jock and someone Addie never thought she'd fall for.  There's only one best friend, Laila, because best friends are irreplaceable.  Laila's not always the best friend, but she has her own home issues.  Her father is a drug addict - trying to control his telepathy - and her mom's a nonentity.  Plus, his dealer keeps coming around and being a total creeper.

The thing I loved most about the contrast between Addie's lives is how each one revealed not only more about what was happening in the background of the other timeline, but about how restrictive life is in the compound.  In both, Addie comes to question things she took for granted, like paras being better than norms and that authority figures would always have her best interests in mind.  And I liked that there was a point to the government being shady and that it had more to do with Addie's life than she thought.

PIVOT POINT is a terrific debut and a great choice for readers who like a little science fiction in their fantasy or a little contemporary in their dystopia.  It drags a touch in the middle, but it's worth it for the genuinely terrifying climax.  I had to keep telling myself that Addie couldn't actually get hurt in a psychic vision.  Unfortunately, she can get hurt after she makes her choice.

Now go make your choice to read this book.


  1. I'm definitely planning to read this book-your review has me so excited to check it out!

    I especially love this line: "There's only one best friend, Laila, because best friends are irreplaceable."

    1. Thanks!

      Yeah, it's hard to say things without spoiling, but Laila definitely has her own very dramatic story going on, which causes difficulties in the friendship, but a bond like Addie and Laila's is tough to break.

  2. Okay, I'm convinced. This one sounds great, and I love that it's spec fic lite (seems to be a favorite of mine...). The cover turned me off initially - I didn't even read the synopsis when I first saw it. You review completely changed my mind. Thanks!

    1. The cover is pretty generic. Glad my review helped!


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