Author: Kasie West
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.
Pivot Point is set in a world where there are the normal people and the psychologically-advanced people, who live separately from the Norms. They have their own community, living behind a “mountain”. “Mountain” because they project it as a mountain so the normals will see it as a mountain but they actually live behind this illusion. Kids develop and discover their mind abilities at a certain age, some earlier than others. There are those capable of telekinesis, of changing moods, erasing memories, mass manipulation, detecting lies from truth, persuasion, searching their future, name it. Addie has the power of Divergence and don’t roll your eyes yet, it means that given a fork or a choice to be made, she can see into her future in both choices. Makes living life so much easier. Yes, I did find the term ‘Divergence’ disconcerting, because I immediately related it to Divergent. But that’s about it because Pivot Point is nothing like Divergent.
Addie’s parents decide to divorce, with her dad going outside to live a life with the Norms. What’s the best choice? Easy peasy, just look into each choice and see what she likes best. Boy, it’s never easy, especially if you’re a YA heroine.
Addie becomes entangled in a crime and discovers something fishy going on in Lincoln High’s football team. That’s aside from choosing who she wants to be with. Her overbearing mom or her cool dad? The high school quarterback Duke or the new, cute and sensitive norm Trevor? In the end, it all boils down to what’s the lesser evil and who’s more important in her life.
The novel was narrated by Addie, but we get two POVs. One story is the one where she stayed in the Compound with her mom and the other one is where she joined her dad to live with the Norms. We see these two paths play out simultaneously and Kasie West has crafted a very nifty way to tell us which is which. At the start of every chapter, the alternate future we’re about to read is marked by a word and it’s definition, and that word has either “NORM” or “PARA” in it. Brilliant, brilliant.
The characters were all likable, oh gosh, dare I say it, lovable. Addie’s your normal girl, except for the part that she’s pretty and is being courted by the hottest guy in school. She loves reading, which I think is enough to win us over YA readers. Laila, oh Laila. Laila might be a stereotype, the sassy best friend but she’s just so damn good at that. She also makes for winning dialogue and I just can see my friends in her combined. Don’t we have awesome friends? That’s Laila in a nutshell. However, she also carries her burdens and is not just there to support and serve as Addie’s one-woman posse. I appreciate that so much, that the bestfriend gets a story too, instead of just being a one-dimensional stock character on the side. Moreover, I was never really into quarterbacks and I’m an underdog-shipper as well, so right from the get-go, I was Team Trevor. I won’t start with how swoonworthy Trevor is because I might not stop but just know that I’m kinda thinking of naming my future hypothetical son Trevor. Yeap, you read that right.
The writing was wonderful, easy to understand and totally teenspeak. In not so many words, Kasie has made us feel the world of Pivot Point. Granted, it isn’t much different from ours today but Kasie West did not wasted time in just plain describing it. There was action happening and you can all imbibe the details of their world while having something meaty to read. I also had a blast reading how DVDs are so un-techsavvy and how the lack of voice recognition gadgets and equipment made life so hard for the paras. Reading about them being locked inside the bathroom, just because they don’t understand how the doorknob works was epic. I had laughing fits from that.
Having two alternate futures play out was so rewarding as we get two stories in one novel. Don’t you ever think about how will the story go if only the heroine spent enough time with the other guy? In here, you can. We spend half the time getting to know Duke and half getting to know Trevor. Equal playing field in a love triangle? My favorite. When the plot was thickening, there was a part where I got confused because I was reading too fast and my brain couldn’t quite catch up. The intricacy of the plot, of the events, it was so great. It was convoluted enough without leaving you THAT confused and the reveal was surprisingly surprising. You’d be thinking just one thing and Kasie smacks you wrong. Moreover, the ending. Gah, that ending, I know it was perfect, especially for the sequel, but all those feels, my heart. Kasie West, you left me writhing in pain for the next installment.
With a very likeable main character and her smartass and just plain awesome bestfriend plus a really cute and sensitive guy, this book’s already awesome. But then add mind powers – telekinesis, clairvoyance, name it – and it just becomes more than awesome, more than fantastic. Moreover, it feels like there are two stories in one with the two paths Addie sees and tells us. I recommend this to all YA lovers, especially those fond of “What if?”. Kasie West, if this is just your debut novel, I can’t wait to see you take your writing to higher heights. Congratulations on a wonderful debut novel!
Dream Movie Cast
Well, you know me guys. I really love dream movie casts. So here’s Kasie West’s for Pivot Point. Enjoy!
A lot of people ask me what my “dream cast” for my book would be or who I pictured as my characters while I was writing Pivot Point. And honestly, I’ve never pictured anyone that exists. I have an image in my head and no actors/actresses quite fit what I have pictured. But, I will give you some that I think would work nicely or come close. I’d love to see who others pictured as well as they were reading.
I think Meaghan has a sweet look to her. I picture Addie as your girl next door. A little naive and yet clever and funny. She is the kind of friend we all want: loyal, good-hearted, and thoughtful.
Shay is gorgeous. I love her confidence. She would make a good Laila who is definitely beautiful and knows it. Laila is the firecracker of Pivot Point. You never know what she’s going to say or do.
There are a couple different people I can picture as Duke. He’s charismatic and very attractive. He flashes his smile and people melt. So the two I think of that can do that for me and fit his characteristics are:
Last, but certainly not least, is Trevor. He’s hard for me because nobody I find quite looks like how I picture Trevor. He’s equal parts boy next door and cowboy and yummy. So who is that? I don’t know. But let me tell you who’ve I been enjoying looking at lately and wouldn’t cry if he were to play Trevor:
And there it is. My dream cast (or close enough) for today. It wasn’t too much work at all to have to google ‘hot young actors’. It’s quite a fun exercise. Thanks for having me, Dianne!!
And thank you so much too, Kasie! I love love your picks! I definitely approve of them, hee. I personally prefer Garrett Hedlund over Chord Overstreet as Duke.
So if you saw my previous StS, you know that I got a hardback of Pivot Point to give away. Thank you so much, Sarah of HarperCollins, for sponsoring this giveaway! I wanted the giveaway to be international but shipping fees T_T. I think the shipping fees will far exceed the price of the book so I decided to just use The Book Depository, since I’ll be paying either way. So yes, this giveaway is OPEN TO WHEREVER THE BOOK DEPOSITORY SHIPS. Yey! You must be at least 13 years old and you have until May 6 to join. If the winner is from the Philippines, I’ll just give the copy I have. But if not, then I now have a copy of my beloved Pivot Point. Eeep! Good luck!