Name: Pivot Point
Author: Kasie West
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
A girl named Addison lives in this Compound where people who have mind powers live. Hers is that when given a choice, she can tell her future with both choices and then choose the one she feels is better.
Her parents decide to get a divorce so she has to choose who she wants to stay with. Her mother wants to stay in the Compound, the PARA world but her father wanted to leave and go to the NORM world. She uses her ability to see both futures – in one, the school’s quarterback pines for her attention and in the other, the school’s ex quarterback becomes her best friend. Other events ensue which makes her realise both futures are quite terrible. She just needs to pick the one that’s less terrible.
Which does she choose?
I read this book because the superpowers people have reminded me of X-Men and I really like X-Men. I wasn’t disappointed.
Most of the book is about Addie doing a Search of her future. Each chapter has a word at the beginning where PARA or NORM is capitalised to that readers can keep track of which alternate future she’s looking into.
Since the characters have superpowers in this book, I thought there’d be an evil antagonist who wants to take away their powers but that wasn’t the case. Addie lived fairly normal lives in both futures. It’s basically a normal teenager’s book. She goes to high school, has boyfriends, goes to parties. One very refreshing thing about this book is the lack of a love triangle. She likes boys in both books but the future she chooses is not based solely on them. They don’t have to “fight for her” or do anything equally unnecessarily dramatic!
The only problem I had with Addison was that she was so rude and unfair to her mother in both futures. She takes out all of her anger about the divorce on her. In her Para future, she acts rebellious thinking her mother would let her act a little mental out of guilt over the divorce. In her Norm future, she refuses to talk to her. I thought she was behaving very petulant.
The ending of the book was a bit messy. I had to read it twice to understand what exactly was going on. There’s a character named Poison whose exact purpose in this book I do not comprehend but he helps in the end.
The characters in the Para World are a bit strange. I didn’t necessarily like them much apart from maybe Addison’s best friend, Laila but I loved the characters in the Normal world. They were all quirky and fun and made Addison feel very accepted very quickly. I liked the chapters in the normal world far better than those in the Para World.
One thing I loved about this alternate futures in alternate chapters style was that there are a lot of scenes which happen where people from worlds meet and it’s so interesting to see how both scenes are completely different in both futures. For example, there’s a part where Addison goes for a football match where her Normal school is playing her Para school. In one reality, she supports her Para school and in the other, she does everything to help her friends at Norm school.
For some reason, we aren’t given a back story on how or why these specific few people got powers and why they live away from the Normal world when they can probably help them a lot. This bothered me a little bit but knowing wouldn’t have made much of a difference to the plot so I don’t think it matters much.
I loved the writing of this book. It’s very easily understood, there’s no purple prose. The dialogue is very believable for a high school story. I’ve been reading a lot of Kasie West recently and I’m really enjoying her writing. If you like young adult contemporary, you should definitely check her books out.
If you’re looking for an epic adventure of people with mind powers, watch X-Men but if you want to read a regular high school story with a slight twist – read this! It’s a very quick read, exactly what I was looking for to get me out of my reading slump. You’ll be flying through it!
There’s a sequel to Pivot Point titled Split Second. I’m reading that right now and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.