on 15 September 2015
In a world where a hidden paranormal compound exists within a society exactly like ours, inhabitants use advanced technology as part of their daily life to enhance their mind powers they were born with. Addie is a Searcher - when given a choice, she can 'search' the two paths and be shown each alternate future before making a decision. When Addie's parents tell her they're getting a divorce and she must decide whether she would like to stay with her mother inside the compound or go out into the "norm" world with her father and live without her paranormal powers. Carrying out the longest search she has ever done, Addie views the alternate realities of living with each parent over six weeks.
With alternating chapters switching between the mother-decision and the father-decision, the storylines became slightly harder to distinguish as the book went on. Each story involved the same characters, but in a different way and at times, I lost which future I was reading about and it took a lot of concentration to think through so I could follow each plot. The way the two stories weaved together was interesting and towards the end, I could see how things would make sense in either future. I didn't particularly feel a connection to any of the characters, although I did enjoy reading the story. I felt as though the story focused on the events and less on the characters themselves. By the end, I didn't really feel like I knew Addie, or anybody else in the story. The romantic aspects are quite heavy in both futures, but again I just didn't feel connected to the characters or the romantic interest aspect.
One of the main ways I give star-ratings on my reviews is by how much I enjoyed reading the book, then any comments within my review expand on my actual thoughts. I settled on four stars for this book as it kept me entertained, had twists and turns that I wasn't expecting and was generally an enjoyable read. Pivot Point felt like more of a contemporary with a slight difference in that the characters could use certain mind tricks, it didn't feel like a typical paranormal story so if you're looking at getting into the genre but don't want to start with anything too heavy, I would highly recommend this book.
I had heard SO MANY amazing things about Pivot Point and I’d read a lot about it so I was very excited to finally be able to sit down and read it.
Addison Coleman lives in the compound, where everyone can use and train their abilities to their full potential. Addie has a special gift, she’s a Searcher, and she can look into the future and see both outcomes. So when her parents announce that they are splitting up and want Addie to decide who she wants to live with, a search seems like the way to decide. In one future Addie stays with her mum in the Compound where she is pursued by the most popular guy at school, and in the other Addie leaves the Compound with her dad and goes to school with the normal people where she meets a cute but quiet artist. But when things get serious and life takes a darker turn, which future will she decide, and who is she willing to live without?
Words cannot describe how much I LOVE this book. I could literally GUSH about this book for hours. It is so beautifully written and I read the entire book in one sitting because I was just so hooked reading about Addie and her life around her.
Each chapter alternates between her searches, so one chapter is her life if she lived with her Mum in the Compound and the other is her life outside in the normal world with her dad. It was SO fascinating and truly GRIPPING to read about the differences one choice would make, as well as the knock on-effects that this choice would have on those around her. What I especially loved is how the two worlds linked with each other and so at times you could read the same scene but from different viewpoints.
The different abilities were so interesting to read about. I enjoyed the idea of the Compound and seeing how it was SUCH a contrast with the normal world. The classes at school for example were all about developing special skills, and I liked that the characters in the Compound had varied skills that I could read about. There are of course similarities I liked such as the school football team and house parties, and I liked the outside world as it was familiar to me.
Addie was a fantastic character, I liked her straight away – her personality is so warm and I especially loved that she is a bookworm. I thoroughly enjoyed her journey in both outcomes and by the end she felt like a best friend to me. I really liked her best friend Laila, I liked her feisty spirit and I never knew what would happen next when she was around!
For a long time I didn’t know which life I preferred. I originally LOVED Addie’s life in the Compound with her friend Laila and with Duke. But then as I read more about Addie’s life outside the Compound and the friends she had there, I completely fell head over heels in love with Trevor! I mean this book is worth reading for Trevor alone! Oh how I SWOONED over Trevor and the things he said! I think like me, readers will constantly change their opinions on what choice Addie should take.
Pivot Point is exciting, it is unique and it is a story that you won’t want to put down! I’m SO excited to find out what happens in Kasie’s next book Split Second!
on 4 August 2013
Ever want to kick yourself for waiting so long to read a book? Yes? Great! ME TOO!
Pivot Point...where do I even begin?
Okay - so I'm a firm believer in that we make our own destiny with just a little sprinkle of fate to help us on the way. That Movie - "Sliding Doors"? I adore how we get to see how life can turn out if we take the other path. Being able to do it though? I think I'd probably be all talk and no action because that's a lot of terrifying power.
Addie can see the road less travelled, She's a Searcher and has the ability to look ahead and decide based on what she sees how her life can turn out. When her parents announce they are getting a divorce Addie is devastated and persuaded by her best friend Laila to do a Search and see which parent to live with would be the better choice. Addie knows it's a risk to look ahead, what she doesn't realise is just how big a risk it truly is.
I read the blurb twice before I started Pivot Point and I still didn't really know what I was getting into with this book. In a way it almost reminded me of Harry Potter, with the Para's living out secret lives in plain sight of the Norm's. Needless to say I was delighted to get a fresh, entertaining and above all riveting story with awesome characters! The Paranormal community consists of people with abilities as wide ranging as Telekinesis, Mood Control, Mind Erasing and Addie's rare talent to Search. They mostly live on The Compound away from the Norm community, interacting with them under heavy instruction to never let outsiders know the truth about who they really are.
I loved how "normal" West made the Para community, I never felt like I had to suspend disbelief or roll my eyes at an implausible storyline which happens quite often in Paranormal/Contemporary mix novels. Each alternating chapter focuses on the path Addie would take if she moved in with her Mother or her Father. Her mom chooses to stay in the Para community on the compound so we got to know how this secret world operates, the attitudes the people hold towards the outside world and the lengths they go to manipulate their successes when using their talents in their everyday interactions with the Norm world. Addie's dad takes a job with the FBI to assist in cases pertaining to the Para community and we see how Addie must adjust to life on the outside, dealing with less advanced technology and ways of thinking.
Both story-lines were equally compelling and my heart was pounding at times as they crossed over and we saw how a simple decision could have world-rocking consequences. I made my decision pretty early which path I hoped Addie would choose and who I personally would trust and *pats self on the back* I was right although it was amazing to read how Addie came to make her choices.
Addie was a wonderful MC, she was independent, confident, snarky, kind, just all-round kick ass nice girl and in both story-lines she was equally captivating as our heroine. I never stopped rooting for her from day one. I loved her relationships with her parents, I found them realistic and full of love which was a pleasant surprise considering the trend of the disappearing parents in YA these days. While Addie remained steady and constant in both scenarios it was interesting to see how her choices affected the people around her. Her best friend Laila irritated the heck out of me in the "Para Path" however I adored her in the "Norm Path". It was also equally interesting to see how certain people - no matter what path you meet them on are the same, their true colours may not always be so transparent but eventually they will be revealed.
There is of course the romance! While there are two guys there isn't a love triangle thankfully. Duke is the star football player, charismatic, handsome, it takes Addie a while to really take his attentions seriously but when she does she falls hard and fast. Trevor, cute, quiet, kind, he becomes the pillar for Addie to lean on as she adjusts to life with the Norms. I genuinely liked both guys at the start but I quickly made my choice and again *self high five* I was right! If you've read it let me know which guy stole your heart, I'm intrigued to see if we have the same taste!
The story builds pace steadily until it gallops towards the finish with blistering speed and I couldn't put the book down until I found out which path Addie ultimately chose and the consequences of her decision.
It's very rare that I come across a book that I can't fault on any aspect, technically or otherwise but Pivot Point is that book. The world-building was captivating, the characters well-drawn, realistic and consistent and the story - heart pounding, interesting and utterly thrilling. The ending was wholly satisfying to be considered a stand-alone but still leaves many avenues open for a sequel. With Split Second due out in February I await with bated breath to see just what paths lay before Addie and which she will choose!
on 19 February 2013
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins Publishers, and Edelweiss.)
Addie has a special ability - she is Divergent. That means that she can see into the future, but only her own future, and only when she has a very definite decision to make.
Addie lives in a compound, which is hidden from the outside world, where people with gifts live. Her friends all have abilities as well, but they are all different - not everyone has the same ability as Addie.
When Addie's parents tell her that they are getting a divorce, she uses her gift to see her future, both staying with her mother, or leaving with her father.
Which life will she choose though? And can knowing the future really help?
This book was okay, but the middle was just too slow.
About 40% of the way through this book, it was starting to irritate me. I realised when I started getting into it, that the story after the divorce is announced, alternates chapters from one destiny, and then the other. So what we are reading is actually two stories - one if Addie stays with her mom, and one if Addie moves with her dad.
As interesting as this was, I felt like I was reading something that might be, rather than something that was! This just irritated me, because I felt like we were stuck in one moment. Addie comments that it will probably take her 5 minutes to look ahead at the two different outcomes depending on her choice, so I just felt like we were stuck in those 5 minutes forever! I just wanted her to get on with it, and actually start living her life, rather than thinking about it. This may be a bit harsh, but this was just how I felt. It was like reading about somebody else's daydreams.
Thankfully, the story picked up a bit more towards the end. At around 80% it actually got interesting, and I actually began to feel the mystery element of `which path will Addie choose?'.
Personally, when Addie makes the choice, I don't agree with it. I don't want to drop spoilers so I won't say exactly what happens, but I personally would have picked the other path, and tried to change some things. Addie admits herself at the beginning that the future is not set in stone and can be changed, so I don't know why she didn't just take this option, rather than living out the path she least wanted to take.
Brought down to basics, this book is basically about a girl making a decision whether to live with her mom or dad after a divorce. The mental abilities of Addie and her friends obviously added a little to the story, but I just felt like the story wasn't going anywhere a lot of the time, and I just wanted something else to be happening! There were a couple of other storylines going on within the two paths, but the whole thing just felt too slow.
I'm not sure where the next book in this series will go, but I really hope it's not just Addie trying to make one decision all over again.
7 out of 10.
I saw this book on sale in Canada with a banner above it claiming that the "Pivot Point" is the next big thing. I was intrigued... and finished it as quick as I could because the book IS good! It's engaging, it's twisty, it's well-written (was it just me or did anybody else feel their knees weaken at the descriptions of the teenage kissing scenes?!), the main character is very likable and the whole thing is NOT dystopian! Ah what a breeze of fresh air! It's a romance, a fantasy, a detective story, a page-turner (the last 80% will literally keep you on the edge of your seat!).
I was excited for the "Pivot Point" to be a one-off novel, there are too many trilogies etc. nowadays, but after I finished it the first thing I did was to check if there was another one published - and there was - Split Second (Pivot Point Book 2).
What can I say - this book is fantastic (bear in mind the target audience and don't expect the Pulitzer nomination!).
on 20 April 2014
If you’ve ever seen Sliding Doors, the film with Gwyneth Paltrow, where the whole plot revolves around one pivotal moment – missing a train- then you will be sure to adore this book. Much like Sliding Doors, this book relies on a dual narrative, looking at what could happen depending on which path you choose to take.
Addison (Addie) lives in a small compound, hidden in the mountains where every individual has a certain power. Some are mind readers, others are persuaders, some are mood controllers but very few are like Addie. She has the skill of Divergence. In short, this means she can ‘search’ the future. When faced with a choice, Addie can look into two alternate futures depending on the choice she makes. When her parents declare they are separating and Addie finds out her dad is leaving the compound to live with the ‘norms’ (humans without powers) she has to decide which parent she wants to live with. As she delves into the two alternate futures, she struggles to decide what to do, both futures offering her good and bad. But, when something drastic happens, Addie knows for certain what she has to do…even if it means surrendering the one thing she’s come to love.
Wow, wow and wow are the only words I can use to describe this book. It was incredible. From start to finish I was HOOKED to the pages of this book and not once could I predict what was going to happen next.
I adored Addie as a protagonist. She was by far one of the best I’ve ever read about in the YA genre and I’m pretty sure nearly every girl will be able to relate to her; having and trying to maintain friendships, first relationships, first love, problems with parents…it’s all there. She also has a really mature and very reliable narrative voice which meant I could place trust in her immediately.
Laila, Addie’s best friend, played quite a vital role in the plot and I found her a very confusing character. At times I really warmed to her and others I was a bit frustrated by her actions. Also, two of the guys on Addie’s journey; Duke and Trevor were both totally difficult to judge too and I went through phases of loving them both and hating them both! I have to say that Trevor is just THE biggest dish ever and I have a HUGE crush on him! However, even though I had confusing feelings about these characters, these feelings added to the book as a whole and made it an even more involving read.
West has excelled massively in writing this book. The plot is unique and cleverly explores multiple themes whilst following one girl on her journey. I loved the addition of the ‘powers’ most characters had and it left me questioning whether I would want to live in the ‘para’ world with Addie’s mum or the ‘norm’ world with her dad. It also left me wondering which type of power I would want…I decided I would quite like the power of telekinesis! A few characters were able to move things with their minds and I thought that would suit my lazy personality very well!
The chapters were told in alternating form – one set in the ‘para’ world and one set in the ‘norm’ world. It was very clever how each chapter was labelled. At the beginning of each chapter there would be a definition of a word and from that word, you were able to work out which world Addie was in. It was all very well thought out.
I am so excited to hear that there is a sequel to this book called Split Second and I am SO eager to read this book! I’ve requested it at the library so I hope I can read it really soon!
A fantastically written YA novel that will have you gasping, laughing and crying in equal measure!
Imagine if you could choose to see the future -- more specifically, the multiple futures that could happen if you make a choice.
Such is the idea behind "Pivot Point," told from the perspective of a girl who has spent all her life among people with superhuman powers, and now has to choose whether to live among "Norms." It's an interesting idea, but Kasie West's execution falls pretty much flat -- teen romance dominates most of the story instead of the more interesting B-plot, and the depiction of the empowered people is too "normal."
Addie has spent her whole life in the paranormal compound, surrounded by people with teleportation, memory control, lie detection, mood manipulation and other powers. But then she's told that her parents are divorcing, and her father will be going out to live among Norms. She can go or stay as she chooses. So she uses her Searching power to look into the two potential futures that lie ahead of her.
In one of the futures, she leaves the compound with her dad, and meets a smart young artist named Trevor at her new Norm school. In the other, she stays and becomes interested in the handsome, popular telekinetic Duke. But the choice becomes a lot more complicated when Addie finds out about a mysterious criminal known as Poison, who has a power she doesn't recognize.
"Pivot Point" is one of those books that has a lot of potential -- you have a secret group of paranormally-gifted people who live in a compound and work for the government, and a heroine who can see any potential future. Really, how could you screw that up?
Unfortunately, Kasie West fumbles both these things. Except for a few details (telekinetic football games) the paranormals are far too mundane in their concerns and attitudes, and their impact on the world is minimal at best. Seriously, these people CARE about football, of all things? As for the heroine, Addie hardly ever uses her ability except to decide who she should live with.
West's writing is rather mundane as well -- she outlines fairly well what's happening, but there's no "you are there" zesty details to pull in readers. Moreover, she spends the first half of the book entirely on ordinary teenage concerns, particularly on the not-very-interesting love triangle whose outcome is painfully obvious. Only at the halfway point does West introduce us to Poison and his mystery power... only to then lapse back into football cheating and teen romance for a very, very long time.
Addie is admittedly an entertaining heroine -- she's snarky, savvy and something of an outsider, either by choice or by nature. But Laila has all the charm of a live wire in your coffee, and Trevor and Duke are basically hot-boyfriend archetypes -- one is all hot, sensitive and sweet, while the other is the popular blonde football star. And yes, it is painfully obvious whom Addie will end up with.
"Pivot Point" doesn't pivot too far from the norm here -- it has some nice ideas and a pleasant heroine, but everything about it is far too blandly ORDINARY. Wait for Brandon Sanderson's "Steelheart."
on 22 February 2014
The idea behind Pivot Point caught my attention immediately. Inspired by Sliding Doors, it’s based on the idea that one decision can completely change the course of, not only your own life, but the lives of the people around you.
Addie lives in a place called the Compound. It’s a bit like Hogwarts, really, but for people with mind powers. The Compound and the abilities of the people that live within it are kept secret from ‘Norms’ (that’s you and me). Addie’s friend Laila can erase people’s memories, her dad is a human lie detector, her mum has the ability of persuasion and her friends have abilities including telekinesis and mood control.
Addie’s power is a little different, and it only works on her. When faced with any choice, she can explore the outcome of each option in what she calls a Search. So, when Addie’s parents reveal that they’re separating and give her the tricky choice between living in the Compound with her mum or outside at a Norm school with her dad, she carries out a Search to determine which option would be the best for her.
The entire novel switches chapter by chapter between the path she would take if she lives with her mum and the path if she lives with her dad. To Addie, it feels like she’s actually living each path in real time – she doesn’t know that it’s a Search at all – but in reality she’s only swept away into her own mind for a few minutes.
Honestly, I loved this book, and I’ll be recommending it to anyone who’ll listen from here on out. I loved the way the two paths interlinked, with certain events crossing between both potential scenarios. I loved the storyline, the characters, the romance, and the heartache. Everything about it appealed to me, and I absolutely cannot wait to get stuck into the second book in the trilogy – Split Second. It’s a challenging narrative, with two parallel stories to tell, but Kasie has nailed it.
I would like to find out more about the Compound, though, as I felt Pivot Point was just a little bit lacking in the world building department, particularly because it’s such an intriguing world Addie lives in. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Kasie West will delve a little deeper with the next instalment.
on 7 January 2014
Addie lives in the Compound, a place where everyone with unique abilities and use their brains at full capacity live away from the Norms (Normal People) who only use 10% of their brains. Addie's ability is Search. She can look into the future, which becomes particularly in handy when she has to make a choice and would like to see the outcome of both. So when Addie's parents tell her that they are splitting up and her Dad is leaving the Compound to live with the Normal people, Addie has to decide whether to go with her Dad or stay with her Mum. Seems like a simple choice and Addie decides to search ahead six weeks, but what she thought was an easy decision turns out to be the complete opposite.
I loved the premise of this book. It worked without it being confusing. Each chapter alternated between the different future paths that Addie could take and you could see the links between them. At the start there is one particular path that I really wanted Addie to choose, but the further you get into the story, I did a u-turn with my choice and wanted her to choose the path with her Dad. At first you think that it's an easy choice to make, but then the author hits you with a completely unexpected twist and you find that Addie can only choose one path even if it's not the one that she wants to take.
Addie was a brilliant protagonist, and seemed very mature for her age, whereas her friend Laila seemed like your typical rebellious teenager and I think if she had been the main character I would not have enjoyed this as much. However that is not to say that I would not enjoy at all.
I liked how unexpected I found this story as it just added to the element of mystery surrounding Addie's two alternate futures. When it finished I really wanted to read more. The ending left me hoping that Addie would be able to find someone from the other future that she could have chosen. I definitely want this to be a series and have heard that the next book is out very soon with Laila as the main character. So even though Laila wasn't my favourite character, I still will definitely be reading it.
on 4 November 2013
You know that moment you finish a book and think 'why the hell did I wait SO LONG TO READ THIS?' - that feeling is exactly how I felt about Pivot Point. It's been sitting on my shelves since shortly after its release, and although it had received glowing reviews from nearly every YA reader I know, I still passed it over for other books on at least a dozen occasions.
It was only when I was 'browsing' (aka I have tried 4 or 5 books and they were all rubbish) my shelves for something I knew other people had loved that I decided it was time to get reading Pivot Point - and then I devoured the damn thing.
As I'm not a huge fan of paranormal novels as a general rule, I was a bit iffy about that element - sometimes they work for me and other times they don't - but luckily in Pivot Point although it wasn't my favourite part of the story, it works really well. I think the key point is that it's believable - West has plausible explanations for the whole paranormal aspect - how they live, how they can be undetected and not be a flaming dystopian mess.
But by far, the stars of the show are the characters. I loved Addie - she's a bookworm which automatically gets bonus points, but she also has a sarcasm that I really enjoyed, a determination that made me admire her, and a loyalty that made me want to be friends with her. In other words, she's the kind of character I'd love to see far more often in YA - she's down to earth, likeable and feels like a real person.
Then there are the boys. I'm not a fan-girl when it comes to book boys - I think I've used the phrase 'book boyfriend' a grand total of once, but all I will say is 'oh, Trevor'. I loved him from the first moment he was introduced as a character - quiet but not grumpy, cute but not arrogant, damaged but not angry and the absolute perfect match for Addie. All the while I was reading Pivot Point, I just wanted more of him, especially towards the ending when he has the most heartbreaking line pretty much ever (which I won't add here as it's a bit spoilery).
I honestly thought Pivot Point would be just another YA paranormal romance, but it was so much more. There is also a thriller/mystery element which I didn't expect and yet I really really enjoyed it - for me it added an extra level to the whole package that made it just a fabulous read.
If Pivot Point is languishing on your shelves waiting for 'one day' - go straight to your bookshelf right now (yes, NOW) and read it - it will definitely be worth your time!