Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Pivot in the Right Direction

If you had the power to choose between to futures with every choice you made, playing them out and seeing where your choices take you, would you be interested in knowing every detail of your life? Or would you rather leave it up to chance? In Kasie West's Pivot Point, Addison has an ability anyone would covet... unless they knew the consequences of it.

Addison's life on the Compound is fairly typical. Strengthen her abilities, use them to hone her senses, and enjoy a more technologically advanced life away from the Norms (people who don't have abilities). Then her parents drop a bomb on her simple life where the biggest decision was who to go to the prom with (NOT Bobby Barker after a peak into her future saw him groping her). When they announce they are getting a divorce, they tell her she is to pick whom to live with and they fully expect her to use her ability to find out which is the better choice. As a Divergent, Addie can look into the future for both sides of a decision in order to find which she wants to choose. It is a power that comes in handy, especially when avoiding a gross date to a dance, but she doesn't like to use it often because living out the chosen path is not easy when you know everything that is coming. Luckily her friend Laila is an Eraser and can take away her memories of her future peeping.

When Addie delves into her two choices- stay with her mom on the compound in Para-land where all the technology and use of her ability is encouraged, or go with her father to Dallas where she has to hide her ability and fit in with the Norm World- she gets more than she bargained for. In the compound, she knows Duke just isn't her type- the ever popular charming jock- but there is something so irresistible about him. He seems to charm his way with everyone. When she starts to get suspicious of the football team and the possibility they might be hurting the competition with their abilities, it is hard for her to look the other way. In the alternative, when she goes to live with her father, she realizes just how different it is in the norm world without the compound's technology, healers, etc. When she meets a boy named Trevor, she is excited to have a new friend. What she doesn't expect is to find herself really caring for him. When his friend floats his theory that Trevor's recent football injury that blew out his throwing arm, Addie can't help but listen. Especially when she finds out the injury's are about her old school- a team of Paras who have the powers to cause all these injuries. Which reality would you choose?

WOWZA! This was one unique, catch-you-by-surprise kind of story! First, when reading the premise, I didn't know it centered around a compound of people who had paranormal powers. And the idea of this compound? I was so into it! My only problem was I didn't get enough of it. There was different technology, houses that anticipated your needs, different kind of cars, etc. I wanted more! I think the only thing this book lacked was a little more world-building to flesh out this paranormal bend to things. I wish there had been more about it, not just little snippets here and there. 

But the purpose of the story was Addie's choice, and the coolest way to show two divergent paths is to juxtaposition them, right? So West alternated chapters. One for her mom, one for her dad. I loved this. Sometimes it took me a minute to realize the change (a different font or color or heading would have stopped that), but it was only because I was so wrapped up in the story I was turning the pages like a madwoman. I loved this alternating realities so much I almost wanted to go back and try it with one then the other to prove how great these alternating chapters were! 

The greatest part about this story is how it took a genre staple (paranormal teens) and put a unique spin on it. Not an easy feat! But West really came up with a unique approach to the YA genre and went with it, and what you got was pretty freaking awesome! I loved the concept, the characters, and especially the difficult choice Addie had to make, because it wasn't all about the divorce- there were darker acts at play here, and she had to navigate through a maze of them. The book was a great surprise! I didn't expect it to be so good, and I was pleasantly surprised when it knocked my socks off!

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