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Pivot Point

Pivot Point - Kasie West This review and others are posted at Read, Rinse, Repeat.

4.5 stars

"Stay here with others like you, or leave the Compound and live in a world surrounded by people who only use ten percent of their brains." This is the choice Addie must make when her parents tell her they're getting a divorce and that she must choose with whom to live. As a Searcher, Addie has the ability to see into the future of either potential option. With that framework set in place, we are off! Each chapter switches between the same time period in both worlds, and we can see how the ramifications of Addie's choices play out.

Aside from the citizens' extraordinary abilities, life, and in particular, high school life, seems pretty normal in the Compound. In the Normal world with her father, on the other hand, Addie must adjust to our technologically-deficient and uninformed beliefs, including lights that don't turn on by themselves and high school history books that don't have all the facts. Addie must keep her powers and the existence of the Compound a secret from the Norms; not an easy task since she spent her entire life surrounded by people like herself, with no need to hide.

There are love interests in both worlds, and West not-too-subtly pushes the reader's support in one direction. I initially was surprised by the major cheese factor of one of the guys, but it became clear later in the book why he was depicted that way. In hindsight, I found that refreshing, because I didn't experience the sensation of an author switcheroo where you're left scratching your head when the revelation does not match the character's previous behavior.

Most of the story was light and humorous, but there was a dangerous thread running through it that didn't makes its connection to Addie clear (at least not to me) until very close to the end. I was completely surprised - love when that happens! - but again, West left all of the clues. I think I missed them because I was so caught up in the story.

I loved this quote from Addie: "Thank you seems like too little...or maybe too much, since he couldn't possibly understand how much I needed to hear what he just said. How much I needed to know that even without my ability, I am someone worth knowing. That every little and ridiculous quality I exhibit makes me who I am." Addie was choked up during this scene, and it choked me up a bit, too. Sniff, sniff!

Pivot Point's central concept may not be totally unique, but West executes it in an exciting, refreshing, and fun way. This was a fabulous start to the series. It concludes without a major cliffhanger, but I was nevertheless left wanting to read more about Addie's life. Fortunately, a sequel is planned for 2014.