Review of Pivot Point

ImageFor my February book review of an author’s YA debut, I read Kasie West’s Pivot Point. [Yes, it came out only yesterday.]

I have to admit, it felt like cheating: the book was so wonderfully compelling that I stayed awake until 2 am (twice turning the light back on to read just a little longer) and rushed to finish between putting up sheets of drywall today (house renos). I’m wholeheartedly glad to review and recommend it now!

Addie is a teenager faced with her parents’ divorce and must choose which parent to live with. This is nothing new, but she has a special power: given a choice, she can foretell the future of the two paths that choice offers.

Without divulging more than the brief synopsis at Goodreads, I can say that the alternate paths of living with either  parent are so expertly interwoven that they alternately inform the other and add exquisite tension to both. We’re kept guessing which reality will be chosen: at first they compete for which is best but, with a reversal of fortunes, they manage to get ever worse until, surely, the other path must win.

Most of the characters are well done, although the antagonists are rather stereotypical and a sudden reversal in one of the bad guys to tattle on another seems a little contrived for a last second deus ex machina.

The world is interesting: a small subset of the population has harnessed the last 90% of their brainpower to develop paranormal mental abilities. The protagonist can foresee the outcome of any choice; her best friend can erase memories. Her parents have the most unfortunate abilities a teenager could desire: one can discern lies and the other can persuade someone of anything. I look forward to the next book and hope to see more of the love interest with a normal (I won’t say more — but look forward to meeting him!).

Who would I recommend this to? Well, really, anyone! But, actually, maybe not a few friends that have shown despicable tastes in YA fiction and cannot be saved. Other than them, anyone.

Addendum:

The honeymoon has worn off a little and I should add a couple more quibbles.

I would have appreciated a second sleepless night had the novel been another half as long again if she’d been brave to play more with manipulating the future (after hinting that she might since Addie does after all  foresee it). Instead, Addie just chooses the lesser evil and lives with it.

Given the great prejudices the “paras” have of “norms” I find it in retrospect surprising that Addie has so little trouble accepting them. I guess that’s just her incredible character… but still, some readjustment might have been more realistic.

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