Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . . Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not. In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.
Oh, Kasie West, what have you done to all of the synapses in my body responsible for my feelings? Pivot Point was one of those young adult gems that you’re not prepared for. It’s one of those books that take you so much by surprise and catch you so much off guard, that you never could’ve seen the tornado of feelings coming your way, no matter how good of a weather forecast you’re able to procure. Pivot Point emotionally wrecked me with so much reading anxiety, I actually had to put reading on hold a) to fend off the evident finish to the awesomeness of the story and b) because my body and mind were not capable to process and handle myself without falling into a rocking embryo position in the corner of my room. Or any room I’d find myself in, for that matter. You just know a book is for you when it infiltrates your daily life so much so that it takes over 24/7.
Taking place in a very X-Men-esque type of setting, Pivot Point tells the story of Addison, a young girl living in a society consisting of evolved human beings with super brains and powers, kept hidden from us normal folks so as not to infect them with our normal brain capacity. But despite her clairvoyant abilities, Addison’s life takes a turn for the ultimate normal teenage worse when her parents announce, out of the blue, that they’ve decided to file for divorce, and Addison’s father is set to leave for the outside of all things. Addison’s ability to see the future has her search for two possible outcomes depending on which option to chose – life with her mother or life with her father, and sets in motion heart-breaking, heart-mending and heart-rendering chains of events.
What makes Pivot Point stand out so much from all the X-Men inspired types of books out there, and what makes for such a fascinating and unique reading experience, is the fact that it is very much a what-if kind of story. And the more you read, the more you forget that what you’re reading is actually two hypothetical turn of events that haven’t come to fruition yet, all wrapped in one book told from Addison’s POV. I loved that while every other chapter takes place in each of the two alternate versions of Addison’s future reality, you start thinking of one as the more prominent one, and thus become more and more anxious for Addison’s final choice. Both realities have their positive and negative aspects, of course, but it’s exactly that option left open that drives you to read faster and keeps you from reading faster, because you know there’s going to be a whole lot of heartbreak at the end of the decision-making either way. I’ve never come across a book that had me so torn. Addison’s choice becomes your choice, and it’s unbearable to make. I also really enjoyed Addison’s narration. It was kept simple and yet managed to keep you on your toes and helped you immerse yourself as the reader in a complex background in a very palpable way.
While what I like to call Search 1 features a whole lot of Addison’s new love interest Trevor to make you swoon about, Search 2 has eccentric best friend Laila causing havoc. Add a drug lord, a special force agent father, a douche in a football jersey and Trevor’s adorable little brother to the mix of both timelines, and you just know you’re bound for drama. A great type of drama you need in your life as an avid reader, though. What I can’t fail to mention is the little sub-story of Trevor and Addison’s comic-writing efforts that I absolutely adored as well. It was such a fun and ironic way to mock the book’s own inevitable X-Men heritage while also acknowledging the irony in Addison’s new life in the Search 1 reality. The story-within-the-story was a cute and brilliant way to make Addison’s fears more tangible.
All in all, Pivot Point has become one of my favourite sci-fi reads. It’s just enough as X-Men as it is very, very different to have kept my attention so thoroughly, and even though I became an emotional cripple once I did finish it, I recommend this book to pretty much everyone. Getting my book BFF Cyra to buy it was one of the most fulfilling book shopping experiences ever, just knowing her spirit would wax and wain and wain some more while reading it. And you know, for me, having books channel your emotions in such a heightened and original and just genuinely exciting way damn well guarantees a 4-star-rating in my scale.