Pivot Point #1
Paranormal Young Adult
Available February 12th
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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
Pivot Point gains our interest initially with an intriguing premise, the idea of being able to see what lies at the end of both offshoots of a fork in our life’s road something we find fascinating and in many ways enviable, but once we settle into the story we find it’s the characters and the ease with which the story is told that holds us captivated. Ms. West's writing style is one that makes us feel as though Addie’s story is being read aloud rather than printed in ink, the natural fluidity of the dialogue granting us the ability to practically hear the tone of each character’s voice, ensuring we experience them not simply with our eyes as they scan sentence after sentence, but with our ears, minds and hearts as well.
Addie is a gem of a character, positively overflowing with personality from the very first page and continuing to be a young woman who makes us laugh with her smart mouth throughout. Many times characters in possession of a great deal of snark can be overdone, their witticisms sometimes taking on a forced quality that makes us laugh even as we acknowledge their remark as something that could really only exist in fictional dialogue. Addie’s sense of humor though is both bold and understated at the same time, her banter not only with best friend Laila, but also love interests Trevor and Duke as well, humorous in an effortless way that has us falling a little more in love with her every time she opens her mouth.
The mention of love interests, plural, above may have some readers immediately balking, but fear not, though Duke and Trevor are both romantic interests for Addie in this story, only one truly exists in each of her realities. One path leads her to a relationship with Duke and the other to Trevor, but at no point are both boys competing for her affections at the same time. Instead, we get to enjoy the slow build of two tension-filled relationships, both young men charming in their own ways to ensure our hearts beat at above average speeds chapter after chapter. By the time we reach the concluding pages though, one path and one boy earn the definitive honor and distinction of our preference, and we can’t help but want to go back and reread all the chapters that depict his possibility in Addie’s Search.
Though the idea of two separate and complete storylines playing out in alternating chapters sounds like it might be a touch confusing and even frustrating at times, Ms. West does an exceptional job of holding our interest through both eventualities, emotionally invested in each equally up until the final chapters when a clear winner emerges. She expertly links together the two outcomes of Addie’s choice of living arrangement, tying pieces of them together through a shared mystery to beautifully blur what was previously a clearly delineated line between paths one and two. Ms. West is most certainly an auto-buy author for me now and I cannot wait to see what she delights us with next.