What would you do if, when faced with a decision, you were able to explore both choices before picking a direction?
Pivot Point by Kaisie West (2013)
Suggested age range: 13 and up (Harper Teen, 343 pages)
Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Contemporary
Source: Personal Copy
The Book: Addie Coleman possesses the ability to explore her possible futures—she lives in a community of people who are above average—each person holds some kind of super-ability. The community is separate from the “Norms,” those who do not possess any kind of superpower. When Addie’s parents divorce, she decides to explore the six weeks spent in both options—the one with her mom, and the one with her dad. Even while she discovers romance and happiness in both worlds, her exploration reveals that secrets and danger also await her. How will she choose the right life to live? Pivot Point offers a fascinating premise that invites readers to think about how each of our choices sets in motion a whole different world of events and possibilities. I did want to see a little more development with some of the other characters in the story, but the strong plot and premise awarded this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Spirituality in Pivot Point: Sometimes we think about the effects of our actions on those who are in our immediate line of vision, but we don’t often consider those whom we never meet. This story brings that notion to the forefront, when we watch Addie slowly realize that football players in the “Norm” world are being intentionally hurt by the players from her school’s football team. In one world, Addie is concerned about this possibility, because she is in a close friendship with one of the hurt players. However, in the other world, she isn’t as concerned because she doesn’t really “know” him. Though we can’t expect Addie to jump in and speak up for Trevor as she might in the world where they are friends, this does highlight how there are probably many times where we could speak up for what’s right, but we don’t. The issue of justice and relational connectedness are two aspects of spirituality I discovered in the novel.
Who Should Read This Book: Young adults and adults who enjoyed the film Sliding Doors will like this story that offers both of the protagonist’s choices for a major life event. Kaisie West definitely knows how to keep us on the edge of our seats with the back and forth between both worlds, so readers that gravitate toward such a forward pulling narrative should pick it up. I also think West is fantastic with dialogue–I especially enjoyed the friendship between Addie and Laila.
The Final Word: I read this book along with two other blogger friends, Danie, who blogs at The Bookish Brunette, and Stephanie, who blogs at Love.Life.Read., and we discussed via email after every five chapters. It was a wonderful experience! However, it was hard to put the book down and stay true to the reading schedule. This story definitely sucked me in, and I clearly liked one world better than the other. However, I was interested enough in both choices that I appreciated each narrative. I think West tied things up in the conclusion expertly, but she also left the reader hanging enough to want to pick up the sequel, Split Second. Thankfully the sequel is out tomorrow!