Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West


Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)Author: Kasie West
Published: February 12th 2013 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Hardcover, 320 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository


First, let me get one very important fact out of the way: technically, Pivot Point is practically flawless. There's nothing in it that bothered me or set my teeth on edge, but while I was reading it, I couldn't help but think of how much better it could have been. Because it's true: there were so many ways to tell this story and Kasie West chose the least interesting one. But I should start from the beginning.

Addie grew up in a top secret paranormal community. She is a Divergent, a Clarvoyant of sorts, her mother is a Persuasive and her father a Discerner, a human lie detector as Addie likes to call him. Every single kid in Addie's school has some kind of mental ability, and they learn to develop the ones they don't have in school. Everything in her walled neighborhood is diffrent from the outside world, from their technology to the way they play sports.

When Addison's parents announce they're having a divorce and leave it to her to choose whether she wants to stay with her mother or go live among the Norms with her father, she Searches both futures hoping it would help her decide. Each choice brings with it a series of complications and a lot of hurt. Unfortunately for Addie, everything she sees in a Search feels completely real to her, no different from things that actually happened, so when she falls for a different boy in each of her possible futures, she comes out of it caring about them both.

Addie's choice becomes a bit more complicated when her best friend Leila gets into trouble because of her telepathic drug-addicted father, and Addie is the only one who knows exactly what's going to happen and when.

Above all, I was sorely disappointed by how much Pivot Point focused on the romance. Although it didn't turn out that way in the end, through most of the book, Addie's choice seemed to depend entirely on the boy she wanted to be with more. One of her futures held Duke, a telekinetic quarterback and the most popular boy in Addie's paranormal school. The other future held Trevor, also a quarterback, but an injured one and a Norm. I have to give it to West, this is one of the most original and inventive love triangles I've ever come across because she managed to write a situation in which a herione had to choose between to boys, but there was no love triangle angst because she had relationships with them in two different futures.

Although the narrative structure is almost textbook perfect, I didn't like how West handled the middle part. Pivot Point disappointed me in more ways than I can count, but the last part made up for at least some of it. A great premise ruined by poor execution... I see so much of this lately that I'm tempted to find a name for it, something memorable that will serve as a warning and allow me to write one-word reviews in the future.



22 comments:

  1. This book has such a promising idea, I'm sad to hear that it failed on execution. I might still read it, since I am intrigued with all see-the-future-and-pick-the-one-you-like aspect although romance focus and love-triangle are definitely a major disappointement for me. It's so frustrating when in books girls in life-changing moments only think about which boy they will choose.

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  2. I've been seeing this book every lately! Ahh, I really dislike when the romance takes over the plot, I fee like a good romance should add to the story not take away from it. ;( And it's always a little sad when you get a great premise, but it fails in execution.

    Thanks for the honest review!

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  3. It does kind of annoy me when a book that could be so much more focuses more on the romance than the other bits that would make it even more awesome. Not that there's anything wrong with a good romance but life shouldn't hinge on that alone, especially when there's so much more going on. Still, sounds quite intriguing!

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  4. Awww sorry this one didn't work quite as well for you as is it did me Maja, but then I'm all about the romance, so the fact that it focused more on that than their abilities worked well for me:) I can definitely see how it might be frustrating for many a reader though. *fingers crossed you like the second book better* Beautifully written review as always though!

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  5. Despite the poor middle, I'm really curious about this book and all the ways it disappointed you. I'm going to read this one with a bit of caution, but I'm glad there's no love triangle angst in the book. Thanks for the honest review!

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  6. Ahh you are one of the only ones that isn't jumping over this one. I respect your opinion and have a feeling I will feel like you do. I love the premise of it, but if the execution is not quite right, kind of like that movie that came out in the late 90"s Sliding Doors with Gwenthy Paltrow. I thought it was going to be so great but it was just okay. You can do so much more with this concept than focus on a romance. SIgh....

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  7. Oh no! I'm sorry this one didn't work out for you. I hate when a book has the PERFECT premise, but the execution is lacking. I hope you do coin a term for this, because it happens too often, and I'd also love some shorthand for it! I think for me, recently Mila 2.0 was the biggest example of a good premise gone bad. I'm struggling to write a review for it. Sigh....

    Despite your disappointment, I'm glad you found some redeemable qualities. I love that there's not really a love triangle vibe even though there are two relationships. I'll be reading this soon, and I'm dying to know whether I'll have the same issues you did. Thank you for your honest and beautiful review!

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  8. I don't care for triangles, but this one does sound different and it may be one of the few that work for me. That alone makes me want to try this one. I can also see how the premise could become disappointing. I mean the premise is so interesting and then it also looks like it would be hard to execute. Still curious about this one and I'm duly warned about the execution. Thanks!

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  9. Why does everything revolve around the boy *facepalm* reviews have been glowing for this, but I am in no hurry.

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  10. I LOVE THAT LAST LINE! Yes! Gosh, I come across that feeling all the time and I wish we could just make up a word for it and save ourselves the trouble of writing such long reviews. From the very beginning, this book never appealed to me, so I won't be reading it, but I do like that the love triangle is so unique. Either than that, I hate when execution ruins a novel and especially when you can't help but think of all the better things an author could have done while writing a book. :/ Yet another beautifully written and helpful review, Maja! :)

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  11. Aw, I’m sorry you didn’t like this as much, Maja! This is probably the first review I’ve read that expresses disappointment toward Pivot Point, so it’s fantastic to get your opinion and see what didn’t work for you. The romance-centric nature of the plot probably would disappoint me as well. Fabulous review!

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  12. I enjoyed this more than you did, Maja, but I do completely agree that there was a large focus on the romance. Funnily enough, it felt more like a contemporary book to me than it did paranormal. I didn't much much trouble with it though, other than the fact that the climax was a little bit of a let down. I hope you enjoy the next book more! Lovely review. :)

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  13. One word reviews? That would be quite an achievement.

    I'm sorry to hear this book has such a poor execution because it sounds like it has a good premise otherwise. Great review! :)

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  14. Yours is the first review I've read that's really found some faults with Pivot Point. And, while I obviously may have a different opinion after reading the book, I think you do bring up concerns that I'd find valid. I don't dislike romance in paranormal YA books, but I feel like most of the time authors use romance as a much bigger part of the story than it needs to be, which sounds like what you found at fault here. It's always disappointing to read something that should have been excellent, if only a few things were done differently. Sorry this didn't work out for you, Maja!

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  15. I think this is the first review that was raving over the book. I kind of like that, it gives me more realistic expectations I think. I have the book so I do plan to read it so I'm happy you at least enjoyed it even if it wasn't perfect. I'm actually very curious about the romance!

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  16. Bummer. I like the idea of the character and the different setup with the world. Sounds neat. But bummer it didn't work in the telling for you.

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  17. I was really excited to read this one. I'm so glad you warned me it focuses so much on the romance. Now I will go in to it with my eyes open.

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  18. Hmm, okay I can see where you're coming from. I have been really excited for this one because I love the concept of different paths separated by one decision - but I had no idea it was primarily romance-based, which really disappoints me. I do like romance, but prefer my books to revolve around non-romance based conflict. So maybe this wasn't the book I thought it would be. You've given me a lot to think about!

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  19. You know me, Maja, so it's no surprise I liked the focus on the romance. Lol. Sorry this didn't measure up for you. Hopefully the next one will be better for you. If you pick it up. Great review. :)

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  20. I don't like love-triangles, but I can handle them if they have a purpose. This one sounds good and acceptable. I'm also not a fan of romance focused books, but it can be fun once in a while :) I'm sorry to hear that this book disappointed you, but I can't stay way from such an unique concept and I'll pick it up as soon as possible. Great review.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  21. I like how this "love triangle" is really different from the typical love triangles in YA books today...but I'm a little disappointed that the book seems to focus so much on the romance :( The whole book sounds so unique and absolutely fascinating, so I'll be giving it a try! I just hope the romance doesn't bother me too much...I really want to enjoy it!!! Awesome review, Maja<3

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  22. i am so loving your thoughts on this. i have this down to read and may still check it out? BUT it has been awesome how much detail you have gone into. the blurb had me expecting something else entirely... :)

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