Tuesday, 12 February 2013

review: Pivot Point

by Kasie West
HarperTeen, February 12 2013
young adult paranormal
digital review copy received via Edelweiss

When Addison's parents divorce, she uses her Search ability to see whether she should stay with her mother inside the Paranorms community or go live with her father outside among the Norms. The two paths reveal different worlds, different boys and different -- but surprisingly dire -- consequences for those around her. In the end, it's not a hard choice.
The cover:

Pretty! The cool colour scheme is engaging but not overly girly, and the imagery is nice and symbolic. The font and its positioning is stellar, too.

The book:

Pivot Point's premise is intriguing, but this reader wants to know: how can a Search made for six weeks have only two paths? After a certain period of time, surely Addie would encounter multiple choices that would branch the possible paths into twice or four times or eight times as many. It just isn't possible that one decision would result in only two paths over such a long period of time. For a day? Yes. For over a month? No amount of suspension of disbelief can convince me of that.

Nevertheless, we buy into Addie's journeys thanks to her relatable, if not effortless or smooth, voice and her relationships. The two boys are developed realistically and the ultimate choice between them is very satisfyingly resolved. As well, the Paranorms' world feels relatively seamless and believable.

It's the story's plot and stakes where the issues arise again. A perfectly acceptable paranorm vs. norm high school arc is begun, only to switch tacks to a storyline that feels comically dramatic. The stakes are too high for this school story, and the villain ends up appearing rather absurd.

That being said, the ending was enough to leave me happy. It's an uplifting finish untainted by any previous drama, focusing on the hopes and aspirations any teen could relate to.

Rating: 3.3 out of 5