The Pivot Point by Kasie West
Addision Marie Coleman nicknamed Addie is a type of clairvoyant. She has the mental ability to project to the alternate futures and see the outcome of her decisions. It is her only way to decide which path to choose, when under a dilemma. She calls the ability Search or Projection. Her mother has Persuasion, and father has Discerning abilities, whom she playfully calls a lie detecting machine. She lives in The Compound- a walled city for people like her with paranormal mental abilities, whose existence is unknown to The Outside- the world beyond the city which Normals inhabit. The high rise walls of The Compound looks like a mountain range at the south of Texas.
There is a great disparity in the technologies and ease of life in these two worlds. Science is way too advanced in The Compound. Addie studies in Lincoln High, a school to groom the children’s mental gifts. Her best friend Laila can modify memory, or erase memories. Some brilliant ones are mood controllers (they can change the mood of people around them as they want), telepaths (they can read other’s thoughts), and mass manipulators (they can move anything with their minds). Wow, this paranormal world sounds so cool, and is such a unique an idea on the part of the Author Kasie West. The school itself is so interesting with classes like Thought Manipulation and Placement, and Programming Development to wire the brain.
I love the characters. Trevor, one of the best YA protagonist characters, and Laila is the best best friend material. Addie herself is quite likable and relatable.I like the way the story is narrated, giving out clues about the two alternate lives that Addie is Searching. One chapter is about her life with her father in the normal world, where she is bound under an oath of secrecy to keep her identity to herself, joins the Norm school, and meets the Trevor and his group of friends. And the next chapter is about her life with her mother in the very familiar Lincoln High and her rendezvous with Duke, the Mr. Popular of their school. But both the Searches feel so real to her that she actually believes she’s living it. A Search within a Search is not possible, and that’s when Addie realizes she’s in a Search and is not actually living her life as she sees it.
At first I was confused which chapter is which, when the characters in the two different worlds merged together. Then I understood the way to differentiate. There’s a word and its meaning at the beginning of every chapter, with either ‘NOR’ or ‘PAR’ capitalized, i.e life in the Outside or the Compound respectively. I liked the flow and pace of the narration. There’s ample mystery towards the end to keep the reader’s interest. The notion of a Search within a Search can be related to that of ‘Inception’- a dream within a dream within a dream, and no way to tell the difference. And the idea of projecting to the future is like that of the Precogs in ‘Minority Report’. But still I’d say the story is very original in it’s concept, among the YA books of Paranormal genre flooding the market.
But the epilogue is again loose ended, keeping enough mystery and ‘what if?s’ for the next book in the series- Split Second. Want to meet Trevor in the next book, soon!
My rating- 4/5