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Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
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Pivot Point

Pivot Point - Oh PIVOT POINT… You are a strange beast indeed. When I suddenly received three copies of this book within two days, I had no idea what was going on. Maybe it was a sign from the Divine Pop Tart that I should read you. In fact, once I sent back one copy and traded away another, I was left with one copy that I devoured as fast as I possibly could (which, as it turns out, is not as fast as I thought). PIVOT POINT is a story like no other, as well as both light-hearted and dark, humorous and surprisingly suspenseful. Needless to say, it took me by surprise in all the best ways.SWEET, CHARMING, AND KICKING ME IN THE FEELSPIVOT POINT is the story of Addie, a girl born in a commune of people with superpowers in modern-day Texas. Her power – the ability to search different futures to see what might happen if she chooses one path over the other. Outside the gates to her little city of superpowered humans, with powers ranging from telekinesis to mind control and beyond, are the “norms”, humans like us who are unsuspecting. When Addie’s parents get a divorce, her best friend implores her to do “search” her future, which leads to a life outside the compound or a life inside, and two totally different boys that might break her heart or fulfill her every wish.I’m going to be honest with you. I am always wary of superpower books. PIVOT POINT… Well, there was something about it that made me a bit iffy when I went into it all. The synopsis did not grab me, especially when reviews came in that called it cute and sweet. Superpowers AND sweet? How does that even work? And another thing – ugh, another love triangle. People tried to assure me that I would like it, but how can you be sure these days? People tried to tell me I would love HUSH, HUSH. You can guess how that ended.(If you can’t guess, I’ll be frank – not a fan. At all.)Surprisingly, I really enjoyed PIVOT POINT. The story is sweet and charming, and just when I think it is going in the direction of cute for the ending, it kicks me right in the stomach and pivots in an entirely different direction. A LOVE TRIANGLE THAT WORKSDid you hear me? The love triangle in PIVOT POINT (yes, there most certainly is one) is a rare case where it actually works. It WORKS, I swear! Our heroine Addie, in her quest to figure out which parent to choose to live with, finds herself torn between “Norm” Trevor – a former Texas all-star football quarterback whose future was ruined by a bad hit, and Duke, an idiot. I’ll be frank – I really disliked Duke, and I believe that was part of the intention of the author, which means of course I was a fan of how the love triangle was handled. It was realistic for a teenage romance. Not all seventeen year olds are going to find their one true love and ride into the sunset. For Addie, that entailed realizing that Duke was the typical teenage male – all about the hanky panky and not so much about being a gentleman. Let’s take a moment and think about teenage relationships. And teenage boys. In her debut, West does an impeccable job being realistic about at least one side of the coin – the idiot who is in it for some thrusting and making out and dressing a girl like a doll, making a girl HIS own. Meanwhile, in the majority of YA books, what do we see? Perfect committed relationships that will seemingly last forever and ever and ever. Give me a break. Some high school sweethearts will get married, but generally once you grow up you realize that the boy you loved at 16 isn’t what you want forever.Wow, how did I digress there? But anyway, I commend West for her portrayal of relationships. And of course I am team Trevor.THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COINBut you might have noticed that I didn’t give this one a full five stars. I did have some issues with it, mainly related to plausibility. I couldn’t really suspend my disbelief and believe that any of this was plausible, which kind of hampered my enjoyment. There was not much explanation about the history of this world, or how these superhumans could really get by with having their own little world inside the great big human world. Especially with the rules of their world – marry an outsider and you’re thrown out, test for powers, name the powers, but allow them to live outside the walls and that’s cool? And apparently using powers to cheat at football is no biggie. I just didn’t really get how this world was plausible, especially since the mechanics of it are glossed over at best. There needed to be more explanation about this, not just casually mentioned for half a sentence at random moments. Otherwise, PIVOT POINT (oh, and I didn’t really like the title) is an at times cute, at times heartbreaking and suspenseful story that captured me and held me for dear life.VERDICT: Albeit a bit unbelievable, PIVOT POINT is an engrossing story that combines sweetness with devilishness in one package. I can’t wait to read the next book in what has started off as an awesome new series.