Have you ever stopped to wonder how your life might have turned out differently if just one detail had been altered? As an example, I always joke with my husband that we were lucky not to live in the same school district growing up. We started dating at 16, but that probably wouldn’t have been the case if we’d attended the same high school; we were in vastly different social circles and wouldn’t have looked twice at one another. Because we first met on neutral territory, however – a dance company located halfway between his school and mine – we were able to get to know each other’s true personality without the influence of our classmates and established cliques getting in the way.
The point of the above illustration is that one small detail has the potential to drastically change a person’s future, a concept that lies at the core of Pivot Point. The protagonist, Addie, lives in a place called the Compound, where individuals with supernatural abilities hone their skills and go about their lives apart from the rest of the world. Addie’s gift is that she is able to “Search” her future and see how her life will play out based on the decisions she makes.
When Addie’s parents unexpectedly announce that they’re getting a divorce, she must decide which parent she’s going to live with. Is it better to stay with her strict mother in the familiarity of the Compound, where Addie has lived her entire life? Or should she move away to the “Norm” world, where she’ll be forced to hide her special abilities, in order to maintain her close relationship with her father? To answer this question, Addie decides to Search her future to see which path will make her happier.
The chapters in Pivot Point alternate between the two possible versions of Addie’s future. There are several key elements and occurrences that appear in both versions, but the effect they have on Addie and her loved ones differs greatly from one version to the other. This provides some delicious irony, as the reader has the benefit of viewing both possible outcomes and knowing just how dire the consequences of Addie’s various choices will be.
It’s especially fascinating to watch Addie’s interactions with her two potential love interests; both of the boys will play a role in her future regardless of which parent she decides to live with, but what those roles will be are largely dependent on the path Addie chooses. Foreshadowing and details that initially seem minor but are ultimately revealed as important are woven into the plot, tying everything together expertly.
The unique premise and nearly flawless execution would have been more than enough to convince me of West’s immeasurable talent, but my high opinion of her was cemented by how well she navigated the ending of her story. It wasn’t the conclusion that I’d been hoping for, but it was the conclusion that was right for the story, and I really admire that. I highly recommend Pivot Point and can’t wait to read the sequel!