Dealing with divorcing parents is a terribly difficult thing for any child to do, no matter how old they are. In many cases, kids have no say in where or with whom they will live after all is said and done. Addison Coleman, however, has a choice. Her parents tell her that she can choose with whom to live. The catch? Her father, the parent to whom she is closest, is moving out of the close-knit community where Addison's family has lived her entire life. This dilemma, this impossible choice, allows us to connect with Addie even before we learn of her insanely particular circumstances: the "close-knit community" in which she grew up is composed entirely of people with supernatural powers, and her father is leaving to live among the "Normals," people with no paranormal gifts. Adding to that, Addie herself is a Searcher, which means that when faced with a choice such as the one just described, she can go into the future, live out both outcomes and then return to her present and choose which she wants to live. Her choice to Search both her potential lives is Addie's PIVOT POINT.
"At its heart, this novel is a coming of age tale about the way your choices affect not only your own life, but the lives of those you love. And, as that, it is a wonderful read."
What really works in this novel is Addie's struggles with all the typical things teenagers can go through in their everyday lives. In her life with her mother, Addie stays among the paranormals and starts dating a popular boy who may or may not be a bit too controlling. In her life with her father, she struggle to fit in among the normals and finds herself falling in love with the adorable artist Trevor. In both, her best friend Laila begins to rebel; something that, when combined with an ongoing murder investigation headed by Addie's father, leads to dire consequences for both she and Addison. Addison, with her love of books and slightly OCD tendencies, is a great main character, and it is very interesting to watch her very different adolescent struggles in both timelines. Similarly, her relationships with Laila and Trevor form the most compelling parts of the novel.
However, the supernatural aspect of the novel does sometimes seem a bit forced. It works quite well when it is used to parallel the types of problems that teens normally face. For example, Addison's dad has the ability to tell when people are lying. I am pretty sure everyone has gone through periods of time when they wished their parents would give them a bit more space, and having Addie be literally unable to lie to her father articulates those universal feelings really well. Yet, when Addie tries to use her supernatural powers as a an excuse to complicate her romance with Trevor, it seems a bit like drama for the sake of drama. Yet, on the whole, everything in PIVOT POINT works really well, and the way the ongoing investigation into the murders in Addie's supernatural town ties into the main plot is nicely written and gives the novel some real emotional stakes. At its heart, this novel is a coming of age tale about the way your choices affect not only your own life, but the lives of those you love. And, as that, it is a wonderful read.
Reviewed by Erin Allen on March 15, 2013