Pivot Point – Emma at Miss Print

 

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Next we have Emma from Miss Print. She selected another  favorite of mine, Pivot Point, as her gust post focus.

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pivotI spent a lot of time asking myself, “What if?” over the last couple of years. When I was fruitlessly job hunting and dealing with a lot of family emergencies, it was very natural to pinpoint exactly where everything went wrong; to wonder what choices might have led to better outcomes.What if I didn’t go to grad school? What if I never worked at that book store? What if I hadn’t quit that job? So many seemingly insignificant choices that might have changed everything. Happily, my life is more in order now and it’s easier to focus on the positives instead of wondering where I might have gone wrong.But even now it’s easy to ask what I might have done differently, or what might have changed with one small choice because it’s something most people to naturally.

What if?

That’s what makes Pivot Point by Kasie West such a compelling book.

In the book, Addison Coleman always knows the right choice to make, the right path to take. She knows because she is cautious and a compulsive planner who likes to follow the rules. She also knows because of her ability, Divergence.

Being Divergent isn’t the coolest ability in the paranormal compound Addie calls home. She can’t erase memories like her best friend Laila or move things with her mind like the Telekinetics on the school football team.

Instead, when faced with a choice Addie can Search her future and see both outcomes for any given decision.

When Addie’s parents announce they are getting divorced, her ability suddenly becomes much more important. One Search six weeks in the future should be more than enough to make the decision of which parent to live with. In one future Addie can find true love and happiness while in the other there is a promise of popularity and excitement. But in either Search there is also something much more dangerous and the potential for a terrible loss.

And, of course, you can read the book to see which path Addie does ultimately choose.

There are so many reasons I wish I had Addie’s ability in Pivot Point. Which is just one of the reasons I love this story so much. It’s always fun to talk about time travel or even idly consider it. But no one wants to accidentally erase themselves or forever alter the timeline. I mean, that’s a lot of pressure.

Being able to see down two paths and consider the two realities side-by-side is a much safer bet. It’s all the fun of time travel with almost none of the risk. Plus, for most people, it’s something that happens naturally. Sometimes the choices are mundane (should have a sandwich or soup for lunch?) but sometimes they are much more formative (should I move across the country or stay in this city?). And no matter the question, the outcome can still be life-changing. It’s just a matter of asking yourself, “What if?”

*Side note: don’t forget to check out the sequel Split Second

Parallel Time Loop:
Introduction
Rachel – A Wrinkle in Time
Brittany – Dissonance
Lauren – The Ruby Red series
Rachel – The Time Traveler’s Wife
Alexa – All Our Yesterdays

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Introduction – Parallel Time Loop

paralleltimeloop

About a month ago I finished Loop by Karen Akins (review to come at the end of the month) and I was blown away. If you are my friend on Goodreads and you didn’t have Loop on you TBR list I most likely shoved it down your throat gentle nudged you to read it. I was completely crazy about it and I think a lot of you will be too.

Anyway, after I was done I started to think about all of the parallel life books that I love which got me to think of the time travel books that I love. Both seem to go hand in hand when you sit down and think about it. There are a lot of similarities in both types of stories that connect them in a fraternal twin kind of way. Then I got to thinking about how I could celebrate these types of stories because they are my favorite kinds of books. I’m just fascinated by them. So I threw it out on Twitter and I got 9 lovely ladies that responded with interest and from there Parallel Time Loop was born. For the next 10 weekdays one of the lovelies will be guesting on my blog talking about a parallel life or time travel book in their own way. Some did reviews, so have interviews, some just have fun posts. But each of us did use a different book in hopes that one might be new to you.

To kick things off and introduce the participants to all of you I have asked each of them to answer one question (and a lookie-looat the books we are all doing):

In a parallel life, what do you think you would be doing?

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Rachel (Hello, Chelly): “In my parallel life I would’ve taken French instead of Spanish in high school, studied abroad for a semester in Paris during college and eventually returned there after I graduated. I would still be a designer and blogger but I’d be doing that from Paris instead of New York/New Jersey. And of course I’d have this gorgeous loft and a boyfriend that looks like Theo James (who I would’ve met on a train traveling from London to Paris, similar to Before Sunrise). A girl can dream!”

Brittany (The Book Addicts Guide): “Hmmmm. In a parallel life, I would have chosen a better major in college and actually pursued a dream (like music, or actually DOING something with my Spanish and not just majoring in “Spanish”). I think that’s the one decision I really regret in life and I would have loved to taken the appropriate steps at the appropriate time to set myself up for a good career.”

Lauren (Love is Not a Triangle): “In my parallel life, I’m a world traveling librarian, because my excellent research skills are in demand everywhere, and that’s totally a thing in my alternate universe. ”

Rachel (Rachel Writes Things): “I love time travel. I think the idea of being able to go to a different period of time and explore it. Look at Outlander for example. I think, if I could time travel I would LOVE to go to the American Revolution. I think I would be BFF with Abigail Adams. Did you know she tried to convince her husband (John Adams, future president) that women should have the right to vote? YUP. Awesome! I also just think the American Revolution is such a huge change in history — American separate from Britain and we almost called the President ‘King’.”

Alexa (Alexa Loves Books): “In a parallel life, I’d instinctively tell you that I would be a professional ballerina. I’d dance on stages all over the world, known for my moving performances, clean line and just the way I express all the emotions with each movement for every role that I take. ”

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Emma (Miss Print): “I’m still trying to think of a cool name for the alternate universe version of myself. No matter what she’s called, I’d like to think that version of me is similar to myself but turned up to eleven. And possibly a published author who sometimes rocks pink highlights.”

Lauren (Bookmark Lit): “I always wanted to be an English teacher. In junior year of high school, I took a marketing class and it changed everything. I thought I could make more money and do something I thought was pretty easy. In hindsight, I wish I stuck with my gut. Every day I sit at my desk and wish that I went to school to be a teacher instead. I know it’s not too late to make this change (considering I just finished undergrad in 2013 anyways), but I think that is what I would be doing in my alternate universe. I would have decided to stick with teaching and would be working at a high school somewhere. I guess that’s not a particularly glamorous answer to this question, but it’s a true one!”

Danielle (Love at First Page): “What would I be doing in a parallel life? I feel like I’m going to have a really lame answer compared to everyone else, haha! Umm. Can I go a bit out there? How about – if this sort of thing were at all possible, I’d be like a book hopper. Basically I could live out all my favorite books, and be the female character who gets to fall in love with the gorgeous guy every time. Only, I wouldn’t remember once I moved onto the next book, otherwise I’d feel guilty. DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE? It sounds awesome, at least. So, that’s what I’d do.”

Andi (Andi’s ABCs): “When I was little I always wanted to go to college at UCLA. I have no idea why or where I got the idea but I always said I wanted to go there. Of course as I got older that changed and I went with a more feasible plan. So for my parallel life I would like to think that I would have actually gone and lived in California for college and be on an entirely different coast right now. I’m not sure what I would be doing, maybe some kind of buyer or something, but I know I would be warmer all year round.”

What would you be doing in a parallel life?

*Katie (Polished Page-Turners) is taking part in the “tour” but was unable to answer the question in time due to real life. I’m pretty sure she would be as awesome in a parallel life as she is now!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Series I Would Suggest to Non-Series Readers

   Let’s face it, YA is filled with series. Everything seems to have a 2nd part or a 3rd part or even a 5th or 6th. It is a commitment that not everyone really wants to make. I know I struggle with this and imagine others do to. So after much back and forth with today’s TTT I decided to go with series that are worth the commitment for people that are scared of series in general. What series are your favorites that you would recommend?

 divergent delirium

 summeriturned throne1

 selection altered

 pivot if

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Divergent/Delirium/Throne of Glass/The Summer I Turned Pretty/The Selection/Altered/Pivot Point/If I Stay/Anna and the French Kiss/Catching Jordan

Please click on the links above to see more about the author.
*Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
**Top Ten Tuesday image made by me. If you would like to use it please give credit.

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Just Like Fate – Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young plus a Note

Before I get to the review for this one I wanted to say something about the rash of parallel life books that seem to be out in the YA world right now. I was talking to Christine of Oh, Chrys! on Twitter a little bit back when she was reading Pivot Point by Kasie West. She was telling me that she wanted more science. Being a big fan of the parallel life books I suggested that she read Parallel by Lauren Miller because that one had more science to it. She said she heard the books were both similar which is true, but only to a fault. Christine suggested that I write a post on what I told her about so before I get to the review of Just Like Fate I’m going to tell you what I told her.

Not all parallel life books are the same! That is very important to remember. I 3 parallel books in a pretty short time span and all three brought something new to the table.

1) Pivot Point (review): The clever paranormal version of this subject matter. There were powers involved in this amazing book and it is the only one in the group that is a series!
2) Parallel (review): Standalone which is very rare in YA these days. It deals more with the scientific reasons to parallel lives but isn’t so heavy on the science that you fall asleep. Fantastic book.
3) Just Like Fate: Today’s review. A take on parallel lives that is more the ‘flip side of a coin’ thing. It is the more contemporary of the lot in my opinion and seems to have a grass is greener quality to it. Also a stand alone.

So there you have it, my input on parallel life books. Now on to the review.

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Title: Just Like Fate [Amazon]
Author: Cat Patrick [website] and Suzanne Young[website]
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Genre:  Contemporary
Source/Type:Edelweiss/Digital
Stars: 5 of 5

Publisher Description:
Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline’s been at Gram’s bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape–both her family and the reality of Gram’s failing health. So when Caroline’s best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram’s side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline’s fate into two separate paths–and she’s about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she’s ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending…

My Thoughts:
I have read a string of parallel life/alternate reality books lately and I think that I need more of them in my life. I’m completely enthralled by the possibility that one decision can change everything. Ever since watching Sliding Doors years ago I have been fascinated by this theory and Patrick and Young have just added another reason for me to love it. Them seamlessly wrote a story about choices and what can happen to life by doing something as simple as saying yes or no.

Just Like Fate is the story of Caroline, a simple girl that never really fit in with her family and is scared to face her problems. Since her parents’ divorce Caroline have been running from her problems and not dealing with them. She has always had her grandmother there to help her pick up the pieces. But when her Gram gets sick and Caroline is faced with her inevitable death she has a choice given to her. She can got to a party with her best friend and not deal with her current situation or she can stay and be at Gram’s beside.  Each decision takes Caroline on two very different journeys that alter her life. But no matter what sometimes you can’t out run fate so matter which path you take to get there.

I really really loved this book. It was my 3rd parallel life book in the past couple of months which could have made it seem monotonous. But Patrick and Young managed to take a currently popular concept and make it their own. There was no bells, no whistles, no talk of science or paranormal powers. It was straight up “what would happen if I choose…”.  It was a character driven story. It was Caroline’s story about her fear of facing things, of dealing with things.

And did I ever love Caroline. She was so totally relatable, in both “worlds”. I understood why she was afraid to face problems because the truth is we all are and we all deal with problems differently and not having her grandmother there for her terrified her so why would she want to deal with that. But I also got where her family was coming from in terms of calling her out on her crap because at some point she had to grow up and stop running. But what I really liked was Caroline’s relationship with her brother Teddy and her relationship with Chris. Oh how I love Chris. I barely knew him and I loved him. He really helped Caroline in a way that she didn’t even know she needed. In a way Chris helped her to stop running and to face her problems. He was sweet and charming and lovable and the completely opposite of Joel who I didn’t like at all. Compared to Chris Joel gave Caroline more problems instead of helping her fix them. He really got on my nerves, that’s for sure, but he was an important part to the story so I let it slide.

Basically I have always been a fan of Cat Patrick and now I’m a fan of Suzanne Young(review for The Program is coming soon!) These two authors crafted a very clever tale about fate and what it takes to get there and that no matter what path you take you should end up where you belong. The weaved an intricate story about growing up and standing still and figuring out who you are and what you want and how to stand up for yourself without running away and brushing things under the rug. Highly highly recommend this one. You wouldn’t be disappointed!

Don’t forget to enter my Last Hurrah Giveaway. Goes until 8/24 at 11pm EST.

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Review: Pivot Point – Kasie West

Review: Pivot Point – Kasie WestPivot Point by Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point #1
Published by HarperTeen
on February 12th 2013
Format: Paperback
Amazon, Goodreads

Knowing the outcome doesn't always make a choice easier...

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through... and who she can’t live without.

Review

I can’t even put into words my love of this book. I honestly feel like saying it was amazing is doing a disservice to it. Amazing is so over used, for me anyway, when talking about a book. But I can’t think of anything else to really use to describe Pivot Point. To say I fell in love with is it a huge understatement, and reading this book proved to me that I need to read/find more books like it. Like Parallel by Lauren Miller, I am completely enthralled with the concept West used in this creatively told novel about two different life paths.

Pivot Point is Addie’s story. Addie has lived in her paranormal compound her whole life where she has been surrounded by other paranormals like herself. Each person has some sort of power varying from mind erasing(Addie’s BFF) to detecting lies(her dad) to telekinesis(some of the football players, to Addie’s own power as a Divergent, a person that can look into the future when given a choice to decide which path to take. When Addie finds out her parents are splitting she must decide if she wants to live in the compound with her mom or move to the Norm world with her dad. Using her power to search her two futures Addie is faced with deciding between her heart and the lives of the people around her.

First and foremost I must start by saying the characters in this book were pretty amazing. It’s very rare for me to find a book that this is true about, but I really enjoyed each and every single one of them. They all had a purpose and I found that purpose to be understandable without it being dumbed down for the reader. The way they were all written translated seamlessly into both words and that is a kudos to West. You can tell she really thought about the little things that make a book work and character connection is one of those things. What I really loved was the 4 main-ish characters, Addie by far being the lead, with Laila, Trevor and Duke her supporting cast. Laila was the kind of friend that stringent Addie needed. She brought Addie out of her shell but in a natural way. Duke, the school heartthrob that made Addie question some things about herself and the people around her, and Trevor, oh Trevor! He may be one of the cutest cowboys that ever did cowboy! SWOON I tell you. Perfect swoon for Trevor. But really it was all Addie and her interactions with this people that brought the whole thing together. That  and West’s amazing focus on detail.

I can’t say enough how the little things in the book is what brought it all together for me. Never once was I worried that I would be confused about which “reality” I was in before reading it, and West made sure I wouldn’t have to be with the way she wrote it. You don’t think a lot about what it takes to make a great book, unless you are an author I imagine, but the tiniest of details makes all the difference and the difference was made in Pivot Point, right down to the very very end with an ending that blew me away, broke my heart, made me hopeful and set up the series quite nicely.

Straight up, Kasie West is a genius. I mean, hardcore genius. This book was so chockfull of awesome. From the dictionary words at the beginning of each chapter distinguishing the Norm World from the Paranormal World, to the tiniest of details used to connect both worlds in some way, to the amazing characters, West created what I would classify as a masterpiece. It was entertaining and thought provoking and had a great love story that made you want more. To be honest I am usually annoyed when I get sucked into another series, but I just can’t be with this one. Pivot Point was written in such a way that it actually demands a series be made out of it. So bravo to you Ms. West for not only creating this epically awesome book, but for making me excited there will be more. Even if you think paranormal isn’t your thing, trust me on this, Pivot Point will convert you it is that good.

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