A Welcome Turnaround [Café Libro]


Pivot Point by Kasie West starts out as your classic YA novel. Addie, a junior in high school, lives in a secret compound where everyone has mind powers—telekinesis, lie detection, controlling others’ moods, erasing parts of others’ memories, et cetera. If she is faced with a choice, Addie’s power allows her to live out both possible outcomes before making her decision. When her parents announce their plans to divorce and for her dad to leave the compound, she must decide who to live with. Naturally, she does a Search to see which path will lead to a brighter future.

As each side of the Search unfolds, however, the decision itself begins to morph. Before long, Addie’s choice between parents becomes one between two love interests, and then, as the book turns more complex, between two far more serious outcomes.

As  I read Pivot Point, my feelings about this book changed almost as much as the conflict. West created a fascinating fantasy premise, but for the first stretch, I wasn’t sure if she would pull it off. By the end, though, I was quite happily proven wrong. I would recommend Pivot Point to the reader who’s in the market for plenty of teenage romance, but also for some deeper themes and questions.

The next challenge:

Carson, this week I challenge you to read A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor, a historical novel that tells the story of London’s flower sellers, girls who had to sell posies on the street to make a living. One of these girls, Flora becomes separated from her little sister Rosie in 1876, before Flora goes to live at the benevolent Mr. Shaw’s homes for flower girls. Later, in 1912, a young woman named Tilly also comes to live at Shaw’s homes, but as an assistant housemother. As Tilly meets the girls who are now under her care and finds the notebook Flora left behind, she discovers a deep connection with this girl who used to call the home her own.

The story switches between Flora’s and Tilly’s perspectives, and I love this book for the depth this connection brings. Carson, I hope you enjoy A Memory of Violets, with all its fascinating characters and settings, as much as I did.

On this blog, Emily Dexter and Carson TerBush will put their book recommendations to the test. Each week, one will challenge each other to read a book she has read before and enjoyed. The following week, they will judge the recommended book and then propose the next challenge. They hope to inspire new readers to read some new books. To read more, check out the Café Libro blog at https://hilite.org/category/cafe-libro/.