Published: February 11th 2014 by HarperTeen
Format: ARC, 368 pages
Genres: Science Fiction
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Addie has always been able to see the future when faced with a choice, but that doesn't make her present any easier.
Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. So when Addie's dad invites her to spend her winter break with him in the Norm world, she jumps at the chance. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He's a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. She wants to change that.
Laila, her best friend, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie's memories ... once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don't want this to happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school — but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.
In the suspenseful sequel to Pivot Point, Addie tries desperately to retrieve her lost memories and piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot.
West has followed up her incredible début Pivot Point with a thrilling sequel in Split Second, which picks up a few weeks after Addie makes her life-changing decision to stay with her mother instead of leaving the Compound where all paranormally gifted people live, hidden from the Norms.
A recap: Our protagonist is Addie, whose gift is Divergence, meaning she can live out the consequences of any decision before she makes a choice. When faced with living with either her mother or father after their abrupt divorce in the last book, Addie used her power to see what would happen in each life, and then picked one. She asked Laila, her best friend who has the power to Erase memories, to Erase the other life from her memory.
This book is stylistically similar to the first – readers still follow what’s happening inside and outside the Compound, but now, instead of following two Addie’s, we’re reading what’s happening to Addie on the outside, as she visits her father for the holidays, and Laila on the inside, as the tries to learn how to Restore memories. Although I loved getting to Addie in the first book, I think this format works well because I’ve been itching to get inside Laila’s head for a while. Other bonuses of this kind of story-telling are the awesome romantic interests: Trevor makes an appearance again on the outside, and Laila starts hanging out with rebel Connor inside the Compound.
The pacing of the novel is superb and once I began reading it, I didn’t want to put it down. The adventure just grabs you and doesn’t let go, especially since readers will remember the details of the Search that Addie has forgotten. Laila’s story is captivating as well, because it’s clear how desperate she is to do something amazing for Addie to make up for what happened. There are also many side plots, including the lies that Addie’s parents have told her, the aftermath of the incident with Bobby, and Laila’s oh-so-cute interactions with Connor.
Laila’s always pretending she’s as tough as nails, so seeing her vulnerable humanises her. I think it would have been easy to dislike her after the events of Pivot Point, but instead readers are encouraged to be sympathetic and egg her on as she tries dangerous programs to expand her abilities. On the other hand, Addie hasn’t changed much and since readers got to see her acclimatise to the Norm world in Pivot Point (with hilarious results), the experience wasn’t so interesting this time around. However, West throws us off our game by introducing the dreaded Stephanie into the picture early on, but this time she’s one of Addie’s closest friends on the outside. I think the story is cleverly told and handled well, with the author changing up things just enough to keep us on our toes.
One of my favourite things about these books is that they focus so much in positive relationships, especially when it comes to the boys both girls are attracted to. I am so very tired of seeing YA protagonists fall for the bad-boy or jock-jerk, and I’m glad that neither of them does this here. Trevor, in particular, is awesome just because he’s so nice. Although Connor begins the book being some-what of a bad-boy, he’s not dangerous, and doesn’t stalk or threaten anyone throughout the whole book. He’s rebellious, but for a very good reason. So I applaud this series on the fact that it doesn’t stick to boring stereotypes, and gave me not one, but two cute romances to revel in.
Split Second is a great sequel to Pivot Point, and fans will definitely want to get their hands on it soon as they can! Although it ends on an almost happily-ever-after note, I hope there will be at least one other novel to tell us what’s going to happen to the characters that I have come to admire. I think Kasie West is a brilliant story-teller, and I can’t wait to read her contemporary novels and compare them to her speculative fiction!