February 6, 2014
Read a full summary of Pivot Point by Kasie West below. If you can’t remember what happened in Pivot Point and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.
Addie is a Searcher. When faced with a choice, she can Search her two options, basically living through each option in her mind, before making a decision. Her parents drop the Divorce-Bomb on her, and Addie decides to search her next choice: Stay with her mom on the super secret paranormal compound or move to the Outside with her dad and try to fit in with the Norms?
The chapters alternate between Addie’s two choices. In the chapters where she stays with her mom on the compound, she starts dating Duke, the uber-charming football star. In the chapters where she moves outside of the compound with her dad, she befriends Trevor, a sweet yet seemingly spoken-for cowboy, whom she develops feelings for.
But in both stories, a girl on the paranormal compound has been murdered, and Addie’s dad, a human lie-detector, has been put on the case. A drug dealer nicknamed Poison is the prime suspect, and Addie finds herself drawn to the mystery in the chapters on the Outside, while in the chapters on the compound, Poison weaves his way into her life.
In the chapters on the outside, Addie gets some desperate-sounding texts from her best friend from the compound, Laila. It turns out that Laila has been murdered, but not by Poison, but by Bobby, Duke’s best friend.
Meanwhile in the chapters on the compound, Addie is trapped in Bobby’s house and has discovered that he is the one who has been killing people, but only after stealing some of their abilities. Poison calls the police because he thinks that maybe Addie is in trouble, and basically saves the day.
Then Addie “wakes up” from her Search and knows that she must choose to stay on the compound, otherwise Laila will die. But she knows that she must have Laila use her ability and erase Addie’s memories of both choices, and she hates the idea of losing Trevor. So she writes herself a note to remind Laila to work on her abilities, so that maybe Laila can give her the memories of Trevor back after everything is over.
In the epilogue, which takes place after Addie has chosen to stay on the compound and everything has played out, Addie and Laila are recovering in the hospital, and Addie’s dad suggests that they both visit him for the holidays. Addie somehow has a vision of Trevor, and decides that she will visit her dad.
What happened in Pivot Point?
- Addie lives on a secret compound in Texas, where everyone has mental abilities. Her father is a Discerner (what she calls a human lie-detector), and her mother is a Persuasive (she can persuade people to do what she wants). Her best friend, Laila, can erase people’s memories. Addie’s ability is called Divergence, but other people call her a Searcher, because when faced with a choice, Addie can Search both choices. It only takes a few minutes for her to Search, but to her, it feels like she has actually lived both choices. A boy on the compound, Bobby, who is a mass manipulator (can walk through walls, etc.), had previously asked her to a dance but she refused because she did a Search and it showed her that he would become aggressive and take advantage of her.
- Addie’s parents tell her that they are getting a divorce, and that her father is moving off the compound to live with the Norms (people without mental abilities) and she is completely distraught. They give her a choice: Stay on the compound and live with her mom, or leave the compound with her dad. Laila suggests that she Search her choices.
- The chapters then alternate between her two choices: on the compound with her mom (designated here by ON COMPOUND) and on the Outside with her dad (designated here by ON OUTSIDE).
- ON COMPOUND: Addie calls her dad to ask him advice about her car, which is making strange noises. While on the phone, her dad gets a package from a mailman. Duke Rivers, the charming football star and major crush of every girl at Lincoln High, throws a football and hits Addie’s car. She tells him his aim is off and he says that his aim is always perfect. Laila wants Addie to go with her to a party that Friday, and Addie reluctantly agrees.
- ON OUTSIDE: Addie and her dad move to Dallas, TX. Before moving, Addie had to take Norm-training classes, where she learned to fit in on the outside. Her dad gets a package from the Para-Bureau with a DVD inside.
- ON COMPOUND: Laila and Addie go to the party where they see Duke, and Laila tells Addie that Duke likes her.
- ON OUTSIDE: Addie and her dad go to her new school’s football game. She meets Trevor, a quiet cowboy, and then meets some of his friends, including the loud and obnoxious Rowan.
- ON COMPOUND: Laila literally pushes Addie into Duke, who then says that he might want to ask Addie out on a date. She tells him not to, and then uses the excuse that she won’t kiss a guy who has kissed more than 5 girls, but Duke says that her rule doesn’t affect him.
- ON OUTSIDE: Addie goes to her first day of Norm school, and Trevor is in her Government class. She eats lunch in the library and decides to ditch her next class, PE. Trevor is a library aide and they talk. She writes him a note.
- ON COMPOUND: Addie decides she wants to milk her parents’ guilt from the divorce and decides she will dye a strip of her hair blue to rebel. Laila invites Duke to help them, and the three of them go to Laila’s house after school. Laila’s dad, who is telepathic and a druggie, asks Laila for money, because he needs to pay his friend. Laila says no, and when the doorbell rings, her dad hides. Laila, Addie, and Duke answer the door and handle Laila’s dad’s “friend,” a drug dealer nicknamed Poison.
- ON OUTSIDE: Addie leaves the note for Trevor, and then proceeds to kind of stalk him. She goes to the library for lunch again and Trevor has left her a note with his phone number. She calls him and he invites her to go to the movies with him and his friends. Addie talks to Laila on the phone, and while they’re talking, Laila’s dad asks her for money. Laila’s doorbell rings and she has to hang up.
- ON COMPOUND: Duke takes Addie home from Laila’s house, and Addie’s mom grounds her for dyeing her hair. Duke calls her. At school, Duke gets a Perceptive (someone who can change their surroundings to look how they want) to change the outside of the library to look like sky with lettering that spells out “Give him a chance.” Addie reluctantly agrees to go out with him.
- ON OUTSIDE: Addie goes to the movie with Trevor and his friends. Enter uber-biotch Stephanie, a girl who is either dating Trevor, or wants to–Addie doesn’t know which. Rowan tries to put the moves on Addie, but she isn’t interested. She goes to the bathroom and calls Laila, and when she comes out, Trevor is waiting for her, worried.
- ON COMPOUND: Addie’s mom says she overreacted and asks if she wants to go to a movie. Addie lies and says she’s tired, because she’s supposed to sneak out with Duke. She texts Duke to change the meeting time from 10 to 11, but at 10 Duke shows up at her door, asking her mom if they can watch a movie together. Her mom agrees, and while they’re watching the movie, Addie freaks out and calls Laila from the bathroom, and then he kisses her and she enjoys it.
- ON OUTSIDE: Trevor and Addie go back into the theater. When the movie ends, Rowan suggests that they play the “dessert game”, a game where they split up in two teams and each team goes to one of their members’ houses and tries to find the best dessert. Whoever wins gets to dare the other team. They go to Addie’s house and her dad kind of interrogates everyone. Her dad is watching the DVD that he had received in the mail, and Addie listens in to some of it. It shows a man, nicknamed Poison, being questioned by the police, because he is suspected of killing a high school girl on the paranormal compound. Addie and her team take some chocolate-covered granola bars as their dessert and leave her house. In the car, Addie finds out that Trevor was a football player and had been hurt in a game against her old high school. They get back to the theater and the other team wins the game with half of a cake.
- ON COMPOUND: At school, Duke parades Addie around in front of everyone. Laila joins them for an off-campus lunch, and all the other football players are there, along with Bobby. Bobby is a complete jerk, and then Laila sees that Poison is in the restaurant. Laila goes outside and lets the air out of Poison’s tires while Addie distracts him by getting soda all over him and herself. He surprisingly responds kindly. After they are done eating, Laila kind of taunts Poison, who is angry about his flat tires. Addie warns Laila that she shouldn’t provoke him, because he’ll kill her.
- ON OUTSIDE: Addie’s team’s dare for losing the dessert game is to steal the principal’s bobble head doll from his car. Rowan and Stephanie distract the principal while Addie and Trevor go in the car, but the principal sets the alarm while they’re still in it. Rowan heads off to swipe the keys and get them out, and Trevor tells Addie about Rowan’s theory that some football players from another team are deliberately hurting the competition. He says that he usually stays tense for a bit after the whistle during a play, but that at the time he got hurt, he was completely relaxed and then he got sacked after the whistle. Laila texts Addie and says she just let air out of the tires of one of her dad’s loser friends. Addie tells Trevor that she isn’t interested in Rowan.
- ON COMPOUND: Addie somehow manages to go to Duke’s house for a “study date” even though she’s grounded. Duke tells her about how his dad is obsessed with football, and how Duke is trying to figure out which college to go to the next year. Addie tells him she’ll go to his next football game.
- ON OUTSIDE: Addie tells Laila about Rowan’s theory of someone at Lincoln High sabotaging other players, and Laila says that she’ll try to find out some info. Addie watches her dad’s police interrogation DVD, and quickly replaces it when her dad comes home. She overhears her dad on the phone with Poison, who is threatening him.
- ON COMPOUND: Addie and Laila go to Duke’s football game. Addie goes to get drinks and she sees Poison. He threatens her and reveals his ability as being able to control other people, by making her leg move and then making her completely freeze.
- ON OUTSIDE: Addie goes over to Trevor’s house and all of his friends are there. Rowan is playing pool and hitting on Addie, but Trevor swears that he told Rowan that she wasn’t interested. Rowan actually starts acting nice and he and Addie discuss his theory about the football injuries. Addie finds Trevor’s brother reading comic books in Trevor’s room. She sees the comic book that Trevor is working on. Rowan shows everyone a poster of Lincoln High’s football team, and suggests that everyone keep an eye on a couple of them, and that they should place spies in the Lincoln High student section at the next game.
- ON COMPOUND: Addie, Laila, and Duke try to figure out what Poison’s ability is. Addie wants to call her dad, but Laila is worried that if they do, Poison might hurt her own dad. Duke just wants to kill Poison, and tells Addie that they should practice Thought Placement together so she can let him know if she’s in danger. Duke can already do Thought Placement, which is a rare talent with his ability of telekinesis. They go to Laila’s house and sneak a look at Laila’s dad’s phone to find Poison’s phone number. Addie puts his number in her phone. They then go to Bobby’s house because apparently not only can he walk through walls, he can hack into computer systems. Addie remembers when she previously Searched ahead and Bobby forced himself on her, so she is uncomfortable in his house, even though none of that technically happened. Bobby is a jerk like normal, but he does find out Poison’s address for them.
- ON OUTSIDE: Laila comes to visit Addie at Addie’s dad’s house. Laila brings info on all the football players at Lincoln High but the info really doesn’t help them, as none of the players seem like they would be able to do what happened to Trevor. Laila and Addie go to the football game of her new school vs. Lincoln High, and in the parking lot beforehand, Laila sets off a car alarm and then uses her ability to turn it off. She reveals that Bobby has been helping her extend her ability and Addie is not happy. Laila turns the car alarm back on and off again. She says that she has to practice extending her abilities to protect herself from her dad’s creepy friend. They go into the game and Rowan wants to start spying on the Lincoln High students. They find out that Trevor met Duke at an all-star awards banquet and Trevor says that Duke is pretty nice.
- ON COMPOUND: Laila and Addie visit Addie’s dad on the outside for the football game. Addie’s dad seems old and tired and Addie is worried about him. They’ve been doing surveillance at Poison’s house but think that nothing is really going on there except for drug use. At the game, Laila wants to mess with the Norm guys and she gets Rowan to come over. We find out that Trevor broke up with Stephanie about a month prior, but she keeps showing up and Trevor is too nice to make her go away.
- ON OUTSIDE: At one point in the game, Addie notices Trevor isn’t in his seat, so she goes to look for him. He says that watching the game is hard, and that he doesn’t really know who he is without football. After Trevor walks away, Addie goes to the locker room to do some of her own spying. She overhears Duke and a player named Ray and another player talking about soothing the other team into being docile. And Addie suspects maybe Bobby is the mass manipulator behind the injuries, but he’s not on the team. Addie runs into Duke as she’s trying to leave the locker room. He flirts with her and she confronts him. He seems like he doesn’t know anything about the players getting hurt, but he does admit to being in on making the other players more docile. Trevor sees her with Duke and she says she doesn’t know him, and was just spying for Rowan.
- ON COMPOUND: After the game, Addie meets Duke outside of the locker room. Ray and Andrew, two other players, are there, too. Trevor shows up and Duke, Ray, and Andrew are kind of jerks to him. Laila meets up with Addie and Duke after the game. She’s been with Rowan, and he’s been asking questions about Lincoln High School. She says she kissed him to distract him. Laila, Duke, and Addie go to Addie’s dad’s house to spend the night. Addie’s dad acts a little strange around Duke, like he knows he’s lying about something. Addie tells Laila about how Duke was a jerk to Trevor.
- ON OUTSIDE: At school, Rowan invites Addie to a surprise party for Trevor because it’s the day that he is finally allowed to throw again. Addie doesn’t think it’s a good idea but she goes anyway. Stephanie has this whole big thing set up where Trevor will “give them a show” by throwing footballs. Trevor is nice about it and throws some balls but then is in pain and has to stop. Addie tries to ease the tension by getting Rowan and Brandon to throw against each other, and Stephanie is pissed at Addie. Trevor leaves and Stephanie is a complete jerk to Addie, and Addie leaves to try to find Trevor.
- ON COMPOUND: Back on the compound, Addie goes to Duke’s house but he’s not there, so she waits for him. She looks for a piece of paper to leave him a note and finds a printed list of all the kids at Lincoln High and their abilities. Her name and ability is highlighted. Duke comes in and she confronts him, accuses him of using her for her ability. He says that at first he thought she could help him decide which college to go to, but that it wasn’t like that anymore. And he’s a jerk to her, but she just goes along with what he says, apologizing.
- ON OUTSIDE: Addie goes to Trevor’s house with a heating pad and a comic book. She meets his mom, who kind of interrogates her, and Trevor spouts off tons of nice details about Addie which makes her almost cry. He says he wants Addie to help him with his new comic book all about superheroes. She decides that’ll be the way she tells him about her ability. He makes it clear that he likes Addie more than friends, explains that he broke up with Stephanie a month ago, and he kisses her.
- ON COMPOUND: Addie is second-guessing her relationship with Duke and Laila tells her she’s overreacting. So Addie invites Duke to do something with her that night and he says he has to go to a party with his parents. But she remembers that when she was waiting for him in his room, Ray had texted him about meeting up to go over football strategy, so she knows he’s lying.
- ON OUTSIDE: Addie and Trevor work on their comic book together, and Trevor thinks she’s making the whole plot line up, but it’s really all about the paranormal compound. Stephanie is pissed about Addie and Trevor being together, so she finds Addie’s transcripts, makes copies, and gives a copy to Trevor. Addie calls Laila and Laila tells her to tell Trevor the truth. Laila is hanging out with Bobby and Addie tells her not to, and they get into a fight. Addie goes home early from school, and the mailman brings another package for her dad, and she opens it. It’s a DVD of another interview with Poison, and another girl from the compound has been killed. Addie goes through her dad’s things and finds out that her dad isn’t sure if Poison killed the first girl. She takes a walk, and when she comes home, Trevor is waiting for her.
How did it end?
-ON COMPOUND: Addie goes to Fat Jacks to spy on Duke, but Duke never shows up. She decides to listen to the conversation of Ray and some other football players, and she finds out that Duke did actually have to go to a party with his parents and that he wasn’t lying to her. But she also finds out that Ray and those other guys have been injuring players on other teams, and that Duke is a part of it. Addie drives over to Duke’s house and waits down the street for him to come home. Once he gets inside, she calls him, saying she needs to talk and asks if he can come to her. He lies to her and says that he’s still at the party with his parents, and that it’ll probably go all night. She gets off the phone with him and then Laila pulls up to Duke’s house and rings the doorbell. Duke opens the door, hugs Laila, and they both go inside.
-ON OUTSIDE: Addie lets Trevor come inside and she tells him the truth. He doesn’t believe her so she changes her eye color to convince him. She tells him about the whole Bobby thing and how Laila has been hanging out with Bobby. Trevor wonders what if they’re actually in her Search, and he says he wants her to choose him. She says she knows she’s not in a Search because she can’t Search within a Search. She decides she’ll try to Search, to prove it’s not a Search already, and Trevor tells her not to do it in front of him, but makes her promise that if it is a Search, and she chooses the other path, that she won’t erase him.
-ON COMPOUND: Addie’s mom calls her while she’s still in her car down the street from Duke’s house, reminding her that she’s grounded and that she needs to come home. Before she can leave, her phone rings again and it’s Poison. He uses his ability to make her get out of the car and go down the street, where he is. He makes her say “Hello, this is Addie” into a phone, and it turns out she’s calling her dad. Addie is sneaky and hits end call before saying anything, and then pretends to end the call after she “talks” to her dad. Poison is mad because he wanted to talk to her dad, too, to threaten him. Addie drops the phone and yells and runs away while he’s picking it up, but he freezes her again. Bobby, who lives across the street from Duke, comes outside, and Poison stops controlling Addie and walks away. Bobby takes her inside his house and locks the door.
-ON OUTSIDE: Addie wakes up in the middle of the night and has a text from Laila that says “Help” and another one that says “Forgive me”. She wakes her dad up and he calls the compound bureau, reports Laila as missing and tells them to go to Poison’s house. As they wait for a return phone call, Addie’s dad tells her that he was the reason for the divorce, that he could see through all the lies on the compound and didn’t want Addie to grow up there, and that her mom wanted her to stay on the compound to further develop her ability. Addie’s dad gets a phone call. Poison has been arrested, but although Laila’s parents haven’t seen her since that morning, no one knows where she is. Addie’s dad needs to go back to the compound to question Poison in person. Addie calls her mom and tells her what’s going on. Her mom offers to be there for Laila when she is found, since her parents won’t be there. Addie texts Trevor and he calls and comes over to stay with her. He reads to her while they wait to hear from her dad. Addie’s dad calls, and they’ve found Laila, but she’s dead, and Bobby is the one who killed her. Trevor assures Addie that this must be a Search, because there’s no way she would ever choose this option.
-ON COMPOUND: Addie asks to use Bobby’s phone. He says his is dead, but that he’ll put it on the charger for a while. She asks Bobby about Laila and Duke without really asking, and says that Duke was using her. Bobby says that Duke is getting desperate to figure out which college he should go to. Addie says that she can’t help him make his decision and Bobby says that she could with advanced mind control. He tells her that he teaches people advanced mind control, and that every time he does, he can gain a bit of their powers, too. Addie tries to go out the door but it is locked. Bobby taught Poison how to advance his ability, and now Bobby wants some of Addie’s ability. He gets a text from Duke, who has seen Addie’s car down the street. Bobby texts back that he hasn’t seen her and Addie gets the idea to do Thought Placement towards Duke to let him know she’s in trouble. Laila and Duke both come to Bobby’s house. Bobby controls Laila and makes her put a knife up to her throat. Addie tells Duke to do something and it turns out that Duke isn’t telekinetic like he has told everyone, instead he’s a mood controller. Time kind of slowed down for Addie and the knife comes her way but she is able to get out of the way in time. The Para-Bureau comes in and saves them, and the Search is over.
-Addie wakes up from her Search and Laila asks her what she saw. Addie thinks about telling her dad about everything, but she knows that without proof he won’t be able to arrest Bobby. She realizes that she has to choose to stay with her mom on the compound, because if she doesn’t, Laila will die. But she knows that Laila will have to erase both paths from her memory, but she hates the idea of losing the memories of Trevor. So she writes herself a note that she can’t open until after everything plays out, telling herself to make Laila work on extending her ability so that maybe Laila can bring back her memories of Trevor.
-The epilogue takes place after Addie has chosen the path of staying with her mom, and after all of the events have played out. Addie and Laila are both recovering at the hospital. They find out that Poison was the one who called the bureau because he was suspicious of Bobby. Duke comes to the hospital room and wants to talk to Addie. As Laila leaves the room, she punches Duke for using his ability to seduce both Addie and herself. It turns out that all the times Addie doubted Duke was when Duke wasn’t controlling her mood, so she never really truly liked him. Duke also was always in on the injuring of other football players. He and Andrew would calm the other team, and Ray, who is telekinetic, can move muscles and bones and would injure the players that way. Addie tells Duke that if his team stops using their abilities against Norm schools, she won’t tell his coach about his true ability. Addie’s dad shows up and tells her that she and Laila should stay with him for the holidays. Addie somehow gets a flashback or flashforward of Trevor, and decides that she will go stay with her dad.
Paranormal Compound: A secret compound where everyone has mental abilities. Addie has lived there her whole life.
Outside: Outside the paranormal compound. Basically the rest of the world.
Norms: People who live outside the compound, in the rest of the world, and who don’t have mental abilities. Norms don’t know about the paranormal compound or about the mental abilities.
Searcher: Addie is a Searcher, but her ability is truly called Divergence. When faced with a choice, she can Search her choices, living each choice out in her head, to help her make a decision.
Telekinetic: A mental ability that allows the person to move objects with his or her mind.
Telepathic: A mental ability that allows the person to read or hear the thoughts of others, and possibly send their own thoughts to others.
Persuasive: A mental ability where the person can persuade others to do what he or she wants. Addie’s mother is Persuasive.
Discerner: A mental ability where a person can tell if another person is being truthful or not. Addie’s father is a Discerner.
Mass Manipulator: A mental ability where a person can manipulate the mass of an object, making themselves able to walk through walls, among other things.
Perceptive: A mental ability where a person can change the scenery around them to make them look the way they want.
Mood Controller: A mental ability where a person can alter or control the mood of other people.
Thought Placement: Duke and Addie practice Thought Placement, where one of them can think something towards the other, and the other can hear it.
Para-Bureau: The paranormal compound’s version of the FBI or CIA. Addie’s dad worked for the Para-Bureau when he lived on the compound, and they recruited him to help with the murder case after he moved off the compound.
Lincoln High: Addie’s high school on the paranormal compound.