by Kasie West
To be published on February 11, 2014
by Harper Teen
Connect with the author: Twitter | Blog | Facebook
Synopsis from Goodreads: Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price. When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. 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. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that. Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, 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 to see this 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.My take: I was a big fan of Pivot Point -- you can read my review here -- and was both excited and a little nervous to read Split Second. There was no reason for nerves! I really recommend this duology. If you haven't tried these books because you don't like parallel universes or you hate love triangles, I am here to assure you that you can proceed with confidence.
Pivot Point and Split Second are more like paranormal/superhero romances than parallel universe books. Yes, Pivot Point took advantage of main character Addie's ability to look into the future and see the consequences of each side of a decision. In Addie's case, the the decision was whether to live with her mother (in a Compound for people with special abilities) or leave with her father and live in the normal world after the divorce. Yes, there is a boy down each path, but it's pretty clear which of them is Decoy Guy and which is the Real Thing.
Split Second also has a back-and-forth structure. It stays in one reality, but shifts from Addie's point of view to that of her outrageous, outspoken best friend Laila. I thought this was a really smart move -- not only are Laila and Addie polar opposites, for much of the book one of them is inside the Compound and the other outside, so it's easy to keep everything straight.
There are a lot of reasons I love these books, and I'll just give you a few. First, I love the way that superpowers are used in the story. In a lot of books, superpowers are just thrown in so that the characters can do cool stuff now and then. These books really think about the implications of the characters' having different abilities. What would it be like to have a parent who could tell if you were lying? What would it be like to be able to hear other's thoughts all the time? If you could selectively erase people's memories, would you?
I also love the fact that these books are about relationships -- family relationships, friendships, and romance. Addie feels torn between her bickering parents. She and Laila, different as they are, have a special bond. And in Split Second, it was fun to watch her rekindle her relationship with a certain guy. As a romantic bonus, feisty Laila meets her match in the love department as well.
Finally, there's a lot of plot in these books. There's the Compound -- a place with a lot of rules and secrecy. There's a subplot about Compound kids using their powers for evil. In Split Second, there's a family mystery that Addie has to solve, and we also get to know more about Laila's family -- her troubled father and her brother Eli. I thought all these plotlines were very skillfully woven together, and I was interested in all of them, something rare for me as a reader.
Wait -- just one more thing. These books are really funny. I'm a sucker for funny, and Kasie West does that very well, whether it's Addie/Laila banter, Laila/Connor banter, or watching Laila and Connor try to ignore their attraction to one another while Laila's brother Eli practices his ability at their expense.
Goodreads seems to indicate this is a duology, but my blogger friend Kim from On Wings of Books emailed me when she saw that I was reading this, and said that she thought there were still storylines to be explored. I agree. I'd love to stay in this story world a little longer, but if that's not possible, I'm glad that Kasie West seems to be a prolific writer, because I really enjoy reading what she writes.