"Hey, big boy."
"Umm..." I look around. I'm the only one here. Crap. She's talking to me.
"Yeah, I'm talkin' to you. Come here. I got somthin' for ya." She's holding a brown paper bag. It's rolled tight on one end to hide its contents.
I don't like to judge people by their appearances, but this chick is shady looking. She's wearing a black trench coat, black boots, and a black top hat. Her sunglasses seem a bit out of place. They're as big as her face, gold frames, and...oh god...no, not bedazzled!
I gotta get outta here. I was taught to never talk to someone that bedazzles things.
I turn, tripping over my own feet as I attempt to escape. I fall. I stare into the cracked pavement of this dark alley and wait.
The thuds of her boots stomp up behind me. I lie still, too scared to move. What's she gonna do to me? What if she tries to bedazzle my jeans!?
I find the courage to look up.
Her arm is extended. The brown paper bag hangs over me. "Don't ya wanna see what's inside?"
No. I just want you to go away.,.you...you creepy bedazzler that wears a top hat in scary alleys.
"Yes, thank you." What!? Dammit! What am I doing? She must have some kind of mind control powers.
She drops the bag on the ground next to me. "First one's free. I've got 37 more. Bring me some red beads tomorrow. Same time. Same place."
I look down at the bag, wondering what's in it. When I look back up at the creepy bedazzler lady...she's gone.
I reach for the bag. I feel like Belle, reaching for the enchanted rose for the first time. My hand is shaking.
What's in this bag? What makes creepy bedazzler lady so sure I'll come back?
I unroll the end of the bag and slide my hand in. I pull out something that's wrapped in used tin foil. There are traces of beans and rice and guacamole. It smells quite good, actually.
After licking the tin foil, I tear it open. Inside the tin foil are pages that have been ripped out of a book.
I gasp. I look around the alley again. I'm alone (Duh. I'm in Kansas...of course I'm alone).
I can't believe I'm holding these pages in my hands. How did she get these? These are dangerous. I've heard about people reading these...locking themselves in their rooms for hours...neglecting their children (*clears throat) because they were so addicted.
Hmm, maybe I'll just give them a try. There's not too many pages. If it's not good for me...I can stop. Yeah, I'm strong.
After giving the tin foil one more good lick I throw it down in the alley (because that's what you do in alleys).
I could get killed for these pages. I have to conceal them, so I stick them down my pants (because NO ONE will look there) and head home.
I move quickly through my house, hoping my mom doesn't question me.
"Get a job!" she says, jumping out from behind the couch.
"I'm holding out for management!" I run to my room and lock the door. I crawl under my bead and stick my hand down my pants (ha ha ha). I pull it out (ha ha ha).
Here, right in front of me, is the first chapter of Pivot Point, by Kasie West.
Pivot Point definitely qualifies as a page turner. At the end of every chapter I said one of two things: "Oh, shit!" or "What!?"
I describe this type of book as "story crack." I thought I could stop, but I couldn't.
The MC, Addie, is a Searcher. Whenever she faces a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. She's given a choice in the beginning of the book, and then the chapters alternate, showing the results of those two choices.
It's crazy! Just when I was dying to know what happened next, I'd have to go to the other reality...where I was also dying to know what happened next. At first, the two realities seemed like two separate stories, but I soon realized they were getting closer and closer to each other. It's a powerful way to build suspense and I could NOT predict the ending.
We've had a lot of teenagers live with us over the years, so I'm pretty good at judging if a book's teenage characters are believable or not. I'm happy to say that the characters in Pivot Point are not only believable, but likable. Generally, at least one (if not all) the teenage characters in a book annoy the shit outta me. I'm usually left wondering...why? I wouldn't say I fell in love with any of the characters (maybe Addie's best friend because she's flirty and the teenage me would have been like O.o), but like I said, no one annoyed the shit outta me. This works well, since I would call Pivot Point a plot-driven story. I did care about what was going to happen to the characters, but I was more interested in how it was going to happen.
Why Guys Should Read This Book
-A drug dealing character named "Poison." (I know, right!? Poison!)
-Tons of football talk.
-Flirty girls that aren't annoying.
-Lies, threats and murder.
AND, because Pivot Point has two realities going, it has two Tarzans (or "male love interests" for you non-Tarzan lovers). I don't want to give anything away here, but in the end, Addie has two guys to choose from. One turns out to be a jack ass, and the other a good guy. You can't figure it out until the end though, so good luck. Why guys should care? Because some guys need help understanding this: Girls like guys that treat them well and respect them. They don't like jack asses.
I give Pivot Point 10 out of 10 slurps of sweet tea.
Follow Kasie West on Twitter @KasieWest
Follow Kasie's agent, Michelle Wolfson, on Twitter @WolfsonLiterary
In case you're wondering...
I returned to the alley with red beads. The shady lady in black gave me the next chapter and more instructions of what color beads to bring next. I did this 37 times.
"What's with the beads?" I asked her at our last meeting.
She turned and walked away. The back of her trench coat had a bedazzled unicorn on it.
The moral of the story?
STAY AWAY FROM CRAZY ASS PEOPLE THAT BEDAZZLE THINGS