Title: Split Second (Pivot Point, #2)
Author: Kasie West
Rating: 2.5 Stars
I read a little over half of Split Second before skipping to the end of the novel and remaining unsatisfied. For fans of Pivot Point, there is no doubt in my mind that Split Second is a sequel worth waiting for. For me, though? Not so much. Split Second picks up directly where Pivot Point leaves off, which is both a relief and a point against its favor. On one hand, the novel doesn’t suffer from a slow start the way its predecessor did but, at the same time, it relies a little too much on Pivot Point to define our relationships to the characters. Instead of re-building the bonds we have with characters we’ve come to anticipate and love, Split Second reads very much as plot, dialogue, and action opposed to emotion, feeling, and response.
First and foremost, it should be mentioned that West’s duet is about parallel universes. Pivot Point followed Addison, our main character, as she explored two different paths before by choosing to live with either he mother or her father who were divorcing. Split Second starts off with Addison switching to visit the parent she didn’t choose to stay with as she copes with the events from Pivot Point. Since we already met two casts of characters, one that lives where Addison’s mother lives and one where her father lives, we find ourselves meeting old characters again while Addison meets them for the first time. Unfortunately, I found myself distancing from these story arcs a second time around, both because I knew the events that would draw two characters together and also because I enjoyed the way their relationships played out in Pivot Point and wasn’t a fan of seeing them rehashed in a different manner in Split Second.
Perhaps the most obvious difference between Pivot Point and Split Second is the fact that this sequel adds Laila’s perspective to the story. Laila is Addison’s best friend and after the two went through a series of traumatic events in the past novel, I was surprised to find that neither of these girls mentioned those issues or their reactions to them. In fact, Pivot Point seems to exist solely to establish a link with these characters as Split Second doesn’t re-build that connection. Moreover, I found myself skimming over Laila’s perspective which I wasn’t quite interested in. I never connected with Laila the way I did with Addison and I didn’t feel the strength of their friendship in this novel the way I did with Pivot Point either.
As I kept reading Split Second and the plot become more and more evident, it also become more and more familiar. West relies on tropes similar to the dystopian genre as she delves into not-so-secret secrets from the Compound Addison hails from. Frankly speaking, I wanted a little more politics, a little more shock, and a little more focus on the world-building than the romance with this installment. While I believe that fans of Pivot Point will find lots to love with this sequel, I’ve had little luck with West’s work in the past and Split Second simply wasn’t for me. It is a romantic, unique duet but not one I was able to become emotionally or psychologically invested in.