Review by Katie
February 2013 by HarperTeen
Amazon + Good Reads
"Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without."
This book was a keep the pages coming because I have to know what happens next. I loved the writing style in this book. Each chapter alternates between the two futures that Addie could potentially have. West did this impeccably well, I never got the two mixed up and the story flowed like a steady, but intense at points stream. There's a small trick to define the chapters that I didn't pick up on until over halfway through the book. Each chapter begins with a word and in the word will either be NORM or PARA and that will tell you if you are reading the normal choice or the paranormal choice that Addie could make. I thought that was really clever and I always love when there are little phrases or illustrations to start off the chapters.
I enjoyed the world in this book. The compound is this sectioned off area in the US where they live. They still interact with the outer US but no one knows that they are paranormal. This book was a breath of fresh air when it comes to the paranormal. It wasn't about one person discovering that another is paranormal, it was about a paranormal girl that was trying to decide to live normal or live paranormal - to decide if she wants to embrace her paranormal self or hide it in the normal world.
I loved Addie as our main character. She was sensible, curious and strong-willed and I don't see sensible a lot, so I especially enjoyed reading about a character that makes good decisions. Let's talk about the romance for a second here. Never, ever have I switched "teams" in a book. Once I know both points on a love triangle, I make up my mind and I stick to it. However in this book, I actually did switch teams. In the beginning I was all for her initial love interest in the hot, cocky guy but I found myself by the end disliking that guy and hoping she ended with the sweet, quiet guy. This never happens!
Not only is this story about Addie's choice that she has to make, but there is sort of a murder-mystery going on on the sideline. I enjoyed reading that part of the story as well reading about Addie's choice. I can't wait to see what the next book in this trilogy (I think it's a trilogy?) will bring. I loved this book so much that I recently picked up West's contemporary, The Distance Between Us, just because it was by Kasie West. I hope it's as good as this book.
Did you enjoy this review? Go to Katie's blog to check out more reviews by her!