Author: Misty Provencher
Published: November 11, 2011
Series: The Cornerstone #1
Source: Purchased for read-along
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Nalena Maxwell has been branded ‘The Waste’ at her new school, due to her mom’s obsessive paper hoarding. Nalena desperately wants something to change in her life, but when she receives a sign (and it’s the wrong dang one) inviting her into a mysterious, ancient community, too much changes. What she knew of her family, what she thought of her life and what she believed about her future, is no longer applicable. Seventeen years worth of family skeletons come crashing into Nalena’s life and it is the boy…the one that smiles at her like he wants to hear everything she’ll ever say…that already knows her powerful secrets. But it is only Nalena that can choose between protecting the life that is already crumbling beneath her feet and the one that might sacrifice everything she could ever have.
Okay, I’m going to be completely honest…. I would have totally passed on Cornerstone had it not been the invite to join the read-along. I read a couple of great reviews, but I just couldn’t get completely excited about it. I figured the read-along would be a good way to get through it, since I would only need to read a few chapters per week. The thing is, it turned out to be extremely hard to stop reading only the weekly chapters. I wasn’t expecting Cornerstone to be so good!
When I started Cornerstone, I really didn’t know where it was going to take me. It starts out with Nalena carrying home a ream of paper for her mom, Evangeline, who has a serious hoarding problem. While reading Nalena explain their situation, I was starting to not like her mom all that much. However, as the story went on, and there was more interaction between them, I ended up really liking their relationship. I didn’t always agree with how Nalena’s mom did or didn’t do things, but it was nice to see the kind of bond they had in a YA book. And turns out, there’s a lot more to all the paper than just hoarding. Evangeline constantly starts a story, but never finishes them, not even when Nalena begs her to.
Things take a dramatic turn when Nalena is attacked one night in the woods by a super creep. Her world is completely flipped after that, some for the better, and some not so good. The story that unfolds is pretty interesting. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the direction it started to go in, but it was actually a lot better than I thought was going to happen. There were some twists and surprises, which made it even better.
As for Nalena, I really liked her, especially after all the crap she had to put up with. The only thing that kind of bothered me was how she’d be so quick to jump to conclusions when Garrett would say something that she took the wrong way. But, she is a teenager, so I guess it could be fitting. Speaking of Mr. Hottie of All Hotties, Garrett, his character was so cool and calm, yet intense and sweet. A lot of times I don’t much care for the male roles in YA books, because they’re too brooding and intense, and I’m fairly picky when it comes to stuff like that. Garrett, though, was a great guy all around, and I loved the way he handled things, especially with Nalena.
Cornerstone was very easy to get into, and the author has that writing style that makes the book seem to go by super quick, yet it doesn’t feel rushed. In fact, she did a great job at actually making me feel the different emotions Nalena went through. There were, however, a few things I would’ve liked clarified a little better, and certain things answered. They are somewhat minor, that will hopefully be explored in the next book.
Overall, Cornerstone was a pleasant surprise that I’m glad to have read. I definitely recommend this book, especially if you want a quick YA paranormal romance. The second book, Keystone, is already available, so I hope to read it soon.