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 What she knew of her family, what she thought of her life and what she believed about her future, is no longer applicable.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.
Kindle Edition, 219 pages
Published November 7th 2011
Five Stars: This is an indie book that you must read!
Nalena walks home from school. She shifts her heavy backpack on her shoulder as she struggles to balance the three reams of paper in her other hand. She detests paper day. Every week she stops at the office supply store to pick up three packs of paper for her mother. Despite the fact that her home is filled with stacks and stacks of paper. Everywhere you look, including the oven and the furniture there are piles of papers. Nalena hates that her mother hoards paper, but she can't say no to her, either. Her mother is her rock and together they face the world and weather the storm. Even when they lost their home due the stacks of paper, they managed. Even though the paper hoarding has earned her the nickname "The Waste" at school, Nalena loves her mother and stands by her side. At night, Nalena goes to the library to study. It is the only place where she can spread out and be free from the paper. She is all settled at her quiet, hidden away table when a handsome boy approaches and sits down. She expects that he is there waiting for someone. He refuses to leave despite her repeated requests.
The next night he is back. On a return trip from the bathroom, she hears Garrett arguing with the pretty head cheerleader, Jen. She admonishes him for hanging out with "The Waste", but he refuses to listen and even defends Nali. Nali can't take it anymore. She flees the library leaving her things behind. In the darkened woods without her flashlight, she loses her way. A hand clamps onto her in the woods and a man in a mask tries to attack her. He strikes her arm and pain envelopes her. Suddenly, Garrett is there, rescuing her. Garrett rushes her home to get her mom and then they head to the hospital. Soon Nalena's view of the world comes crashing down as she learns that her mother has been keeping some big, important secrets, and that there may be more to the paper than meaningless scribbles. What is the purpose of the paper?
What I Liked:
- I love finding fantastic indie books. I know it often feels like trying to find a needle in the haystack, but when you do find one that astounds you, it makes the search worth the time. Cornerstone is one of those magical finds. If you like indie books, read this one. You won't be disappointed, especially since you can get a copy on Amazon right now for $.99. This book will amaze you. Not to mention it is properly edited and you would never know it was a self pubbed book. Truly, I can't imagine a publisher not wanting to snatch this one up.
- I was blown away by this book. It starts out focusing on Nalena and her mother's paper hoarding. Once Garrett shows up and Nalena is attacked, the book takes a big turn and the story heads in a completely new direction that surprised me. I was expecting to read a book about a girl suffering from the endless ridicule because of her mother's habit and what a got was a riveting read with an interesting paranormal twist. I had no idea the book would take such an interesting direction. I was completely glued to this book!
- Garrett, ladies let me tell you if you are looking for a swoon worthy adorable male lead, Garrett is it! He is absolutely wonderful. Not only did I love Garrett, I also adored his brothers, especially Sean. I found it particularly funny that at Garrett's house there are four hot boys so at their house, the phone is always ringing and the girls are often too shy to speak, so the boys have a funny, unique way to answer the phone.
- Toward the end of the story, a guru type gentleman is introduced known as the Addo. This guy is exactly the opposite of what you would expect from a wise old man. He wears sweats, tube socks and sandals, and eats an exorbitant amount of cookies, while giving his own brand of sage advice. I loved this character.
- This book has one of those romances that keeps you guessing, it is a slow builder filled with sparks and tension and when it finally blooms it is magic. If you are tired of insta-love and love triangles you will enjoy this one.
And The Not So Much:
- I have very few criticisms for this book. I only wished that I had a better grasp on the secret society. How big and widespread is it? Has it always existed? Are people only born into it or can they be recruited? I wanted to know a bit more about the other types of people besides the Contego, the Alo and the Addo.
- I was curious as to why all the records by the Alo were recorded on paper instead of computer and what happened to all the information? Did it just stay in storage? I needed just a touch more clarification on this.
If you are in a bit of a reading rut and you are looking hungrily for something exciting, I highly recommend Cornerstone. It is a book that has an imaginative an unexpected storyline, along with terrific characters. The secondary characters are just as engaging as the protagonists. The ideas presented in this book left my head spinning. I can hardly wait to dive into book two. Go get a copy of this right now on Amazon will you can still snatch it up for $.99!
"My dad's just a frozen smile in a brushed-brass frame on our living room wall."
"The windows are only covered with a film of milky dust and the porch is as rickety as an old man's mouth."
"Maybe the only things he hears about is the stuff that directly concerns him, like cheerleader breeding rituals or soccer stats."
"I try to listen to them talk. I'd like to hear every word that Garrett says, but my thoughts drift like feathers in a fan."
"His touch is a color. Indigo. It is more gentle than the fluid sky of his eyes and warmer than the midnight ink of his hair."
"I wait with the ache deepening every second that the heat of his mouth scribbles across my cheek."
"Following rumors with the truth is like having a banana split for dinner and broccoli for dessert."
"The music begins with the muted chords of a guitar; the beat as deep and dark as shadows."
"There's no way for Garrett to know that she's probably got enough padding her bra to stuff a mattress."
"His kiss kiss is a color too. Silver. Like raw wires held together until they explode in sparks."
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I was approached a couple of months ago by fellow blogger, Candace. She told me about this extraordianry book and asked me to be part of the tour and I am so glad she did. This book is extraordinary. Misty is currently on tour. Click on the banner to check out other stops. You can find Misty on her blog, FB, Twitter and Goodreads. Be sure to head to her blog and enter to win her grand prize giveaway. While you are there you can read the first five chapters for free. Today she has generously allowed my to host a giveaway on her behalf. She is offering for one lucky U.S. entrant a signed paperback copy and one Ebook for International entrants. Big thanks to Misty! Enter the Rafflecopter to enter. See Contest Policies for all details! Good Luck!
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