Blurb (from Goodreads):
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 What she knew of her family, what she thought of her life and what she believed about her future, is no longer applicable.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.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Source: Downloaded for free from Amazon.co.uk.)
17-year-old Nali lives with her mom who is a paper hoarder. Every few days Nali has to stop at the office supply shop to pick up 1500 sheets of paper, which her mother then fills with random sentences, and stacks up in their house. There’s hardly any space to even walk around their home now, and everyone at school makes fun of Nali for this.
When Nali is attacked near the library one night, and ends up with a broken arm, she is rescued by Garrett, a popular boy at school, but one who seems to have an interest in her. It seems that the attack wasn’t random though, and Nali is soon about to find out that there is more to her life, and Garrett’s life than she ever realised.
What has Nali’s mother been hiding from her her entire life? Why does she scribble random things on pieces of paper? What do Garrett and his family have to do with it? And who was the man who attacked her in the woods?
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but it certainly wasn’t what I got.
I know people may think me nuts for doing this, but sometimes when I’ve been recommended a book loads, I don’t read the blurb, because I don’t want to spoil a book that so many people have recommended to me because they loved it.
Cornerstone was one of these books. So many people have recommended this to me, I’ve seen people tweeting about it, it’s turned up in ‘best of 2012’ lists, it was one of my book club’s monthly reads, and it was even free on kindle. Looking at the cover of this one I thought it was an adult book, and that it probably has something to do with sand, hieroglyphics, ancient powers, a bit of mystery, something along those lines, but it wasn’t any of those things. Time for a cover change? Maybe.
So, onto the story. I’m not really sure what to make of the story. The beginning of the story felt like a contemporary romance, but then we started to get odd paranormal elements, and I just wasn’t sure it flowed well from one to the other.
Nali’s ‘powers’ were interesting, and I don’t think I’ve come across a similar idea before. I liked that she had this ‘bubble’ thing, and how fear circumvented her powers, I just wasn’t really sure how she was going to use these powers. Other than running fast and dodging stones that people threw at her, I didn’t think that her powers were all that impressive, although these may continue to grow as she is trained?
I did like the romance between Nali and Garrett, although there wasn’t really enough of it for me. Garrett was an okay character, but I really thought that the communication between the two could have been improved upon. I’m getting really sick of these relationships where people go totally off the deep end over a misunderstanding. I really wish people would just talk to each other!
Nali and Garrett totally had this problem. Garrett would say one thing, and Nali would take it completely the wrong way, and go off with totally the wrong impression of him.
Nali seems to be really good at not listening to all of a story though, she hears something, interprets it her own way, and comes to completely the wrong conclusion every time. So annoying. I wanted to just grab hold of her by the shoulders, give her a good shake, and tell her to stop for a minute, listen, and give people time to explain themselves!
There were a few things in this story that made it unique – the cornerstone for instance, and I thought the idea of having a choice over whether or not you wanted to be part of the whole thing was pretty good, although I thought that choosing not to be involved would be the more difficult option in the long run.
There were a couple of twists at the end of this story, I can’t say that I saw them coming, I don’t think I was really invested enough in the story to guess what was coming next, and although they were a surprise, I can’t say I was really all that impressed. I think more than anything I was just pleased that I had gotten to the end.
Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in currently, but the whole thing was just ‘okay’ for me. I can’t say that I really want to read the sequel either.
Overall; a YA paranormal, with some unique touches, but only okay for me.
6 out of 10.
This one is free on kindle and at smashwords ☺