Rated 4.56/5 based on 16 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Nalena Maxwell, known as The Waste at her school, has received a sign to join an ancient community. She’d know that, if it wasn’t the wrong dang sign. But Garrett Reese, the school’s most popular athlete and a boy with eyes as clean as Jesus, knows exactly what Nalena is and he knows all about the family skeletons that are about to come crashing into her life… More

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First 10% Sample: Online Reader
Words: 82,620
Language: English
ISBN: 9781466195783
About Misty Provencher

I'm a writer. Just looking to entertain you.

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Review by: sarah uk on March 08, 2013 :
(Source: Downloaded for free from
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.
(review of free book)

Review by: Stacey on Nov. 17, 2012 :
I just started reading this book & I think its so cute. I'm about 5 chapters in & I will either finish it today or tomorrow but I love the story line so far the only thing I am disappointed with is the next book is 3.99 lol
(review of free book)

Review by: Andrea Thompson on Oct. 21, 2012 :
A fascinating story built around ancient memories, those who transcribe and protect them, and the never ending quest for peace and knowledge. Cornerstone begins as the story of Nalena, a girl who is tolerant, but socially ostracized because of her mother's eccentricities. Convinced that no one will ever see beyond the stacks of paper that consume her house, and her life, Nalena wants to be invisible to those who taunt her. But one person refuses to see through her, Garrett Reese. Garrett seems interested in knowing Nalena. The more she's around Garrett, the harder it becomes to remain invisible. When Nalena begins to notice remarkable changes in herself, and is harmed by an unknown person, she discovers that her mother may not be "crazy" and that Garrett Reese knows more about her than she ever imagined.

Going into Cornerstone, I had absolutely no idea of what to expect with the paranormal element. And honestly, I don't even honestly know what to say about it in my review. I don't want to go into all the details. I feel as if that would be spoiling the story, and taking half the fun in reading Cornerstone away. I will say that I have never read a story quite like this one. The paranormal is something completely unique to any book I've read before. Provencher does an excellent job of laying it out in such a way that it is detailed, smart, well-explained.

Cornerstone has an amazing cast of characters. Nalena is a girl that I just want to wrap up in love. She is a good daughter, always tolerant of her mother's quirks. She's a smart girl, she knows how to protect herself, especially her heart. When the hottest guy in school notices her, she's surprised and flattered, but is careful because of the torment she's endured. I love that she didn't throw herself at Garrett's feet; she makes him prove his worth. The further the story moves along, the more I loved Nalena.

I honestly felt sorry for Evangeline, Nalena's mom. She honestly wants the best for her daughter, but seems to be the source of all of her problems. But Evangeline has some serious secrets, and though I wish she would've been more upfront with her daughter, I can understand the need to keep your child safe. The Reese family was awesome. They were loud, loving, and loyal. I loved their closeness, their humor.

So...I have to swoon a little bit about Garrett. OhMyGosh! He was Perfect! Garrett is kind, caring, attentive, intelligent, athletic, supportive, and did I mention GORGEOUS? I have to admit, I'm crushing pretty hard on the poor guy. It's hard to find a balance of perfect without becoming boring or cheesy, but Provencher did a perfect job with Garrett. He's one of my new favorite Book Boyfriends.

I have to say, the ending of Cornerstone sucker punched me in the heart. I was shocked, saddened, and sobbing. And boy is Misty lucky that I had book two, Keystone, loaded and ready to go on my Kindle!

Cornerstone is an intricate, beautiful story that will appeal to your logic, and your heart.
(reviewed 73 days after purchase)

Review by: Ruth Ellen Parlour on Sep. 24, 2012 :
I was hooked by Provencher’s engaging writing style and intrigued with Nalena’s unusual life with her hoarding Mom. I felt I could relate personally with Nalena which made her character believable. Tantalizing twists throughout kept me reading, I wanted to know what was going to happen and why.

I’m not particularly interested in the teenage romance aspect, although I would have loved it when I was a teen, now I don’t find it interesting. The novel was heavily focused on the romantic life of Nalena and I find it dissatisfying for the romantic interest to be perfect, but I understanding that this is appealing to teenaged readers.

I don’t fully understand the finer details of the plot concerning the ancient community and the antagonists, but that might just have been something I missed, or may yet be revealed in the rest of the trilogy. Personally I prefer more conflict and action throughout books whereas Cornerstone felt a little more slower paced and the climax seemed short lived.

As an independent author, Provencher has brought a very high standard of writing and editing to her novel. Cornerstone is certainly on par with traditionally published books. I know a lot of people who love Cornerstone and it is a books that teenage readers would also love. I think Provencher is a noteworthy writer and should be celebrated as an ambassador for independent authors. I look forward to seeing where her writing career takes her.
(reviewed 38 days after purchase)

Review by: Kim Bond on Aug. 07, 2012 :
This book had me hooked from the beginning. I felt sorry for Nali cause I thought her mom was off her rocker.

It's the perfect blend of action, mystery and romance. Misty has hit the nail right on the head with this book.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)

Review by: Christine Pogon on June 11, 2012 :
This is definitely one of those books that had me HOOKED from the beginning. I found myself COMPLETELY rooting for Nalena and her mother--no matter how "excentric" she seemed at first. From the beginning I could see that Nalena was one of those protagonists who is believable and relatable even amidst a supernatural storyline.

What teenager HASN'T been embarrassed by a parent at some point? What teenager HASN'T felt like an outsider? Even amongst their own family? What teenager doesn't feel like the world is against them, sometimes? And what adult doesn't remember feeling all of these things, as well?

There were moments when I could almost FEEL Nalena's frustration over being kept in the dark regarding pretty much everything in her life. And THAT is how I believe this story draws in its audience. There is convincing emotional turmoil packed with an exciting, romantic, and EXTREMELY original plot.

Ms. Provencher builds a world that is unlike any other that I've read. It was really nice reading this story and NOT being able to guess what was going to happen next. There was no predictability here. I was frequently taken aback with curveballs that I found absolutely refreshing and brilliant!

And the ROMANCE! OHHHH, the romance. It's so subtle and unhurried, but SOOOO sweet. I am very eager to see what becomes of Nalena and her beau in the next installment.

I more than suggest that you read this book! I INSIST that you read this book!
(reviewed 68 days after purchase)

Review by: JJ Toner on Dec. 08, 2011 :
I don't usually read paranormal ya. I like ya books, but I try to steer clear of the paranormal ones. I'm glad I read this one, though. When it started, I thought Nali's mom was just off her head; I couldn't see how this aspect of the story was going to end up anywhere good. (I have a friend who hoards newspapers and his house is just the way Nali's is). The explanation and the other paranormal elements were more than a tad wacky, I thought, but the drama and romance came through. Good job, Misty.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)

Review by: Pamela Heintz on Dec. 07, 2011 :
When you first start reading you get caught right away and want to sit down until you are finished with the book. Why is the mom the way she is? What is going on with the boy? Who followed Nalena in the woods?

I can't wait to read the second book so more questions can be answered.
The story flows very well and is a great read with a good pace.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)

Review by: A.M. King on Dec. 06, 2011 :
When I first stumbled across this book, I was a bit hesitant about reading it. I thought it might be like Twilight (I don't mind Twilight, but I wouldn't read it again either). I gave the story a go anyway, and instantly found that I couldn't look away from the screen. I was hooked and had to go and buy the ebook. I was definitely not disappointed with my purchase.

This story is a beautiful read. The characters are strong, identifiable and intriguing,the story is fast-paced and fascinating, and the language used is a delight to read. I am so hooked to the story of Nalena, and I cannot wait for Misty Provencher to complete the next installment of this story.

I really like the fact that the concept for this story is unique, without being confusing. I felt as if I was being tipped off the edge of the planet and into a whole new, parallel universe.

The main character, Nalena seems lovely and strong, without being annoyingly perfect. Her mum seems just like my mum, which is very endearing. And, ah, Garrett? He can invade my dreams any time!

I am so, very, very hooked to this story and will try to be patient for the release of Keystone!
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)

Review by: Donna Cummings on Dec. 06, 2011 :
This was such an intriguing read. I was enthralled right from the first page as Nalena describes her routine trips to get computer paper for her mother's seemingly out-of-control writing habit. I really didn't want this story to end, and I grumbled a little bit at my e-reader when it wouldn't do any more page turns. Thank goodness for the excerpt for Keystone--hopefully it won't be long before it's available. I definitely want to spend more time with Nalena and the people in her life.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)

Review by: Juliana Brandt on Dec. 06, 2011 : (no rating)
I'm always a bit peeved when books jump straight into the action without letting me fall in love with the main character first (the exception being mysteries, of course ;). Misty Provencher obviously knew what she was doing when she wrote the first chapters of Cornerstone. I couldn't help but sympathize with Nalena because of her house filled with paper, the questions Nali's mother refuses to answer and the strange powers that begin to surface in her mind and body.

Nali's life is thrown out of whack and I was left flipping pages as fast as I could to find out the answers as Nali did. The action was fast-paced, intense and so well written that I couldn't help but be immersed in the story.

And my-oh-my, Ms. Provencher outdid her self with her male lead- Garrett. The scenes between Nali and Garrett had my heart turning to goop and hoping so badly they would end up together. Garrett is strong, self-assured and above all, truly dedicated to Nali. Plus, he's hot and so dreamy! Does it get better than that??

I must admit, I'm hooked and am eagerly awaiting the next installment!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)

Review by: mandy I Read Indie anderson on Nov. 27, 2011 :
When the book first starts out, it’s Nalena explaining her mom's hoarding addiction to paper and not finishing stories. All her mom does is write out a character and plots pretty much. And it’s gotten so out of control they have to rent out storage units to put all the paper. It’s really heartbreaking what Nalena goes through at home and at school. Once someone saw all the paper when unexpectantly showing up at her house, the whole school knew about it the next day....calling her The Waste. So when Garrett starts showing interest in Nalena at the library one night, she thinks either A) he obviously doesn’t know she is the school’s outcast or B) it’s all a joke. But one night after being attacked in the woods, secrets start emerging surrounding not only her family but Garrett’s family as well. Nalena must now make a choice on which path to take; the ‘safe’Simple Life path or one that could lead her straight into the enemies’ snare.

First of all, I just want to say how much I adore this book. So awesomely well written, I flew through the first half, only to pace myself as it got closer to the end. Cause with the end, comes waiting for the next book. AND.I.HATE.WAITING! But loved the characters, especially the whole Reese family. Garrett is adorable, funny, and absolutely scrumptious. (Ok cougar moment over). Would love to see more Sean in the future books. *cough* Could totally see a spin-off staring Garrett’s older brother *cough* And even though Nali came off as weak at first, it didn’t take long for her to become one kick butt character. But though there were times I wanted to shake/slap/yell at Garreit and Nali for not seeing what us readers could obviously see between them, I enjoyed the pace the story took in letting them find their way to each other.

Please, please go read this awesome first book to what is most definitely going to be an awesome series.
(reviewed 17 days after purchase)

Review by: Sarah Jones on Nov. 15, 2011 :
A brilliant book by a really, genuinely lovely author. Misty's book follows the story of Nalena, a girl who lives with a crazy, writing obsessed mother and has to deal with how that impacts on her life. Her mother is obsessed with writing, she lives for it and has filled their house floor to ceiling with paper covered in her scrawl. This earns Nalena the unfortunate nickname of The Waste because of this and stumbles through life from one day to the next until she meets Garret.

It's a beautifully told story and the characters are very engaging. It's a very human story, about how each person deals with the situations Misty throws them into and it's great to see them grow and adapt.

Misty writes in a compelling way and draws you in right from the start. I found that I'd read up to chapter 15 and was surprised that two hours had gone past. I hadn't even noticed I was that hooked.

The concept for the book is brilliant, there's a really nice supernatural aspect to it all that I haven't seen before and she introduces each new concept in such a way that it feels natural and never overwhelming.

The best part I think is how the relationship between Nalena and Garret develops. That is handled beautifully and really draws along the story.

I loved every page and cannot wait for the next book!

Definitely recommended to anyone who loves well written romantic fantasy books.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)

Review by: Clare Davidson on Nov. 13, 2011 :
Nalena Maxwell's life hasn't been fun. She loves her mother, even though she has filled their house with reams of paper with "characters" and their "stories" on. At school, she is known as 'The Waste', because a popular girl dropped by her house and saw the paper that covers nearly every inch of the floor.

School politics serves as a backdrop for this refreshing urban fantasy novel. In a market that is saturated with vampires and werewolves, Misty Provencher has created an original supernatural world that is highly engaging.

The story is told in the first person and (unusually) in present tense. As a result, tension is present in every single page and every single word. The main character, Nalena, is easy to love and her emotions come across so clearly, that as a reader you almost fall in love with Garrett along with her.

Speaking of Garrett... Provencher has written a romantic lead who isn't cliched. He may be popular, but he doesn't care what other people think and he certainly isn't a 'jock'. He's also not angst ridden (thankfully)! Instead he is funny, compelling and strong.

The characters and story pull you along to the end and leave you wanting more. I'm really looking forward to the release of the second book and I heartily recommend Cornerstone to anyone who likes YA fiction, romance, action, or fantasy.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)

Review by: Kat Ellis on Nov. 13, 2011 :
I finished reading Cornerstone a matter of minutes ago, and I'm just so adrenaline-juiced that I had to come straight to the blog to write about it. Any previous rating system I've used just isn't sufficient for this book, so I'm giving it a simple rating of OMFG!

I'd heard a lot of good things about Cornerstone before I began reading, and Misty had been putting up a chapter a week on her blog before e-pubbing on Smashwords, so I had an idea that it was going to be good. I did NOT realise just how good!

Nalena is such a great main character, I fell in love with her from chapter 1. I also have to say that the first chapter is probably the best first chapter I've read in any book in recent years - you get so drawn into Nali's paper-filled world with her unusual mother and her horrible treatment at school. I think chapter 1 could easily stand as a short story in its own right, it's THAT engrossing.

Then there's Garrett... oh hell, he's just awesomeness incarnate - without being overly sentimental or afraid of what people think of him any of the other cheesy things that are an automatic turn-off for me with some male love interests in YA novels. But even the peripheral characters - the good, the bad and the snotty-nosed - are well-developed and just continued to suck me into the story.

It's fast-paced, with action and mystery and romance and all the other good stuff you want in a good YA read, and before I knew it I'd stormed right through Cornerstone and am now left with a slightly unhinged compulsion to nag Misty Provencher until she gives me book 2... okay, maybe I'll try to rein that in a bit!

Definitely the best YA debut I've read in a long, long time, and I can't say how happy I am to have Garrett as daydream-fodder for the next few months until Cornerstone 2!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: miahay on Nov. 13, 2011 :
Nalena Maxwell lives in a house of paper. Living a life cut off from most of the world, and with a mother insistent on adding to the pile with her writings, even the oven is not off limits. It's full of paper.

But this paper house is about to come tumbling down.

And in a world of school arch-enemies, isolation, dark library trips, and men with shovels, Garrett appears. At first he seems intent on just asking really odd questions above the pages of a novel he reads. But when he saves her life, something else begins. Something fast, and dangerous. Something that threatens their lives. And, as Nalena finds herself thrown into a world she doesn't understand, she must make the hardest choice of all.

A times touching, at other times hilarious Cornerstone is a wonderful read! The characters are very real, and even the young children in this book seem to come alive on the page with the author's words. It's such an original story I couldn't put it down. And I am itching to read the next book!

Plus there is a first kiss in this book that made me MELT LIKE SOMETHING THAT MELTS REALLY FAST.

I cannot possibly begin to convey how much I love this book.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: FantaFire Press on Nov. 10, 2011 :
Misty Provencher has outdone herself with "Cornerstone", the tale of Nalena Maxwell. Nalena and her mother, Evangeline, live a life separated from others. Evangeline's obsession with writing stories- and never finishing them- causes an ever-growing pile of papers to overflow their house. Nalena grows more and more isolated from her peers until she meets Garrett. He reaches out to her, befriending her and saving her life when she is attacked and nearly killed. From that point on everything in her life starts to change as she develops abilities that she doesn't understand and has no idea how to control. Everything cuminates with with the need for Nalena to choose her path. To make the choice whether she will live the Simple Life- or take the path that leads to inevitable danger.
I highly recommend this book. Misty Provencher is one of my new favorite authors. Her book Cornerstone was an excellent read- it made me laugh and cry and I'm definetly looking forward to the next book in the series.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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