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!