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Cornerstone (Cornerstone #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,112 Ratings  ·  197 Reviews
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 abo ...more
Kindle Edition, 230 pages
Published November 7th 2011
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28th out of 222 books — 276 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
This review is for the first three books in the Cornerstone series:

You know how there are indie authors who, by all rights, should be superstars? I heard that they have a secret club and that Misty Provencher is their club president. Her Cornerstone series is the most original YA I’ve read in a long time. YES! You read that right. The. Most. Original. And in a genre that is in desperate need of originality.

The Cornerstone series has been getting a lot of positive reviews, but I honestly didn’t e
Kelli Spear
Dec 22, 2011 Kelli Spear rated it it was amazing
WOW! I "won" this book from Misty herself on Twitter. I had no idea what it was about, only that it was a new YA series. I am *SO* glad I read this!

It's the story of Naleena Maxwell (Nali) who is an outcast in her school. Her mother is a paper hoarder/writer who never finishes a story. Or so we (and Nali) think. This is just the cover for a much deeper story. Somehow, our heroine manages to snag the attention of the most popular and attractive guy at school, Garrett. And let me say, there weren'
Shelly Crane
Aug 07, 2012 Shelly Crane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-books
I seriously, really enjoyed this book!

I've had so many people tell me to read it and finally had a minute to read, so I went for it. I'm so glad I did. The pacing was perfect, the dialogue was very believable and flowing, the Reese family is awesome! I loved them. The thought of having that many boys in one family (I have 2 of my own) makes me cringe, but they were an awesome family. I love it when books have good family values. And even all the crap that her mom did, whether is was warranted o
Jun 06, 2012 Heidi rated it it was amazing
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 he
Jul 07, 2013 Isamlq rated it liked it
Recommended to Isamlq by: Stacia (the 2010 club)

Rare is the book that has me declaring it Highly Original (See the caps AND the bold font?!) Though CORNERSTONE is not free of flaws, the good outweigh the bad in this one, so much so that I’m urging people in search of a different sort of YA to pick this one up.

It’s her world that’s bound to impress. How it’s clothed in mystery as well as how we learn what is alongside her. Her learning is frustrating and slow and it's made even more FRUSTRATING by the people around her, But what is reve
Mandy (I read Indie) Anderson
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 w ...more
Novels On The Run
Sep 22, 2012 Novels On The Run rated it it was amazing


This book was an absolute GEM of a read. I LOVE reading an Indie author who writes a darn good book and this was a darn good book.

The Waste, is the nickname of our lead protagonist who is only seventeen years old, Nalena to her mum.

Nalena once a week picks up three reams of paper for her mum, who appears to be a hoarder in the extreme of paper piles, with her daily writing administrations filling their home.

We are talking serio
Gloria Green
Nov 29, 2011 Gloria Green rated it it was amazing
Cornerstone is a Must Read

I was totally captivated with this book. This story about a 17year old girl named Nalena pulled at my heart. Nalena is an outcast in High School. She's been raised by a single Mom that spends every waking moment writing what Nalena thinks are unfinished plot lines. Her Mom Evangeline can't throw out any of the pages she writes. It has cost Nalena her home, financial security and worst of all it's the reason she was given the nickname The Waste at school. When her Mom
Jun 06, 2012 Vered rated it it was amazing
Nalena is known as The Waste at school, because of her mother’s bizarre obsession with paper. But Nalena’s life gets a whole lot more bizarre when she receives a sign that she isn’t who she thinks she is. Neither is her mother. And that knowledge is going to change everything.

I loved Cornerstone. Seriously. Why? 1) While there are familiar elements in common with many other teen paranormal romance stories, there are also a lot of original ideas and unique characters. 2) Nalena is no wallflower.
kelly {BookCrushin}
This is a great book! Loved it! Had me guessing the whole time & I never wanted to put the book down!

I don't usually write reviews of more than a line or two, like above, but I feel differently for independently published books. So here's my pov. I have a hard time believing a publisher would deny this story, but so excited that Misty went it alone! This is true indie book & the story was not butchered into predictable plots that publishers are doing to a lot of books these days. Please
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Sep 10, 2012 Tee loves Kyle Jacobson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-must-reads
I am so grateful to Misty for allowing me to be a part of this Blog Tour. I have to say that I love reading Indie books. There is such a rawness to it that draws you in and you can't put the book down. To me there is no censorship and I love that! Well enough blabbing on.

Nelena is a girl who is just trying to fit in at school. She is called names because her mother is a little quirky and collects papers and writes names and stuff all over them. Kids can be cruel and cruel they are to Nelena but
Jul 13, 2012 Candace rated it it was amazing
My goal has been to try to read more self published books this year but it's not always easy because I've tried to read quite a few that were horrible (mostly terrible editing) and I've read a lot that were good, but not quite amazing. I haven't read that many that totally blew my mind and this one did that. Totally and completely. Cornerstone had me riveted from page one as we are introduced to Nalena and her mother and her mothers paper hoarding. I immediately found this fascinating and I felt ...more
Lenore Kosinski

3.5 stars -- I've had this book on my TBR pile for YEARS it feels like. I'd heard good things, and since she's going to be an author at Utopia this year (again), I wanted to read it before then! I ended up with mixed feelings about this book. There were aspects that I adored and totally sucked me in, but there were also quite a few aspects that just rubbed me the wrong way.... And even with this higher rating, I highly doubt I will continue on with the ser
May 19, 2013 Hbeebti rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, freebies
This was so different from other YA books I have read. I really loved the concept. What a great idea. I was immediately drawn in and loved the characters. I was so confused about what the heck was going on through most of the book. Just when I think all the secrets are revealed there are more. My heart really went out to Nalena. I mean her mom is a hoarder and the terrible nickname that the kids at school call her (The Waste) just broke my heart for her.

But this wasn't what I thought it would b
Patty Blount
Jan 06, 2012 Patty Blount rated it it was amazing
I bought this book knowing nothing about it except for what Misty herself had posted on her blog... and what others were tweeting about it. After posting several chapters, she decided to self-publish and I rushed to buy it.

I got hooked at the first chapter. All those tweets were right - this is a uniquely compelling story.

Teen Nalena Maxwell has a tough life. Her mother is nuts and her dad is totally out of the picture. Because her mother hoards paper, everyone at school calls her The Waste. T
Jenna David
Jun 29, 2015 Jenna David rated it liked it
The story is very unique and interesting so I definitely was able to read this very quickly and enjoyed it. I was a bit iffy with the insta-love. Maybe they're infatuated with each other but not in love. They hardly know anything about each other but they each state at the other like they hung the moon. Also, it's one of those books that the author decides to just end at the point and start the next book at the same point. Like they just cut it in half to make two books. The book just leaves you ...more
May 10, 2012 Galla rated it liked it
Shelves: pnr, young-adult
While I enjoyed the concept, the pacing, and the main characters, this story would have benefited from professional editing. Dialogue is often incorrectly punctuated, and the author uses some awfully jarring similes ("the porch is as rickety as an old man's mouth"; "the room grows as warm as a kangaroo pouch"). There are several instances of homophone confusion and random typos as well. That said, this is worth checking out if you're looking for a YA paranormal read, especially if you're looking ...more
Jul 31, 2015 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story with a few minor things I didn't care for and there were a couple surprises in the story that I didn't expect. The characters were nice, but still it was just an okay read for me...can't really explain why except that it didn't wow me. :/
Ginny  Gallagher
Jun 16, 2014 Ginny Gallagher rated it it was amazing
Misty Provencher has earned my “I immediately bought book 2″ endorsement and I’m sure this review is going to be riddled with “happy” words like fantastic, wonderful, amazing, etc. (You’ve been warned).

Cornerstone is fantastic! It’s unique but familiar. Have you ever found a piece of art, or a quilt, or in this case a book, that the more you looked at it or the more you read of it the more you identified with it? Well that was Cornerstone for me. There were some underlying messages that I picked
Jan 14, 2012 Lauren rated it liked it
Intriguing start to a series. The story and the supernaturally society described had a positive message, and I'm looking forward to learning more about how the community functions and what it does. It was also clean, which is always a wonderful surprised in YA.

My hesitation with this book, however, has a lot to do with the characters. Minor spoilers throughout:
When the story begins, Nalena lives alone with her mother who is a paper horder. Their house is covered in piles of papers where her mot
This book starts out with Nalena walking home from school after a stop at the office supply store. She stops to pick up 3 reams of paper from her mother. For some strange reason her mother writes but never finishes anything she started. She writes little bits of information that have no relevance or understand to anyone but her. Here is a little bit of information from the book:

“Christos DelMinos, 14, stabbed, instead of his 3 year old niece; Martin Fowler, 24, returned the money he’d stolen but
Dec 20, 2012 Sophie rated it liked it
For the most part, I liked this book. I thought the author did a good job of world building, and I especially liked the way the story drew me in with its portrait of a young girl dealing with a situation that she thinks is one thing--her mother's hoarding problem--that turns out to be something quite different. I also liked the relationship between Nali and Garrett and enjoyed watching it develop. The author does a good job of describing the changes Nali undergoes and makes the reader care about ...more
K.W. McCabe
Nov 12, 2011 K.W. McCabe rated it really liked it
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 ...more
May 14, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Misty Provencher is an amazing writer with a captivating writing style. Her characters are well rounded and her plot is well developed. Cornerstone was another suggestion I received from my aunt and I admit that I was immediately hooked. The story is fast-paced and has so many details that I can see myself discovering something new each time I read it. In regard to the characters, I really appreciate how Nalena and Garrett do not immediately fall in love and everything is happily ever after 30 p ...more
May 16, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
Cornerstone at first seems like it's just your average, teenage girl that doesn't fit in and suddenly gets lucky when the popular guy starts to follow her around and ask questions/ Red Flags. She knows she's going to be the brunt of some cruel joke by some girls that don't like her. In fact, no one likes her. They call her the Waste because she lives with her mother in a home filled high with paper. Stacks upon stacks of paper that her mother writes on, stories she starts but never finishes. And ...more
Christy LoveOfBooks
Oct 03, 2012 Christy LoveOfBooks rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, read-in-2012
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 Corne
Michelle  novelsontherun
Sep 12, 2012 Michelle novelsontherun rated it it was amazing

This book was an absolute GEM of a read. I LOVE reading an Indie author who writes a darn good book and this was a darn good book.

The Waste, is the nickname of our lead protagonist who is only seventeen years old, Nalena to her mum.

Nalena once a week picks up three reams of paper for her mum, who appears to be a hoarder in the extreme of paper piles, with her daily writing administrations filling their home.

We are talking serious fire hazard and
Apr 11, 2013 Primero rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
I didn’t know it was in a paranormal genre when I first started read it. (Yes, I didn’t read the synopsis.) I thought it was contemporary until I reached the part where Nalena saw rings and bubble and she wasn’t inside her own skin anymore. She was standing beside her body and watching her own face. I didn’t prepare to enter a paranormal world so I was perplexed for a while.

I really enjoyed the first half. I know that most paranormal books where the main characters aren’t aware of a supernatural
Dec 30, 2012 Cdee rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I received this book after buying it from Amazon for free (yep it was 0.00) because I had heard so many people saying that they wanted to read it but I had no idea what it was actually about. I looked it up on Goodreads and then began reading.
The beginning was unusual, I think as soon as I started reading it I wanted to know why Nalena's mother hoarded paper. I loved the relationship between them both and her love for her mother even if she was frustrated at times.
Christina Rodriguez
Mar 17, 2013 Christina Rodriguez rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
"I let myself think, I hope he loves me, and then I wonder if I’ve said it out loud. I try hard to remember if I’d formed the words with my lips. No. I didn’t. I’m sure I didn’t. I’m convinced of it, until he murmurs back, “Don’t worry. He does."


Nalena Maxwell is used to being called "The Waste" at her high school because of her mothers obsession with paper. Every week Nali is obligated to lug home reams of paper for her mother to fill up and clutter her home with. Nali is ready for a chan
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A Million More Pages: 1 - Cornerstone (Cornerstone): May 8 13 23 Sep 06, 2015 06:02AM  
We ♥ YA Books! : Indie Author: Cornerstone by Misty Provencher 1 11 Sep 06, 2015 05:48AM  
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Misty Provencher offers readers, ranging from teen to adult, a shelf full of stories to enjoy. Provencher's genres include titles in contemporary romance, fantasy, literary fiction, Sci-fi, and even erotica.

While Provencher can ride a motorcycle, knows how to Karate chop, and has learned enough French, Spanish, and Sign Language to get herself slapped, Misty's life is dedicatedto connecting with,
More about Misty Provencher...

Other Books in the Series

Cornerstone (4 books)
  • Keystone (Cornerstone, #2)
  • Jamb  (Cornerstone, #3)
  • Capstone (Cornerstone #4)

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“I let myself think, I hope he loves me, and then I wonder if I've said it out loud. I try hard to remember if I'd formed the words with my lips. No. I didn't. I'm sure I didn't. I'm convinced of it, until he murmurs back, "Don't worry. He does.” 12 likes
“Do you mean disrespectful? Blasphemous?" he asks. " Like Jesus, Jesus, bo-beesus, banana fanana fo-feesus, mo meesus...blasphemous to Jesus?" I just stand there like an idiot, not sure what to say to this strange man. He seems more of a wise guy than a wise man. After all, he just Name-Gamed a Third of the Trinity.” 1 likes
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