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(Cornerstone #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,665 ratings  ·  218 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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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  1,665 ratings  ·  218 reviews

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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 19, 2011 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'
May 21, 2012 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
Shelly Crane
Mar 19, 2012 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
Jul 07, 2013 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
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 remembe
Novels On The Run
Aug 29, 2012 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
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
Jun 06, 2012 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.
Feb 13, 2012 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
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Sep 10, 2012 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
Gloria Green
Nov 28, 2011 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
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
Patty Blount
Jan 06, 2012 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
Jan 19, 2013 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
May 08, 2012 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
Jun 29, 2015 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 07, 2015 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. :/
Masako Lin
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is an absolute gem! In a category that is riddled with stale old stereotypes and eye-rolling cringe worthy characterizations, Cornerstone reads like fresh flower growing in a spring morning. While I don't think the concepts are new (and really there isn't truly any new concept in the world anymore), somehow the way it's presented and written makes it extremely fresh. It has some flaws so my actual rating is closer to 3.5 than 4 BUT given that this is a indie self-published book I decid ...more
Michelle  novelsontherun
Sep 01, 2012 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
Sarah Elizabeth
(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
Jan 15, 2013 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
Christina Rodriguez
Feb 06, 2013 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
Jan 03, 2012 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
Christy LoveOfBooks
Sep 18, 2012 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
May 15, 2012 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
Lizzy Lessard
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, paranormal, ya
Overall: As someone with first hand experience with a horder, this story definitely touched me on a personal level. It’s hard watching someone you love ruin their life (and your own) because they cannot overcome a psychological problem. I never had friends over my house (ever) so I never experienced the redicule that Nalena did from her classmates. Mine didn’t know what my home life was like living with someone that rather buy a new set of dishes than wash the two or three sets stacked in the ki ...more
Camille Picott
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Writer's View - book reviews from a writer's perspective.

Wow, this was a great book! What really sucked me in was the gorgeous writing. Provencher has some of the most gorgeous prose I've come across in a long time. The best part is that it never feels forced or overly-flowery. Her metaphors and descriptions are all poignant and distinct and well-timed, creating impressions and visuals that are entirely original. No cliches here! If you're a writer, I recommend picking up this book just to g
Ginny  Gallagher
Apr 26, 2014 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
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
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Misty Provencher offers readers a shelf full of stories to enjoy.

Writing under Misty Provencher, her young adult genres include stories dealing in fantasy, including magic, sci-fi, vampires, shifters, and dark fantasy.

Writing under Misty Paquette, adult readers will enjoy contemporary beach-read romances, based-on-true event stories, a romantic 80s mystery, and even a sci-fantasy.

While Provenche

Other books in the series

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

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