Friday, September 21, 2012

On Paper: A Review of Cornerstone by Misty Provencher

CornerstoneSometimes I open a book knowing exactly what I'm getting. More often (because I don't read excerpts and sometimes even skip the blurb) I have no idea what to expect, but I dive in and only discover what I've gotten into a few chapters in. With this book, however, I had no idea what I was reading until far, far into it. I think that's what makes this book special.

Nalena's mom hoards paper, but there's more to it than that. She spends her days scribbling down one sentence stories in tiny writing, covering page after page until the paper fills every corner of the house and there is barely room to sit or walk. Nalena hates this lifestyle, especially since it's made her a target for bullies at school. Still, she loves her mother, and continues to bring her paper and quietly endure the loneliness. But when Nalena starts to develop abilities beyond her understanding, she knows that there's more going on in the world than her mother has ever shared with her. Garret Reese seems to have the answers to Nalena's questions, although he and his family are also somewhat mysterious.

Positive Comments

I liked a lot of Nalena's qualities. Her loyalty to her mother is what hooked me initially. Even when she (and the reader) is given to understand that her mother is clearly mentally ill, Nalena remains as a loving and accepting daughter. I liked how the author captured the dysfunctional family atmosphere between Nalena and her mother, and made it still feel like a loving relationship.

Nalena's dysfunctional lifestyle stands in sharp contrast to Garrets very normal seeming family, representing things she's missed out on. I liked seeing Nalena's reaction to them, and I liked how it effected her development and her decisions. I liked the Reese family as a whole, with their rambunctious and welcoming attitudes.

I liked that Nalena and Garret's relationship is slow building and awkward. It felt real to me, very reflective of how actual adolescent relationships tend to start out.

The plot started out mysterious and kept me guessing up until the climax. I loved that. I really expected the book to go in an entirely different direction, but I'm happy to be surprised.

Critical Comments

Outside of Nalena, the character development is pretty shallow or nonexistant. That's kind of disappointing,  when you consider that the characters themselves are set up to be so interesting. I was especially disappointed that Garret didn't get more of an arc, since he is the love interest. He starts out nice and awesome, and continues on that level throughout the story. Personally, I like more depth than that.


This is a great book for fans of young adult fantasy. It's a fast, suspenseful page turner with a lot of unique elements. 4 stars.


  1. Thanks so much for your review, my Penguin Girl! Loved having you along on the tour!

  2. So glad you really enjoyed the book! I didn't have any issues with character development, but I have heard others say that they wanted things to go just a bit farther, more history and depth with the Ianua (spell?). Well, the second book delivers much more of all that. It gets a bit deeper and explores more. I really hope you read it soon and love it! But it makes me so happy that you really enjoyed this!


Thoughtful comments are appreciated! I always respond to them, and I usually return the favor! Happy reading!

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