Here's a bit about the book:
CORNERSTONE is the story of Nalena Maxwell, a girl who's been dubbed The Waste at her new school, due to her mom's obsessive paper hoarding. Nalena desperately needs something to change in her life. But when she receives a sign (and it's the wrong dang one) that invites her into an ancient community, EVERYTHING changes- what she knew of her family and her life and her future. While seventeen years worth of family skeletons come crashing into Nalena's life, it is the boy...the one with eyes as clean as Jesus...that steps up to help Nalena figure out what he already knows about her...
Misty has provided me with an excerpt of her story. So enjoy this enticing piece!
Something big happened.I know it because Cora is waiting for me on the school’s front steps. Cora is maybe the only friend I’ll ever have at Simon Valley High. She is the polar opposite of popular and she was one of the girls that used to follow me around, trying to worship me when I first came to the school. Now, the way things have worked out, she is a step above me on the popularity scale, because even though she’s awkward and a little repulsive in her habits, she’s not considered a freak. She’s been in the Simon Valley Public School System since kindergarten and due to the familiarity, she’s escaped their perpetual ridicule. Instead, our peers have granted her the privilege of being completely ignored. She doesn’t see it that way.
I think Cora was delighted when the popular crowd spit me out. It wasn’t exactly personal, but it meant that there were finally some shoulders for her to stand on instead of being on the rock bottom of the social pyramid herself. Not wanting to jeopardize any upward mobility on the coolness meter, Cora distanced herself from me along with everyone else and our friendship was reduced to covert waves while passing in the halls.
What worries me now is that Cora only wants to talk to me publicly when there is something really big going on. The last time we talked was about three weeks ago, when she met me at my locker to say that there was a rumor going around that my mother was insane and got carted off to a mental institution over the weekend. She said she wanted to make sure it was really a rumor. As soon as I verified that it was, she went off with her mouth shut. It’s not like she’d go spreading around the truth. I’ve just come to accept that Cora is the closest thing I’m going to get, as far as having a friend, until I graduate.
I see her immediately as I climb the steps, sausaged into her usual white button down sweater, even though it is too warm for it. She pulls a tissue out of her sleeve and dabs her nose excitedly as I approach. Cora has post nasal drip that makes her a mouth breather. When she’s excited, the air she sucks in sounds too juicy.
She scurries down the steps to meet me and I hear her trying to breathe through her saliva. Whatever news she has must be really big to have her producing so much spit. My stomach fills up with an uncomfortable heat as I think about the boy at the library last night.
“Garrett Reese is asking around about you!” Cora bubbles. Literally. A bubble of spit sticks in the corner of her mouth and she wipes it away with an enthusiastic flick of her tongue. “How does he know about you? Were you really kissing in the library? That’s what Nikki Legarno said, but I told her that couldn’t be right.”
A wave of hot, rancid stomach soup rolls through me. Garrett Reece. The boy has a name. And he is exactly the worst thing I expected him to be: popular. I put my hand over my eyes to shut Cora out. My brain curls into a knuckle. The boy, with eyes as clean as Jesus, is asking about me. So, today he’ll find out. His interest in me will end and what his curiosity will cost me will just begin to tabulate. I try to steady myself for seeing the words scrawled across my locker again.
Cora taps my hand.
“Are you okay?” she asks, but she doesn’t wait for my answer. “You know who he is, don’t you? Oh my gawd he’s got the most gorgeous blue eyes ever! I would die just to have him look at me! I mean, he’s not all muscley like Jake O’Keefe or Brent Goudreau, but he’s hot. It’s because he’s really, really good at sports. Did you know he’s like...all star everything? He won all kinds of medals for wrestling and track and I heard he could pitch a baseball through the side of an army tank. I think he’s super cute...even if he’s not all muscley.” She takes a big, spitty breath. “He’s super smart too. Oh! And he’s a Classic.”
I slide my hand up and grip my brow. “Classic?”
“Oh, you know! The Middleditch twins are too. They all drive the old clunkers. Well, not clunkers, really. They all have super old cars in mint condition. I think Garrett’s is the nicest, though. You had to’ve seen it before. It’s the burgundy Riviera...”
“Okay.” Is all I can think to say because I think I’m going to pass out. Or throw up. Or both. The other students are pushing past me, around me, knocking me out of their way to get to their first hour classes. I’m scared to death to go inside and face my locker.
“Okay? What do you mean, okay?” Cora asks. “Give me the scoop. Why’s he asking about you? Did you know he was going to?”
“Really?” Cora dabs off her nose and swallows down another breath. She’s thoughtful for a minute, scanning the grounds and picking through the swarm of students as if she hopes to find this boy. My stomach rocks. “What about the kiss?”
“There wasn’t any kiss. Last night’s the first time I ever met him.” I tell her. I don’t know why I’m telling her anything except that I have to tell someone something. “I was at the library studying and he came and sat by me.”
“Sat by you? Did he say anything?”
“He didn’t say hi or anything? He must’ve said something.”
“We talked about finals.” I’m swaying, even though my feet are flat on the cement step beneath me.
“You don’t look good. Are you okay?” Cora asks.
“No.” I say. She steadies me by wrapping her hand, the one with the wet Kleenex, around my upper arm. And I’m grateful.
“Well, come on.” She gives me a reassuring tug toward the front doors. “I’ll walk you in, okay? Maybe we’ll see him.”
“I hope not.” I mumble.
“Is it because of your house?” Cora asks. I don’t even bother to answer her.
Want to know what I thought of it? Check out my review:
I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into when I first opened this up. To be honest, the whole paper hoarding thing was almost off putting, since my mom is a hoarder, just not a paper hoarder.. But really, it does have a place in the story, and once it starts to all make sense, the book really takes off.
This has a slight paranormal touch to it. This novel doesn't really go into the whole new world, but we learn right along with Nalena. Nalena was interesting. I kept wanting her to stand up for herself, but as things progressed through the novel and we start to see changes in her, I was excited by the time I finished the book. I had high hopes for Nalena and she definitely shows so much potential as she learns her new life.
I enjoyed reading this novel. The book left me with a want to get my hands on the second, while not a cliffhanger, there is still so much to come that I wanted, needed, to know what happens next. This book is well worth the time and money.
Thanks to Misty for putting on the tour and for letting me review her book. I hope you take a chance with the book and that you enjoy it!