Eyes As Clean As Jesus

Even the most Luddite of readers will have heard whisperings of the self-publishing revolution made possible by the advent of the ebook. Armed with a shiny new ereader I’m jumping head first into that revolution to see if it’s worth all this fuss.

First up was Cornerstone by Misty Provencher. Misty has quite the story behind her first novel. She found an agent to represent her not once but twice before deciding to go it alone (you can learn more at her website. But what about the novel itself?

Well, it’s a young adult novel following the ostracised Nalena Maxwell. Her father is absent and her mother spends all her time scribbling notes over mountains of paper. Nalena spends her time trying to fly under the radar until Garret Reese, hot young stud, starts talking to her. Nalena soon learns that she is part of a special community and, not only that, but she is special herself: a Cusp, an unexpected divergence who could herald great or terrible things. Oh, and her father has shown up.

Cornerstone is a nice little gem, the story unchallenging but with some wonderful ideas and imagery that prevent it from being a popcorn read. Nalena is a great protagonist, instantly endearing and easy to empathise with. We have all, to varying degrees, experienced the social exile she has to live in, and Misty’s prose is heartbreaking in its reality. Nalena is also easy to respect because she isn’t desperate to be accepted by anybody and everybody, just the people that matter. Misty has a talent for dialogue, too; it was delightfully frustrating to watch her characters fail to say what was on their minds just like real people do.

My only real gripe with the novel was a scene in which Nalena gets a spirit guide. Perhaps I was looking forward to the climax too much, but I found myself impatient whilst reading and it seemed that the guide didn’t have much of a role to play. But this is the first part of a series and I imagine the guide concept will play a greater role in later installments. So, really, I shouldn’t be complaining at all until I’ve read the sequels.

Which I will be reading. And if a book passes the sequel test, what better recommendation can you give it?

Cornerstone is available for the Kindle in the UK and the US and, if you’re in America, in paperback too.

2 thoughts on “Eyes As Clean As Jesus

  1. misty

    Thank you, James! What a very honest and wonderful review. I agree and I aim to satisfy you with the further books in the series. I believe that you will let me know if I succeed or fail and I look forward to the challenge of that! Thanks again for reading!

    1. James T Kelly

      Thanks for commenting, Misty. I’m glad you liked the review, and I’m glad yours was the first self-published book I tried; Cornerstone is proof positive that quality books aren’t the sole preserve of the publishing houses! I look forward to reading the sequels.


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