3.5/5Rare 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 revealed: Man, dare I repeat it myself? Different! That said there’s also the not-great standards of mean girls and popular boys. Plus sad girls and friends who aren’t really fiends. All that takes some of the shine from this away, but her world and the craziness it offers? Again: Different! As an added bonus there’s the fact that the lead's a thinking one! I was LOVING her suspicion and her wariness of the change. ‘Till she wasn’t… because while she kept herself at a distance, there were other moments of her slipping up into typical YA mode, doing this drool-swoon thing that knocked her down from Awesome Lead to Less Awesome Lead in my estimation. *Sigh* So, my love for her is cut short by things going predictably, BUT all that’s made acceptable because the world here and what makes it special is original. I’ve yet to come across anything like this, and though not everything is made quite clear... I loved what I did get.