So we have come to the end of the Cornerstone Readalong! It's been so much fun reading this book again and I want to thank Candace at Candace's Book Blog for inviting me to co-host! This is my second readalong and I can't wait for my next one:)
Here are the questions for Ch.17-21, pp. 195-219.
1. At the party Jen's true colors seem to re-emerge. Did you buy Jen's earlier apology and feel that she was genuinely sorry for the way she treated Nali or did you suspect all along that she was being false? Do you think Jen had an ulterior motive for inviting Nali (and Garrett) to her party? Was it a good idea for Nali to attend the party in the end?
Oh no, I had a feeling right from the start that Jen was not on the up and up when she tried to get all buddy buddy with Nali. I actually expected a really sinister ulterior motive (naturally suspicious by nature, that's me!) and I thought Nali might go a little Contego on her or something:) And yes, I did have a sort of foreboding feeling as she left for the party (which it turns out was right on the money!)
2. When Nali discovers her father holding her mother at gunpoint he tells her that he only wants to be a family again. He also tells Nali that her mind has been poisoned against him by her mother. Did you believe there was any truth to his words or that his feelings towards Nali were sincere at all? Do you think there is any truth to Roger's claims of the Ianua being controlling?
I think that Roger is pretty certifiable at this point. Going on and on about wanting to get his family back together whilst holding a gun to Nali's mom's head is a pretty strong indicator of that. But on the other hand, I do think that in his warped mind, he feels like he deserves another chance with Nali (and possibly Evangeline.) As for whether the Ianua is controlling, I think that Roger has lost his grip on reality and because of that he's convinced the whole world is out to get him, especially the Ianua.
3. When Nali drops the Cornerstone in exchange for the release of her mother, it distracts Roger and Nali's mom attempts to escape. After a struggle Evangeline is shot and killed by Roger. Do you think Evangeline intentionally sacrificed herself? Were you surprised when Roger took his own life afterwards instead of returning to the Fury with Nali? What does Roger's suicide say about his character?
I DO think Evangeline sacrificed herself in the end. I think she made the decision that she would rather give her own life then let Roger abduct Nali from the Ianua. I also think she may have had an idea that it was going to come down to this in the end. I was VERY surprised that Roger took his own life. He easily could have snatched Nali up and taken her to the Fury. Maybe a part of Roger did still love Evangeline enough that he couldn't live with what he had done. Or maybe he wasn't so far gone to recognize that he had forever destroyed any hope he would have had reconnecting with his daughter after Evangeline's death. Either way, it surprised me in the end.
4. After Nali's mom is killed, she returns as Nali's new connection replacing Grace. Did this surprise you? Do you think it "was meant to be" as Nali's mother says?
It did surprise me! I knew that Grace would be replaced as Nali's connection at some point but I totally did not think that Nali's mom would come back as the replacement! Yay! for surprises! And yes, I think it was definitely meant to be just as Evangeline told Nali.
5. When Nali regains consciousness she learns from the Addo that in addition to losing her own parents, all the other Addo's have been killed as well as Garrett's father. Were you surprised that all these characters were killed off by the end of the book?
Again, I was very surprised to see the primary antagonist bite the dust so soon. It made me curious as to who would jump into that role as the series continued. And I felt like all the addos being killed was definitely going to play a major role in the next book(s). Perhaps Garrett's dad dying was the biggest surprise. I think it is something that might bring Nali and Garrett even closer together, now that they have both lost a parent(s).
6. Nali must decide whether to pick the Cornerstone back up and start the imprinting process again (which will be extremely painful and possibly life threatening) or she can choose to walk away and have a Simple life. Nali decides to pick the stone back up and become Contego. Why do you think she made this decision? Was it for vengenace? Was it for Garrett? Or do you think there is another reason? Would you have made the same decision if you had been in Nali's place?
I think Nali realized that things are going to get way worse before they are better and I think she realizes that she can play a larger role in helping and protecting her new "family" if she becomes Contego. In the end I think she finally made the decision on her own and without any outside influences (the addo, her mom, or Garrett.) That is something that excites me because I am ready to see Nali face down her insecurities and become more assertive. Would I have made the same decision? Hmmm, I've said before I'm pretty much a scaredy cat, but if I were in a similar situation I'd like to think I'd be brave enough to do what Nali does.
That's it guys! I hope any of you who haven't done so already will pick up book #2 in the series, Keystone, and find out what happens to Nali and Garrett next! I have had the opportunity to read and review it (you can check that HERE is you're interested) and I can tell you that it totally ROCKS!