At the start of Chapter 6, Nalena follows Garrett in pursuit of the man who attacked her in the woods. She has a semi-out-of-body-experience, running faster than she should be able to, with the ground passing beneath her in “a dirty blur”. Her feeling of fear is what jerks her back into herself and trips her up. What do you think of her new abilities and what limitations might they present?
I I think her new "abilities" are great especially as she seems in danger and they seem to somehow link her to Garrett. But her fear is definitely going to be a limitation if she is going to lose her powers every time she gets scared of them. She could get really hurt if Garrett isn't around to protect her or even that time when she dropped and rolled, I can't believe she didn't break her arm again.
After Nalena loses Garrett in the pursuit, Nalena and her mother end up at Garrett’s house to let his parents know what has happened. We meet the rest of the Reese family, including Garrett’s oldest brother and carbon copy, Sean, and Garrett’s youngest sibling and only sister, Iris. Sean and Iris remain at the house while the rest go to search for Garrett. Why do you think they were the ones left behind? Anything odd in their conversation that could give us clues as to what is going on?
They were left behind because Iris was the youngest and most in danger and Sean was left behind because other than the parents, the most capable of taking care of Iris and Nali and her mom. The whole conversation that went on was weird. What Iris was trying to say the boys were, "impressioned" the police being called or not, it was all very weird. I didn't have a clue what was going on. I felt like Nali did. Why wasn't anyone else as upset as she was?
3. Chapter 7- Um, WHY do you think he didn’t kiss her??? If you were in Nali’s shoes, would you have forced the kiss to happen?
The only reason I can think of for him not to kiss her when he was so close was that he didn't want to take advantage of her when she was so obviously upset. Big Mistake. That's when you kiss the girl! No! If he didn't kiss me, I would high tail it out of there out of sheer embarrassment. I would never have made the first move! Neither would Nali. This is all brand new to her.
In Chapter 7, Evangeline drops it like its hot and explains her past, what the Ianua is and why she’s kept Nalena from it all. At this point, if you could have a broader view of the world Nalena is entering into, what would you envision or assume it to be like? Would you be frightened or intrigued?
I'm really not sure how to answer that question. The way it's described, I just imagine a bunch of scribes like from the bible sitting around in a dusty room scribbling on papyrus with stylus. I can't even begin to think of how Nali's mom gets her information and if it ever shuts off. Does she hear the voices all night long, how does she get rest. That's what I'm thinking about. And are these people hidden in the world. And since the beginning of time. Did they exist during the time of dinosaurs when men weren't supposed to be alive? Did they know how to write when people weren't supposed to have that capability? I have a lot of questions. And I think I'd be frightened because I would not want to spend my life like her mother. That is just too much writing though I think I would find a better way to do it, maybe speak into a recorder and have someone to transcribe things? Make use of a computer? I understand why she does it the way she does, but the thought of doing that, obviously there's no chance for a normal life. The thought of that would frighten me.
Regina and Jen visit Nalena in the school bathroom with a whooping in mind. Does it bother you that they are cheerleaders? What if Jen had been a random, unpopular girl? Would the scene have the same impact for you?
In reality, I don't think cheerleaders are all that mean. That wasn't my experience in high school. That they should be held to a higher standard, well yeah, I think they should. But the truth is, they sometimes get away with more because they are pretty, kind of like in life. Pretty gets you certain things. But it only gets you so far. It wasn't foremost in my mind that she was a cheerleader just that she was a pretty, popular girl when the fight was going on. If it had been a nobody, I still would have been upset if it had been for the same reason, because she thought she was going out with Garrett and wanted to teach Nali a lesson. It was just more effective with her being popular and pretty because she gets shown as a liar and a mean girl. Thank God for snoopy old Cora!
6. Chapter 10, the Reese boys reveal that Nalena being a Contego means that there is a Cusp coming. If you were to define the Cusp, what do you think it would be? Would it be a singular event or a series of them? Why do you think Evangeline takes it so hard that her daughter is not Alo?
I think the Cusp is maybe a change within the religious community. And I think it's a series of events. Or, it could be an apocalyptic event. I really have no idea at this point. There is no predictability here so anything could be the Cusp. I think Evangeline takes it so hard because she is Alo and always expected the same for Nali. Being Contego seems like there is some risk involved, danger and what mother wants their daughter in danger. Garrett said being Contego meant they were warriors, Sean corrected him and said they were protectors. Either way, they will have to fight. I think she's worried for Nali. But considering what Nali has been through being called "The Waste" and putting up with that for so long, I think she's ready for anything.
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Cornerstone Questions Chapters 11-16
1. Were you surprised about the revelations of the unique society that Nali now finds herself a part of? Which of the four signs do you identify the most with: Alo, Contego, Addo or Veritas?
2. The Reese boys have a unique way of answering their phone. Tell me the funniest or most interesting way you have answered your phone or someone else's.
3. Do you think Nalena is going to be able to stick with her initial choice of living a Simple Life or do you feel Garrett or the Addo will persuade her to change her mind?
4. The Addo does not fit the wise man mold with his sweats and cookie crumbs. What was you first impression of him? Would you go to him for advice?
5. What do you think of Nalena's mom's reaction to the revelation that other Addo are dying? Do you think she is in denial?
6. What do you think of Nalena's new guardian angel, Grace? Do you believe in guardian angels? Have you ever had an experience where you felt like someone was looking out for you?