Monday, June 28, 2010
About the book:
My body was being torn apart, and my stomach felt as if it exploded. The pain was excruciating, and I was aware that I was dying... "Mom?"
My vision was murky, but I could see her face. It was bloody, and her eyes were large and full of fear. Her voice calmed. "Get out of the car, Attie."
Her words sounded crisp and clear. I looked into the backseat in search of Melody and found her lying covered in blood in a twisted heap on the floor. I turned my attention back to my mother and out of the corner of my eye saw fire.
"Get out, Attie!"
Everything went dark.
Attie Reed should have died in the wreck that stole the lives of her mother and best friend. But her life was spared. Why? When Attie moves to Oklahoma to stay with the Bennetts for the summer, she hopes she has left her nightmares behind. But her battle is far from over, and Riley Bennett steps forward to help her fight the nighttime monsters. As the battle wears on, Riley begins fighting monsters of his own: his feelings for Attie. And Attie realizes she must begin to face the monsters of the night herself if she wants to conquer them for good. Can Attie's life be Salvaged?
This novel blew me out of the water; ripped my socks clean off, and sent them hurtling into orbit. I am NOT kidding. Salvaged was so well-written and emotionally engaging that I couldn't stop reading it. I really enjoy going to church, but today I even wished I could have stayed home just to finish the book. Yeah, it hooked me that much. I finished the entire story in one weekend, and it's a 352 page novel (which is ironically the same number of pages as my debut YA novel, It's Not About Me.)
Salvaged was a beautiful love story and a heart-wrenching portrayal of emotional healing. There were so many times in this story I got all choked up that I lost count. That's one way I can tell a book is truly wonderful. Whenever the story sweeps me away and I'm lost in the fiction realm because it feels so real...that's when I know it's a great book. I am really going to miss Attie and Riley. I loved both of them so much that my heart rejoiced with them and even ached for them at times. And they aren't even real people! I had to keep telling myself that. But they felt like people who could have been my friends when I was that age.
Attie and Riley were good teenagers and they were realistically portrayed, yet also backed with a solid message that avoiding temptation is a smart thing to do, and that accountability is necessary when you are young and hormonal...to keep you on the right path. I also loved the message that waiting to get physically involved really forces you to get to know the other person on more than just an attraction level. It makes a real emotional bond possible, thus making the heart connection special and built on a genuine affection for the person for who they really are.
I loved that the characters experienced intense feelings and desires, and that they struggled because of them. That's real life. Plus, the suppressed passion and battle for self-control just made the story all the more compelling and compulsively readable. Their is nothing sexier in a young hero than controlled passion. I think every young girl needs to get that message from this story. It is critical for the long term to wait on love and not rush things. Get to know the guy as a person and then see what happens. All great messages for teens. Plus, it was a perfect YA romance for males and females because it was packed with action. I didn't skim a single sentence.
Last, I loved that Attie talked to Jesus and that they had a tight heart connection. The honest conversations they shared were emotionally gripping and powerful because of the truth in their words. Like He did with Attie in this story, Jesus lovingly, yet firmly encourages us to deal with life head on, yet He promises never to leave us or forsake us. This was beautifully shown in their dialog. In fact, this book was so well written I forgot I was reading most of the time. The quality of the author's writing and her mastery of dialog makes this novel stand shoulders above many "shallow" teen novels on the shelves these days. I can't say enough good things about this book! It's making my best Christian fiction of 2010 list.
Salvaged was published by Tate Publishing and released in May 2010. There is a promo on Goodreads that ends June 30th, and there are well over 1,300 entries for two copies of this book. Give it a try and enter, but if you don't win, by all means buy the book. It will be worth every penny and every minute you spend reading it. I promise. Here is a link to the author's site where you can order the book. The author makes the most per sale when she sell the book herself, plus you get if for $10 off the cover price when you get it directly. She also has a kindle version of this book. So what are you waiting for? Snag this story while you still can @ http://stefnemiller.com/