Perfect Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing (May 18, 2010)
Book Summary: '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!' 'Mom?' 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?
MY REVIEW: From the blurb I figured Salvaged was a contemporary YA novel. When Jesus appeared in jeans and a tee shirt to talk with main character, Attie, I realized this was also a Christian Romance. This is my first foray into this genre and I found Salvaged to be a sweet and old fashioned story with slightly contemporary attributes. This book was a welcome break from some of my other summer readings. The story begins as Attie is arriving at the Bennetts, the family of her best friend, Melody, to spend the summer. She is still recuperating from a car accident which claimed the life of her own mother and Melody. Narrated by Attie, I'll admit I was surprised and jarred out of the story when the Bennett's son, Riley, suddenly took over narrating on page 29. I would have liked to have read his perspective sooner, but after this bump I continued on and was soon intrigued by both Attie and Riley as well.
I thought having Jesus appear to Attie in regular clothing gave the story a unique twist. His discussions with Attie were informative and helped her when she needed the right type of guidance--his. Attie was an interesting character, not afraid to show her emotions (even though she complains about how she's too emotional, her behavior was understandable considering her circumstances). Childhood friendship between Riley and Attie changes when she moves into his house. Riley was a really nice guy and his attempt at controlling his desire for Attie was commendable. Riley was the type of guy worthy of the 'swoon' status some male YA characters don't really deserve.
The messages in the book were well executed and powerful, especially with the dialog in certain key scenes. The story itself was strong, with good pacing, and a nice group of believable secondary characters. At times I felt the voices, especially Riley's, didn't always sound teen-ish (but then this story takes place in Oaklahoma and each state has its own diction so this may explain the discrepancy). Salvaged was an uplifting story with a realistically lovely romance and is suitable for all ages.
Favorite Excerpt: (From page 118.)
""I see." I nodded. "Doing the right thing can be difficult. Especially when it's because you feel like God told you to. People just don't get that."
"No, they don't." He was quiet for a few moments as he picked up my hand and traced the lines in my palm with his finger. "You're good for me, Charlie. I'm a better person when I'm around you."
My hand warmed at his touch. "You were already a good person. You just needed someone to be a good person with. It's more fun that way."
"Well . . . " He looked back up at me and smirked. "We certainly have fun together."
"We're agreed then. We're good for each other, romance or no romance."
"Actually--we're perfect for each other." He winked. "And I'm still betting on a romance.""
Cover Comment: Cute and practically perfect. The story takes place during the summer and Attie's painted toenails do play a role in the story.
Book Source: We Love YA! tours