'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 ...more '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?
Salvaged is a touching tale of love and loss in a Christian context. I must confess to being dubious upon hearing that this book is Christian fiction, as it’s a genre that I really haven’t read up until now, but I was pleasantly surprised. It carefully balances emotion and humor to provide an engrossing story.
This story is narrated from the alternating perspectives of Riley and Attie. After reading Shiver, I enjoy seeing both a male and female narrator, but I almost felt that I got more out of their relationship from the dialogue. I will say that all texts were written in text speak (not directly out of the book, but i.e. “c u ltr”) and as this is a pet peeve of mine in real text messages, I grew tired of it quickly. Thank you, characters, for not texting each other more often.
The characters in Salvaged are, for the most part, very lovable, in my opinion. I was particularly fond of Gramps and Pops, both of whom had me laughing out loud throughout the story. Riley wasn’t necessary my favorite love interest ever, but I loved his loyalty to Attie. I confess that I didn’t particularly care for Joshua, but this is also because I felt that as a character, he didn’t explain why he chose certain therapy methods and whatnot.
The religious aspect of this book is something I was concerned about, because having not read Christian fiction prior to this experience, I wasn’t sure if I should be expecting religion to overwhelm the entire book or what. Ultimately, it tied wonderfully into the plot without overwhelming with it. I think how any given reader feels about Attie’s beliefs will, to an extent, depend on his or own religious beliefs and versions of right and wrong. It wasn’t the aspect of the novel which I felt the most connected with, but I could see where other people would feel differently. Also, I think that because some parts felt like preaching or as though they were trying to convey a particular message of Christianity, it’s hard to really comment on the writing, but I certainly felt that it was well done.
I was pleasantly surprised by Salvaged. Even if one doesn’t agree with the religious aspects of this novel, I think Stefne Miller is undeniably a gifted storyteller. I have a feeling that Attie and Riley’s story will stick with me, and I hope Miller publishes more novels in the future.
If you'd like to purchase Salvaged, go to Stefne Miller's website where you can buy your very own, autographed copy.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Star Book Tours.