I featured Abducted Life in a launch party last autumn, and took advantage of the special offer on the book. I don’t often read YA, but this one was special, as you can tell from the opening chapter/excerpt I posted at the time. The opening did not lead to disappointment!
The Blurb (Goodreads)
Savannah Janowitz’s perfect life was destroyed the night she and her boyfriend vanished without a trace. When she reappears a year later––alone––she’s a shell of her former self. Robbed of her popularity and her boyfriend, she has no memory of what happened to her. Savannah struggles to move forward as strange, new abilities manifest.
Evan Sullivan never gave extraterrestrials much thought until the night he and Savannah were abducted. While Savannah’s memory was wiped clean, he remembers every horrific detail. Constantly reminded of the experiments that made him less than human, Evan hides in the shadows and watches Savannah rebuild her life without him.
But neither can let the other go. When their paths cross, Savannah and Evan finally see a glimmer of their old lives return. As they face what happened to them, they soon discover they aren’t safe. There’s more to fear than what’s hiding in the stars.
Something––or someone–closer to home is watching.
The start was as gripping as I remembered. Yet Evan talks of Savannah with such tenderness it changes from a gripping boy/girl abduction saga to something altogether deeper and more touching.
The author alternates the point of view: Savannah or Evan, just using the protagonist as the chapter heading, is clever and also intriguing. Time is clear, and mostly sequential, without needing chapter numbers to tick off progress. We discover what has happened to Evan, and fill in the blanks in Savannah’s memory through skillful revelations, which build tension and fears for their respective futures. The text includes sexual predation,vampirism and other bloodthirsty activities as well as physical and emotional violence; some of this is explicit, but sensitively handled. There is a subtext of the way individuals and society treat people who are different, and the author also does not shy away from the question of ‘what is normal’. Much of what appears to be normal in the college dorm does not necessarily mean treating other humans decently. Some questions about other people’s roles here remained unanswered.
I’m making this sound like it is a work of deep pontification. It’s not. Abducted Life is a thoroughly enjoyable, tense scifi thriller, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys unravelling a crime mystery as well as to people who prefer their scifi with real aliens.