I'm looking for a book that I read in fifth grade in 1990. The story was probably published in the 80s or late 70s. Some pages were photos (I think B&W) staged to illustrate the action.

The story starts with four older teens (they looked 18ish to me at the time) who are soon abducted by aliens. The teens are isolated, and the 1st person protagonist (one of the two guys) talks about seeing a freakish monster appearing and killing him over and over again until he blacks out.

When he awakens, he and his friends are back on Earth (I think near the abduction site). One of the girls is eliminated from the action when, IIRC, she recalls the abduction and passes out. The others recall the abduction and the monster chamber.

Eventually, as the trope seems to go in these sorts of stories, the other (non-protagonist) guy starts to discover that he can control minds. The other two teens know something's up when (again IIRC) the bad kid is making small pleased comments at a cafe when the server starts acting strangely. They find out soon enough that they can also control minds, and they theorize that the time in the monster chamber, dying thousands and thousands of times, eventually forced them to figure out how to control the monsters' minds to stop the endless cycle.

From there, the bad kid (more IIRC) starts trying to take over the town and sends his thralls to kill the other two, who manage to survive with some mind control and being careful.

Eventually they track down the bad kid, who tries to win the staredown by (IIRC) conjuring up an image of the monster to scare the other two. I don't recall exactly how it happened, but the other two got the attention of the aliens to reabduct the three of them. They then undergo the monster chamber in reverse where they start knowing how to control tje monster, and the scensrio restarts with their control becoming more tenuous each time until they black out.

They wind up back on Earth. The two good kids remember everything. I think the bad kid had his memory entirely wiped of the alien encounters and the time between. The pass-out kid I think also doesn't recall anything. Happy ending.

Obviously, my memories of the details I was able to provide could be incredibly distorted after 28 years (28?! Lordy!). But there you have it. Thanks for any help!

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