Amy Brashear has deep ties to the state of Arkansas. She grew up with family near Damascus: home of the infamous 1980 “Damascus Incident,” where an accidental explosion in a Titan II silo almost triggered a nuclear war. Inspired by this real event, The Incredible True Story of the Making of the Eve of Destruction is her second novel. Her first novel, No Saints in Kansas, was published last year to critical acclaim.
Arkansas, 1984: The town of Griffin Flat is known for almost nothing other than its nuclear missile silos. MAD—Mutually Assured Destruction—is a fear every local lives with and tries to ignore. Unfortunately that’s impossible now that film moguls have picked Griffin Flat as the location for a new nuclear holocaust movie, aptly titled The Eve of Destruction.
When sixteen-year-old Laura Ratliff wins a walk-on role (with a plus-one!) thanks to a radio call-in contest, she is more relieved than excited. Mingling with Hollywood stars on the set of a phony nuclear war is a perfect distraction from being the only child in her real nuclear family—which has also been annihilated. Her parents are divorced, and her mother has recently remarried. Her father, an officer in the Strategic Air Command, is absent…except when he phones at odd hours to hint at an impending catastrophe. But isn’t that his job?
Laura’s only real friend is her new stepbrother, Terrence. She picks him as her plus-one for the film shoot, enraging her fair-weather friends. But their anger is nothing compared to what happens on set after the scripted nuclear explosion. Because nobody seems to know if a real nuclear bomb has detonated or not.
Why you should read this book?
REGIONAL AUTHENTICITY: Author is from Arkansas, and writes with a real authenticity for place and setting in a region that is underserved in fiction.
INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS: This is an alternate history and fictionalized account of a true life event. A very real small town in the US was almost accidentally annihilated by a false alarm. This story not only explores the event, but the imagined aftermath.
CURRENT EVENTS RELEVANCE: The class divide between the Hollywood types and the small-town folk are portrayed with great poignancy. Tackles the Cold War anxieties over the Soviet Union (and today). There is a sense of Us vs Them that is very relevant to current issues today.
On Sale Date: November 13, 2018 – Soho Teen
YA SH3LF REVIEW : 5/5