The Incredible True Story of the Making of the Eve of Destruction

8 CDs. 9 hrs. Recorded Bks. Feb. 2019. ISBN 9781980005308. $87.75. digital download.
Gr 9 UP—Sixteen-year-old Laura is thrilled to have a walk-on role in the nuclear disaster film about to be shot in her small town of Griffin Flat, AR, home to numerous nuclear missile silos. It's 1984, and Laura is still reeling from her parent's scandalous divorce as she tries to adjust to having a new stepfamily. Laura invites her stepbrother Terrence to join her on set, and the two meet a colorful collection of characters. The day ends with the filming of a nuclear blast—but is the blast scripted or real? Narrator Amielyn Abellera reads in a slow, clear, and deliberate manner. Laura's youthful voice has a perfect touch of a southern accent, and Terrence is also done in a realistic manner. Abellera is less successful with the secondary characters. Laura's mom has an annoying falsetto, and Laura's best male friend, Max, sounds like an elderly grandmother. Some of the book's endearing wackiness is lost in the audio version. The frequent footnotes, which humorously explain the 1980s pop culture references, are jarring and interrupt the flow of the story. Various documents included in the book are read aloud word-for-word—from the FEMA declarations to the accident waiver and release of liability form from the film company—which further hinder the story's progression.
VERDICT This audio might be a good choice for those teens who enjoy over-the-top recordings, but most students will enjoy the print book more.

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