Sunday, February 5, 2012

Virtual Book Tour: Nuclear Romance by Abby Luby Review

Summary from the author's blog:  In Nuclear Romance, a debut novel by New York journalist and writer Abby Luby, the tragic death of a 7-year old girl – after swimming at a beach across from a nuclear power plant – sets off a chain of events that involve a sports journalist, an anti-nuclear activist, a grieving mother and her son.A young woman reporter falls prey to a callous plant executive whose job depends on keeping the multi-billion dollar nuclear corporation viable. Set in the US Northeast, the terrifying story that unravels the cause of the girl’s death coincides with growing local anti-nuclear sentiment.  The tension escalates after highly radioactive steam escapes from the plant, forcing a mass evacuation.

This novel grips readers’ imaginations with the tension and fear that surround many of today’s nuclear power plants, especially powerful in the aftermath ofJapan’s recent and still unfolding nuclear disaster.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I began this book, I honestly was not even sure what it was about.  I'm sure I read the synopsis, but I forgot.  Regardless, the author drew me in from the beginning. In fact, it was very hard to read as I waded through the opening story in the book.  It was rather haunting.

As I went on in the book, I was amazed to read information I had never heard about nuclear power plants.  It would seem that in this country, the government and the press does not seem to cover stories about nuclear power plants.  I have to admit that within my life, I have never heard about nuclear power plants except for explosions like Chernobyl.  And, of course, that could never happen here, right?

I was thoroughly impressed with the fact that the author has indeed done her homework.  I didn't know the first thing about nuclear power plants, but I think I have a basic understanding of them now.  And it helped that the power plant in the story was based on an actual power plant in New York that even my mother had heard about.  That added a lot of credence to the story.

I thought that the author did a fantastic job of telling a believable story and creating characters that seemed real.  The author dealt with the issues in the book in a serious way with a touch of humor at the right times.  And I thought the ending was exactly what it should be.

My only complaint with the book is the profanity and sex scenes that I found in it.  The language was not as rampant as some books I had read, and mostly, it was used at the "right" times (if there is ever a time to use such language, that is.)  Thankfully the sex scenes were not overly detailed, but the idea of the "threesome" was pretty distasteful to me.  I was pleased how the author worked that out because had it been shown as acceptable, I would have lowered the rating of the book!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  It is a book that speaks to issues that are not openly discussed in America.  And the scariest thing was that a few days after I began reading it, I heard a story of a leak at a U.S. nuclear power plant!  And the media and the power plant PR people handled the episode exactly as the book said they would!  In fact, when I saw it, I cried out, "I don't want to see this!"  My mom did not know what I was yelling about.  And, just like the book, they are no longer covering the story!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews

About the Author 
(from her site)
Abby Luby 
I write about a lot of different things.

My focus has touched down in all sorts of areas, some more close to home than others. 
For instance:
environment - I fanatically test the water in my neighborhood lake before I take a dip;
art - my mental respite, I dabble with found objects;
music - another respite, I play cello in an all-women string quartet.

Curiosity is the stuff good journalism is made of and for me the snoop factor started in grade school with the teacher's short, illusive answers to my longer, directed questions. There always seemed to be some information missing before the question and after the answer. That frustration spawned a dogged resolve - the must-have DNA for writing and reporting, the handy instinct for investigative reporting where the real story is usually what folks aren't saying. 

Writing that perfect profile means culling all the facts about a person but also getting them - figuring out their essential nature. Writing about art is more than describing line, color, texture - its what all those lines, colors and textures do to you. A special feature is that opus where you roll out the highlights while tucking in those small, revealing details; spot news is like jumping onto the spinning merry-go-round of hot tips and follow up, getting the nitty-gritty story, then hopping off. 

And food - ah food - writing about food and foodies is thinking with your taste buds and waxing poetic about the journey from garden to table, from savoring to dining nirvana.

My background: I've been in the field of communications for over 20 years and a journalist just over 10. I have a Bachelor's degree in Communications/Music from Indiana Universityand attended the High School of Music and Artin New York City. 

Today, I am a freelance journalist for The New York Daily News, a regularly featured art critic for the Stamford Advocate/Greenwich Time and for the past five years have written for The Hudson Valley Table, a quarterly food magazine. I write about environment for the North County News, a Westchester weekly newspaper and an occasional piece in the quarterly, Bedford Magazine.

Previous journalism experience includes a three-year stint as staff reporter at The Record-Review, a news weekly Bedford Hills, book reviewer for Chronogram, a Hudson Valley monthly arts magazine, environmental reporter for theWestchester County and Fairfield County Times, art reviewer for Pulse, a weekly arts & entertainment paper in Poughkeepsie, NY. For eight years I was an independent video producer with "Voices From History Video Productions" which produced aural history and documentaries such as "Paul Robeson and the Peekskill of Riots of 1949" and "Pastures of Plenty", about Latino workers in Westchester County.

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