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Rock Bottom Hardcover – March 1, 2011

51 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the A.J. Palladino Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Environmental and consumer advocate Brockovich has created a protagonist in her own image in this highly melodramatic thriller, the first in a new series. Angela Joy "AJ" Palladino left Scotia, W.Va., population 867, as an unwed 17-year-old mother following a terrible accident that almost killed her. Ten years later, after success and fame in a battle against Capital Power that earned her the sobriquet "the People's Champion," she returns to Scotia, to assist lawyer Zachariah Hardy in a fight against Masterson Mining's new mountaintop removal project. When Hardy dies before AJ's arrival, she teams with Hardy's lawyer daughter, Elizabeth, to combat the company owned by dastardly Kyle Masterson and run by Kyle's son, Cole, father of AJ's son, David. As the two women wage an uphill battle against murderous opposition, Brockovich's environmental message gets buried in a sludge pile of clichés. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

In this serviceable first novel by consumer advocateBrockovich, a well-known environmental activist, AJ Palladino, a single mother in her late twenties, returns to her West Virginia hometown to clerk for an activist lawyer. But when she arrives in the town of Scotia, she gets the worst possible news: the lawyer has just died. Soon AJ begins to suspect the man was murdered and that his daughter is also at risk. But who�s responsible? Could it be AJ�s former lover (not to mention the father of her son), Colt Masterson, whose mining company is operating in the area? While the novel will have appeal for Brockovich followers, some mystery readers might be annoyed by its poor construction�the jumps in point of view, for example, are handled clumsily�and by its very familiar and predictable story of corporate misuse of the environment. On the other hand, the prose flows smoothly enough, and AJ herself is, if not particularly original, at least appealing enough to interest those fond of the movie about Brockovich�s own activism. --David Pitt

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press; 1 edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593156251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593156251
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #461,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Hayley Kolb on February 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ohhhh, I'm already counting the days until the next book. This book was so engrossing and so good, I was very captivated. I was eager to know what would happen next and could not put the book down. You just have to love AJ, she is so normal and real. A very good debut book, and a good start to a series!

I received an ARC of this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on February 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Angela Joy Palladino left Scotia, West Virginia as a pregnant teen with no future there. She gave birth to physically impaired David who she has raised as a single mom; yet also went to school while holding a job. Finally AJ becomes an on the air radio celebrity as an environmental activist that People magazine dubbed "The People's Champion". However, her efforts to end polluting by Capitol Power led to their declaration of bankruptcy; an irate former employer calls her on the air blaming her for losing his job, his home and his dignitary as he and his family reside in a tent; the gunshot ended their one sided discussion; turning her from crusading heroine to widow-making pariah.

Litigator Zach Hardy hires her to help end the coal mining firms' practice of mountaintop removal in Scotia. However, nothing goes right starting with her boss is dead. Her parents demand she leave while they make her and their nine years old grandson stay at her Gram Flora's house as they do not want her under their roof. Finally Cole the father of her son is angry with what AJ did to him.

This is a character driven environmental-family drama that grips the audience from the opening gunshot until the final confrontation. The key to this strong story line is that though saving the environment is the theme, the authors insure readers understand opportunity costs like less fuel and potentially less jobs. AJ is a terrific heroine who has taken life's gut punches but keeps on going with gusto; that enthusiasm for life is what she has given to David. With several tense subplots that tie together into a powerful taut thriller, fans will demand more similar tales from CJ Lyons and Erin Brockovich.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mandy on July 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover

I've always like dark, thunderous skies, so I was drawn to this cover by that alone. The lady on the cover could be a representation of AJ, the main character, or the author herself ... it's up to you to interpret it. =)

Plot/Main Characters

AJ is a single mother who has had to learn the hard way how to take care of her son. She doesn't even have the help of her family ... whether it's emotional, financial, physical, etc. She is a woman on her own. Her son's father, Cole, hasn't been around since David's birth. Is this by choice? By circumstance?

Speaking of circumstances, they lead AJ back to her hometown, a place she hasn't visited in ten years. She's determined that David become united with his father and she, AJ, is determined to change things between her parents and herself. However, her parents seem to be as unresponsive and dismissive as ever. Will they ever come around? What caused them to be this way? How could parents ignore their very own daughter like she's not of their own flesh and blood?

While deciding whether or not to stay in Scotia permanently, AJ lands a job that puts her, her son and her long lost love in danger. With a renewed determination to set things right for her son's sake, AJ takes on the biggest, baddest man in town ... with the help of her new boss.

Full of twists, turns, discoveries, disappointments, regrets, hope, friendship and more, this book is a powerful story of one woman's fight to create a safer world for, not only her son, but for everybody in her hometown.


Despite the ending, which I understood but did not like (it disappointed me as a person, not a reader), this is a pretty great book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laurel-Rain Snow TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When Angela Joy Palladino and her nine-year-old son return to her hometown of Scotia, West Virginia, she has very mixed feelings. Memories of her flight from this same town ten years before are almost enough to keep her from going there.

But she is desperate. Her past success as an environmental activist has been clouded by a recent media disaster.

What will Angela (A.J.) find when she shows up on her parents' doorstep? And what recent events will torpedo the job she hoped to begin here? And what lies and secrets will she uncover?

From the very opening pages of this story full of mystery, suspense, and possible danger, the reader is treated to the tough feistiness of A. J., and the awesome strength, intelligence, and openness to life's possibilities of her disabled son David.

Erin Brockovich's environmental activism shines throughout the pages, and the fictional elements were captivating and true-to-life. I liked how the story unfolded from the alternate perspectives of the characters, like A. J.; Elizabeth (an attorney); and David. The story revealed itself almost in slow motion at times, creating more suspense, especially toward the end as the danger escalated.

On the other hand, some of the language felt awkward, or like an attempt at down-home humor. For example: "The tug-of-war in my stomach was a tractor pull pitting an eighteen wheeler against a Panzer tank."

These similes peppered the pages of [ROCK BOTTOM] BY Brockovich, Erin (Author) Vanguard Press (publisher) Hardcover, distracting me at times. Otherwise, this book was incredible, and as the first in a series, it offers an ongoing journey with these characters. Four stars.
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