Review: The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

20760053Published: January 10th 2017

Publisher: Random House

Genres: Coming-of-Age, Contemporary

Format: eARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley

My Rating: 2-5

A captivating debut novel for readers of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You and Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep, The Most Dangerous Place on Earth unleashes an unforgettable cast of characters into a realm known for its cruelty and peril: the American high school.

In an idyllic community of wealthy California families, new teacher Molly Nicoll becomes intrigued by the hidden lives of her privileged students. Unknown to Molly, a middle school tragedy in which they were all complicit continues to reverberate for her kids: Nick, the brilliant scam artist; Emma, the gifted dancer and party girl; Dave, the B student who strives to meet his parents expectations; Calista, the hippie outcast who hides her intelligence for reasons of her own. Theirs is a world in which every action may become public postable, shareable, indelible.

With the rare talent that transforms teenage dramas into compelling and urgent fiction, Lindsey Lee Johnson makes vivid a modern adolescence lived in the gleam of the virtual, but rich with the sorrow, passion, and beauty of life in any time, and at any age.

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My Thoughts

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth started out promising. I was so invested in following this story, but then it just strayed waaayy out of my comfort zone. To see this one through, I had to drink two more cups of coffee (it was after 5p.m., mind you & it wasn’t decaf) and a chocolate/chocolate chip muffin because I deserved it. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad book. I just think I’m the wrong audience for it. I couldn’t relate to any character in this book, much less empathize with them and their problems. 

This story starts off heartbreaking. I was so emotional by the end of the prologue. How does a reader move on from such a beginning? Well, the author makes up this story by giving a blow-by-blow with each character. It’s disgusting and very disturbing, the things that go down in this book. There are changes in certain characters – for good or bad, I can’t decide which. You just have to see it through once you start. Otherwise, you may go crazy without knowing what happens. I can’t review this without spoiling anything. I just really feel like there is too much going on. Well, no, it’s the way the author delivers this story that makes it almost unbearable to read. I think focusing on 2 specific characters would have been enough and it could have turned out to be a really great story. Molly is the only character that you really get to know truly.

What to look forward to…

privileged kids who are just downright mean



oblivious or demanding parents (take your pick)

a teacher who loves literature, but her students may be the death of her

a school administration that makes me glad I didn’t go to school there

I’ve read my fair share of YA books with spoiled kids, but this is just one that I think is not for me. I am being overly generous with 2.5 stars (it got 3 out of me on Goodreads. They need half ratings!). I can’t tell anyone what to buy, borrow, trade… just read at your own risk. This may be an important story to read for some teen, somewhere. Or adults alike. I’m just glad that I didn’t have to DNF it, because it really makes me grateful for the way I grew up. Appropriate title for this story, also.

16 thoughts on “Review: The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

  1. You have got me SO curious? Teacher/student relationships are such a hit or miss for me – and if it’s a middle school student I can assume that this will be outside of my comfort zone as well.

    So yeah. You eat that chocolate muffin. You deserve it.


  2. With a title like that, I guess its a warning of what is to come inside the covers. Whew, you have me curious, but I’m not sure if I’m curious enough for disturbing teenagers.


  3. I agree, Goodreads needs to get half star ratings! It would be the best update they’d ever make. I’m sorry that this one didn’t work out for you, and that it just became too disturbing. Your review does leave me curious though, because it sounds like there is so much you can’t say without spoiling the book! I don’t think I’m going to read it though… just a feeling…


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