The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

A Novel

Book - 2017
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Random House, Inc.
An unforgettable cast of characters is unleashed into a realm known for its cruelty—the American high school—in this captivating debut novel.

The wealthy enclaves north of San Francisco are not the paradise they appear to be, and nobody knows this better than the students of a local high school. Despite being raised with all the opportunities money can buy, these vulnerable kids are navigating a treacherous adolescence in which every action, every rumor, every feeling, is potentially postable, shareable, viral.

Lindsey Lee Johnson’s kaleidoscopic narrative exposes at every turn the real human beings beneath the high school stereotypes. Abigail Cress is ticking off the boxes toward the Ivy League when she makes the first impulsive decision of her life: entering into an inappropriate relationship with a teacher. Dave Chu, who knows himself at heart to be a typical B student, takes desperate measures to live up to his parents’ crushing expectations. Emma Fleed, a gifted dancer, balances rigorous rehearsals with wild weekends. Damon Flintov returns from a stint at rehab looking to prove that he’s not an irredeemable screwup. And Calista Broderick, once part of the popular crowd, chooses, for reasons of her own, to become a hippie outcast.

Into this complicated web, an idealistic young English teacher arrives from a poorer, scruffier part of California. Molly Nicoll strives to connect with her students—without understanding the middle school tragedy that played out online and has continued to reverberate in different ways for all of them.

Written with the rare talent capable of turning teenage drama into urgent, adult fiction, The Most Dangerous Place on Earth makes vivid a modern adolescence lived in the gleam of the virtual, but rich with sorrow, passion, and humanity.

Praise for The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

“Alarming, compelling . . . Here’s high school life in all its madness.”The New York Times
“Impossibly funny and achingly sad . . . [Lindsey Lee] Johnson cracks open adolescent angst with adult sensibility and sensitivity.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“[A] piercing debut . . . Johnson proves herself a master of the coming-of-age story.”The Boston Globe
“Entrancing . . . Johnson’s novel possesses a propulsive quality. . . . Hard to put down.”Chicago Tribune
“Readers may find themselves so swept up in this enthralling novel that they finish it in a single sitting.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Baker & Taylor
Arriving as a replacement teacher in a privileged Bay Area school, Molly becomes intrigued with the hidden lives and challenging ambitions of her students, who are struggling with a tragedy from their middle-school years. A first novel.

& Taylor

Arriving as a replacement teacher in a privileged Bay Area school, Molly becomes intrigued with the hidden lives and challenging ambitions of her students, who are struggling with a tragedy from their middle-school years.

Publisher: New York : Random House, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780812997279
Call Number: FIC JOH
Characteristics: 272 pages ; 25 cm


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May 15, 2017

I read this book fairly quickly as it is an easy read. I like how the author allows each character to show a piece of themselves by narrating a chapter. That being said, It is truly just a piece. You are left with the feeling there is more to them and their story. The book leaves you wondering what happened to them, but I believe that is the point. The ending attempts to be a hopeful resolution and clensing, but for me, fell a bit short. I posted age suitability as fourteen and up with a caveat... I would recommend that parents discuss the book themes with their kids. Whether we like it or not or think they are mature enough or not, the themes in this book and their consequences are something kids are dealing with today, and I find this book to be one way to start a open dialogue about it. Cue teen eye rolling!

Apr 24, 2017

I had to stop reading this halfway through--life is too short. The characters are one dimensional and stereotypical. The writing is pedestrian. The plot is predictable. There are much better YA and Teen books that cover the same issues.

Brenda1388 Feb 24, 2017

It's not read for the plot, it's for character development. I loved the how the author went into each character's perspective on the same situation. It was very descriptive and moving

Jan 30, 2017

Plot moves at a snail's pace. I couldn't get past page 15.

Jan 21, 2017

I enjoyed this story.


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May 15, 2017

mlinard thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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