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The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  7,682 ratings  ·  1,248 reviews
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
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Random House
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Nikki Oden I also think both stories play with the idea of the American Dream being false. At the beginning of the story Ms. Nicoll's asks the class what the Ame…moreI also think both stories play with the idea of the American Dream being false. At the beginning of the story Ms. Nicoll's asks the class what the American dream is and they all answer with her dreams of wealth and material possessions. The kids in this story, just like the characters in Gatsby, can have whatever they want. Yet they still don't seem to be happy. In both stories the characters are left wanting more from life, even though, from the outside looking in, it appears they have everything anyone could want. (less)

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Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

The book begins in the eighth grade at Valley Middle School. A beautiful school in Mill Valley which was recently declared the Fourth Best Small Town in America.

Thirteen year old Cally Broderick is impatient and restless for her life to begin. Her teachers keep telling her that she just needs to apply herself, but she's more interested in her best friend, Abigail and Ryan Harbinger, the boy she has a crush on. When she opens
Pshew! Glad I don’t have to deal with the stuff the parents in this book had to deal with! Few books have made me feel so grateful—grateful that my kids were the hell out of high school before social media became the main game in town. Sure, some of the social scene in the sky is good (we all need to know that Brittany is eating sautéed Brussel sprouts in sunny Timbuktu, for example), but there’s an evil side for sure. And this book makes you look at this side up close.

Yes, this book made me mul
Elyse  Walters
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Update: This book is a $1.99 Kindle special. Read the blurb and reviews— some readers didn’t like it — but MANY did...
It takes place in one of the most wealthiest places in Northern California. These families have money - the kids are privileged.
They have a very different type of pressure than kids who come from poverty.
It’s worth $1.99 - and worthy of a trial run read in my opinion. Great discussion book!

I requested to read this book the 'second' I learned about it 5 months ago. It will be r
Felice Laverne
It’s funny how novels are often published in waves—we’ll see a flood of multi-cultural books, an influx of war novels or a deluge of high-school-centric reads at once, proving for those who don’t believe it already that books come in trends much like shoes. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth instantly reminded me Everything I Never Told You (which I loved and rated highly) and of another new-release competitor and recent review, Everything You Want Me to Be see my review of it here, which will be ...more
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth is beautifully written, but it's awfully unsettling. Set in a wealthy town near San Francisco, the story focuses on a group of teenagers and one of their younger teachers. These are not nice kids, but to call them mean would be overly simplistic. The author does a superb job of getting in their heads, showing the rudderless movement of their thoughts, emotions and actions, and all the attendant nasty consequences. These are privileged teenagers, caught up in par ...more
Larry H
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I'd probably give this 3.75 stars, so I rounded up to 4.

This was a tremendously intriguing book, but not what I expected based on its description. At some point would it be possible for the marketing departments of publishers to spend more time understanding what its books are about, instead of comparing them to any other popular title?

I digress.

In Mill Valley, California, there's an eighth-grade boy who always seems to be the target of abuse and ridicule from his fellow students. He's desperate
Iris P
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

★★★★ 4 Stars

I received a free advance e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

I have always thought of high school as a microcosm that mirrors the dynamics of society at large and serves as a training ground for young people to practice how to become independent adults and hopefully, responsible citizens.

To an extend, The Most Dangerous Place On Earth inclu
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

3.75 -4 stars....

“The Most Dangerous Place on Earth” begins in 8th grade, when some are little more than larger children. Others are already envisioning, yearning for, life away from the caring, but prying, eyes of parents and teachers who want to insert themselves in your life, your thoughts, your future.
Like everywhere, there’s a boy who isn’t like the others. He doesn’t dress, think, or behave like the others. Some openly mock him; others just laugh at him behind his back, make jokes at his
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
I listened to the audio version of The Most Dangerous Place on Earth. I was left speechless for a few minutes after listening to this one and then a flow of thoughts and feelings came rushing in and I had to grab my notebook and pen right away to gather my thoughts on this one. I went into it mostly curious to see if it would seem like something my sons could have experienced in high school. I started listening and my filters quickly kicked in to filter out the profanity, however I soon realized ...more
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson is a 2017 Random House publication.

Young Adult novels, as popular as they are, never caught on with me. However, this book, was compared to Celeste Ng’s novel, which was outstanding, so despite some minor reservations, I decided to give the book a try.

Middle school students living in a wealthy California enclave struggle with peer pressure, parental expectations, family hardships, and the consequences of their choices, caught in that agon
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a horrific story of a group of seemingly heartless children following them from 8th grade through senior year. They live in Mill Valley, a wealthy city within Marin County. They are entitled, spoiled, and largely ignored by their parents. Through the use of social media they are also extremely dangerous. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a student or teacher. Even the teachers in this book are awful. They are trying to relive their high school years by relating and engaging wi ...more
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley

3.5 Stars First off, this book makes me exceedingly glad that I went to school before cell phones, emails, facebook, 24/7 bullying and shaming. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth is aptly named. Mill Valley HS is a land mined filled place, where one wrong step makes you a target. The kids are uniformly rich and white with parents that can buy their way out of trouble but don't always really care what the kids are up to. But that doesn't protect them from their peers or teachers.

With each chapter
L A i N E Y
“No one thinks anything is going to happen. No one thinks at all.”

Quite underwhelming.

Half of the characters here were misses for me. I guess this is the legit peril of having 28 POVs. Okay I may have exaggerated just a bit but in my defense that certainly what it felt like!

Is the message that we’re all screwed? Because that’s what I felt after all these pages.
(view spoiler)
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth, according to author Lindsey Lee Johnson, is an American school, specifically, middle school and high school, even (or especially) in a wealthy community in Northern California. Unsupervised teenagers with money and today's ever-present technology is apparently a lethal combination.

The first story feels authentic and is heart-breaking and its repercussions follow the characters throughout the rest of this collection of linked stories. Each story is a vignette of
Jenna (still emerging from hiatus but still reading…!)
Another (this one fictional) exploration of teen-to-teen-inflicted, parent/teacher-inflicted, and social media-inflicted unnecessary suffering in an otherwise privileged, very wealthy, and apparently mostly white California high school. If speedy-readability were a primary consideration in awarding a book a high rating (and I know it can be), then this book would have surely earned a 4 rather than the 3 stars on which I finally settled. I can't say I "enjoyed" this book exactly, for reasons that ...more
Bill Kupersmith
Personally I'd not class this as a YA (tho' highly recommend it for younger readers) because an OA like me can not only enjoy it but bring a maturity & historical perspective. Back in the 1970s a delightful work of satirical fiction first appeared in Northern California as a series in a local newspaper, which was collected under the title The Serial: A Year in the Life of Marin County. The author was Cyra McFadden, who was later to publish a memoir of her own chaotic upbringing by nomadic & some ...more
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Powerful read about a group of teens who are struggling to find their place in the aftermath of a tragedy.

The Most Dangerous Place begins in the 8th grade, with the story of the event that alters the lives of Cally (a.k.a. Calista), Abigail, Emma, Elisabeth, David, Nick, Ryan, Damon, and Tristan. Following this event, the narrative fast forwards to the junior year of high school, where each of the POV's of the teens involved is shared. All deal with the aftermath in different ways, but the comm
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
A book about rich, privileged teenagers acting abhorrently. We've all read it before, and we've seen it done better. See Megan Abbott.

I didn't like it. Was it well-written? I guess so. Well, let's say it wasn't poorly written. But this is not a particularly tough subject to write about. It's a lot of teenage jargon, f-bombs and crude language. If you can write a good facebook status update, you can take a decent crack at writing this book.

It's very unpleasant. It's not a fun read. It's not an
Book Riot Community
This was my Book of the Month pick a while back, and it was a great one! It was an exploration of the butterfly effect in a high school context — the eponymous dangerous place — and so insightful as to the minds, emotions, and motivations of teenagers. The voice, subtly different for each character whose story it explored, was a joy to read. And it made me supremely glad I’m not at high school anymore.

— Claire Handscombe

from The Best Books We Read In March 2017: http://bookriot.com/2017/04/04/ri
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

WOW! It has been decades since I was in high school. This is far from one of the favorite books I ever read. Yet, I feel like this may be the most important reviews I ever written. I hope that nothing I write, I will live to regret. I still have one son who will be a senior and my youngest son will be a sophomore in less than a week's time, since I finished writing this review. I am left feeling a bit hollowed out after reading this debut n
This book starts with 8th graders bullying Tristan, a "weird" kid that needs special academic accommodations who, in an effort to connect to his peers and make friends, writes a love note to one of the popular girls at school. The girl gives it to her boyfriend and then he and his friends and classmates begin cyber bullying Tristan on Facebook. This eventually leads to Tristan jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. The rest of the book focuses on the aftermath of Tristan's suicide on his classmates ...more
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars

Well, color me surprised! I actually enjoyed this book!

When I first heard about it (I mean, look at that title), I didn't know what to think of it. With a title like that, you could say that my expectations were a bit high. And when I did read the synopsis, I was intrigued by it and bought it.

I will say upfront that this book isn't for everyone. While I personally enjoyed it, I can see how this may not be everyone's cup of tea. You might feel disconnected with the characters and might n
Mill Valley is the perfect little town, and Molly Nicoll is excited to start a teaching career in English at the local high school. However, when she starts up mid-year, she has no idea about a tragedy that occurred in her students' eighth grade year. To Miss Nicoll, these kids are in deep need of understanding and guidance, even if they are sometimes a bit rude and unfocused. There's Abby, the perfect student prepping for her Ivy League future, but also hiding a secret; Nick, an intelligent kid ...more
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

Received from the Publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book begins when the majority of the students in this book are in middle school. A young man, who doesn't quite fit in, takes a chance and writes a letter telling Calista his true feelings. Then things go wrong - horribly, horribly wrong. She shares the letter and it soon gets shown around and posted on Social Media. Boy, am I happy that I did not grow up with the internet! His peers begin to taunt and bully
Mike W
Oct 29, 2016 rated it liked it

A well written novel that follows a group of privileged high school students in the moneyed town of Mill Valley, California The Most Dangerous Place on Earth spends most of its time in dark places. From cyber bullying to drug use to academic cheating scandals there isn't much illicit activity that isn't happening at this small town high school and even the teachers get involved whether they're young and trying to fit in with the kids or are seeking out inappropriate and illegal romantic relation
Theresa Alan
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderfully written book about an awkward time in anyone’s life—and these days bad decisions now get to be photographed and dissected on social media. Told from multiple points of view, beginning in eighth grade and returning to the same characters as junior and seniors in high school, the author’s deft writing manages to make even the drug dealers and bullies empathetic. They are either ignored by their wealthy parents, who spend all their time making money; smothered by their parents ...more
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
So, wanna know where the most dangerous place on earth is located - it's apparently a privileged high school in California. Now I pretty much believe high schools are probably more dangerous now than they ever were when I was in school, but being the most dangerous, I probably beg to differ.

"The Most Dangerous Place on Earth" tells the story of a group of privileged, bratty teenagers attending Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California. When the group was in 6th grade, a tragedy occurred i
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
And here's the full review, as promised!

As earlier, I want to mention that all along this book was barely 3 stars for me. Until The Dancer chapter. I thinks last three chapters are the best ones and those alone are worth reading.

I expected a character study, a generation diagnosis, a prognosis for the future, and neither of those things excite very much, unless they are delivered exceptionally well, which means the author has to have enough depth to dive in, enough wittiness and sharpness not to
4 stars--I really liked it (but don't expect happy endings).

I taught high school English for 3 years in the late '90s. This book really resonated with me as being authentic based on that experience (and I'm so glad I stopped teaching before the era of smartphones! I don't know how teachers do it). I stayed up too late two nights to read this book--I found it really gripping.

This book follows the lives of several students and a new teacher through a couple of years (with a flashback to middle sch
Rebecca Renner
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
Full of turmoil, love, loss, and pain, Lindsey Lee Johnson’s The Most Dangerous Place on Earth is a complex meditation on privilege and the crucible that is adolescence. Set in Mill Valley, California, at the real life Tamalpais High School, the story centers on a fledgling teacher, Molly Nicoll, as she discovers and comes to terms with the complex lives of her students and her role (or absence) in their evolution as people. With perspectives that alternate between Molly and the main group of he ...more
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“as if middle school were a safe haven in which to conduct these experiments, when in fact it was the most dangerous place on Earth.” 1 likes
“And she’d realized there was something worse than being ignored; there was being a target.” 0 likes
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