The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley.
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I had a hard time rating this one, trying to decide between a 3 and a 4, so I will say it’s technically a 3.5. I enjoyed the gossipy aspect of the book and reading about the characters, but it all seemed out of order and a little jumbled up to me. The author did keep me in anticipation of what happened to a previous character while learning about a new one, so she did a good job of keeping me reading. I feel like adults would enjoy reading about these rich, entitled kids more than teenagers would for some reason. As a high school teacher, I could relate to some of the things with the young, first year teacher: wanting to know about her students, trying to get through to them, etc.; but, she also takes it too far, which is part of the plot. It is an interesting exploration of the student/teacher dynamic and today’s teenagers in general…makes me not want to think about what they are doing outside of school time!
My rating: 3.5/5