The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson


“She believed unprettiness was something to atone for, so she made herself and A student, track captain, president of the Tam High chapter of the National Organization for Women, Editor of the yearbook.”

Warning: this isn’t happy, this is the uglier side of the privileged. This is going to have mixed reviews- without a doubt. But that’s what makes it so clever.

School is the most dangerous place on earth, at least when you’re in it. Always has been, we just forget it when we grow up. But in this day and age where every cringe-worthy mistake is posted on social media for everyone to use as weaponry to annihilate you , well- it’s no small wonder why tragedies happen. From the start Johnson had touched my compassion and anger with the outcome based on the choice Calista makes in “The Letter.” Something in her dies too and some may say ‘rightly so.. rightly so’, but she is young and therefore sometimes selfish and cruel. This middle school tragedy has it’s claws in many of the students. My two kids are now 18 and 20, both in college but their high school experience was a fresh sort of hell from what I grew up with, and that was bad enough. Note, my kids moved around from overseas to stateside and yes, kids can be brutal and seemingly more grown up than you’d expect. It seems no matter where you live, you can’t outrun the ugliness. Take heart, in the real world it’s not always dark and dangerous. Are kids this jaded, or just very good at emulating adults? Take your pick. But if they can be this terrible, they can also emulate the good they witness, right? This isn’t an uplifting fiction though.
I remember stories about students having slept with teachers, or coaches… rumors maybe, I don’t know as I wasn’t there but not really far fetched if you follow the news these days. Halls always have their echos of seedy rumors, some in truth, some in fiction. Could this much possibly be happening in one school? I don’t know, how wide are your eyes open?
I didn’t love anyone, I was too darn heart broken over the beginning because I am a bleeding heart for the underdog, okay? Dark, heavy and makes me so glad I am all grown up, didn’t have social media to document all my awkward moments and missteps, and that my own children are in college!

Publication Date 10 Jan 2017
Random House Publishing Group
Random House

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