You know those books that you pick up and immediately fall in love with the characters? They're funny and wonderful and sometimes a little crazy and you just want to move to their lovely little town and become best friends with all of them. I love books like that. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson IS NOT THAT BOOK! (Whoa! All caps and bold- can you tell I feel strongly?) I am sure that Johnson will not disagree with me that the characters in her book are flawed, except for me, they are just too flawed- they're awful.
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth refers to high school. If you survived high school, you know that it can be difficult with the social expectations and the labels that can follow students for years. Teenagers can be terrible to one another and trying to remember that high school isn't the whole world can feel impossible. Sure high school can be hard, but in Johnson's book it really is dangerous. One student is bullied, literally, to death. Another steals in order to cheat on the SAT. One student is so afraid of what people think of her that she allows a party to destroy her house. Another student is sleeping with a teacher. The reader is given brief glances into the minds of each student where we are allowed to see what motivates them. Sure, they aren't purely evil, but it isn't enough to make me sympathize with them.
My sister says that my problem is that I don't like dark books or anything that doesn't end, "...and they all lived happily ever after." I do like happy books, but I don't have to have the fairy tale ending, I just don't care for books that make me lose all hope in humanity. Seriously, if these kids are any indication of reality we truly are doomed. I have listed this as YA Fiction, but be warned that there are copious amounts of swearing, drug and alcohol use, and sexual references.
Maybe this book is for you, but is certainly was not for me.