It’s New Release Tuesday! What books have y’all been reading on these chilly winter days?
This past weekend, Charlie Boy and I headed to Kentucky for a weekend of meetings for him and a weekend of sightseeing (for me) – however, between the snow storm and a cold I seemed to have caught, I wasn’t up for adventuring in sub-zero weather and opted to stay in the hotel enjoying their amenities and READING IN BED ALL DAY!! What a perfect weekend, right? I’ll post a review of the hotel later this week (The Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY if you’re interested), but in the mean time let’s talk about my first read of 2017, and out as of TODAY, The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson!
What a thoughtful yet gripping story about high school life for privileged teenagers! This story follows a class of children living in the upperclass Marino County in California. As they progress from middle school into high school, various traumatic events along with their home life and other influences in their life shape their behavior and personalities, as well as their future.
I grew up attending a similar private school (though it feels like a lifetime ago now, it was actually only a few years ago), and the depiction of teenage behavior and dialogue was incredibly spot on. At first reading, some of the events in the story seemed a bit overdramatic or unlikely…but then I started remembering some of the big events of my middle and high school years (major car wrecks, house parties gone overboard, eating disorders, damaging rumors gone viral…the list goes on) and realized that this book is actually scarily accurate. Although none of the characters are especially likeable (except perhaps their overly-earnest but charming teacher, Miss Nicoll), you still empathize with the characters as they struggle to become adults in their bizarre, stifling social circle.
Although I highly recommend this book to YA readers, I think it’s also a great selection for adults, especially those who enjoy reading about “rich people problems” as I once heard Rebecca Schinsky from the Book Riot podcast describe this genre. It makes you look back and reflect upon your own high school years, the mistakes you made, as well as some perspective on those old frenemies of senior year. Though the setting is for current-day high school, the struggles of identity and adolescence are timeless. Great work from this writer!
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Special thanks to NetGalley, Random House and author Lindsey Johnson for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review! Great first read of 2017 for me!