An unforgettable cast of characters is unleashed into a realm known for its cruelty - the American high school - in this captivating debut novel.
The wealthy enclaves north of San Francisco are not the paradise they appear to be, and nobody knows this better than the students of a local high school. Despite being raised with all the opportunities money can buy, these vulnerable kids are navigating a treacherous adolescence in which every action, every rumour, every feeling, is potentially postable, shareable, viral.
Abigail Cress is ticking off the boxes toward the Ivy League when she makes the first impulsive decision of her life: entering into an inappropriate relationship with a teacher. Dave Chu, who knows himself at heart to be a typical B student, takes desperate measures to live up to his parents' crushing expectations. Emma Fleed, a gifted dancer, balances rigorous rehearsals with wild weekends. Damon Flintov returns from a stint at rehab looking to prove that he's not an irredeemable screw-up. And Calista Broderick, once part of the popular crowd, chooses, for reasons of her own, to become a hippie outcast.
Into this complicated web, an idealistic young English teacher arrives from a poorer, scruffier part of California. Molly Nicoll strives to connect with her students - without understanding the middle school tragedy that played out online and has continued to reverberate in different ways for all of them.
Written with the rare talent capable of turning teenage drama into urgent, adult fiction, The Most Dangerous Place on Earth makes vivid a modern adolescence lived in the gleam of the virtual, but rich with sorrow, passion, and humanity.
Lindsey Lee Johnson holds a master of professional writing degree from the University of Southern California and a BA in English from the University of California at Davis. She has served as a tutor and mentor at a private learning center, where her focus has been teaching writing to teenagers. Born and raised in Marin County, she now lives with her husband in Los Angeles.
An astonishing debut novels . . . With a stunning constellation of characters' voices and a fiercely compelling story, it's impossible to put down, or to forget. — Megan Abbott
In sharp and assured prose, roving among characters, Lindsey Lee Johnson plumbs the terrifying depths of a half-dozen ultraprivileged California high school kids. I read The Most Dangerous Place on Earth in two chilling gulps. It's a phenomenal first book. — Anthony Doerr, New York Times bestselling author of All the Light We Cannot See
The characters in Lindsey Lee Johnson's debut novel affected me in a way I can't remember feeling since I binge-watched all five seasons of Friday Night Lights. . . . You'll walk away feeling like you could revisit a hallway drama armed with bulletproof perspective. — Glamour US