Review: The Most Dangerous Place On Earth

The Most Dangerous Place On Earth

The Most Dangerous Place On Earth
By Lindsey Lee Johnson
Random House, Hardcover, 9780812997279, January 10, 2017, 288pp.

The Short of It:

From the first few pages I was immediately drawn in.

The Rest of It:

The title is very dramatic, isn’t it? Dramatic, but fitting because the most dangerous place on earth is…

High School.

This story is about a high school in a very affluent neighborhood on the outskirts of San Francisco. For the most part, the kids are well-off and smart but Johnson puts all of their flaws on display. The need for acceptance is front and center but there is a thick layer of regret within these young students which the author explores one by one.

Johnson does not spare the adults in this story. The teachers, the parents, the administrators are also included and have their own battles surrounding acceptance and fitting in. Some of their situations literally had me squirming from the inappropriateness of it all but man did it make for good reading.

I loved this book. Johnson absolutely nails the pressures of high school and pending adulthood. I would not classify this as YA in case anyone is wondering. I hope you pick it up because it was really good.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Turner House

The Turner House

The Turner House
By Angela Flournoy
Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780544303164, April 2015, 352pp.

The Short of It:

What makes a house a home?

The Rest of It:

The house on Yarrow Street, once a thriving hub for thirteen children in the middle of Detroit’s crumbling East Side, has seen its members come and go for over fifty years. Now, falling apart and worth much less than what they paid for it, the family is forced to sell it back to the bank.

I really enjoyed this flawed family. Granted, there are a lot of characters in this story to keep track of and I’m not sure that all of their stories were as interesting as some, but the gambling addiction of the youngest sibling was particularly interesting to me as was the “haint” or ghostly apparition that the oldest sibling grew up with.

When you’ve lived in a house for as long as the Turners have, it’s impossible to not have feelings about it even when the neighborhood around it has gone to hell. And how many times have we been willing to let something go only to change our minds once the sale sign is up? It just seems so final, right?

That is the case here but this isn’t a sad, sappy story about losing a home. It’s much more subtle in the telling. Flournoy focuses on the flaws of each family member, allowing the reader to get to know them a little, see the home from their eyes, walk in their shoes, etc.

For me, it took me a little while to get into the story but once I did, I found that I really enjoyed it. It was a National Book Award finalist and extremely well-received when it debuted. Have you read it?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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