Review: The Most Dangerous Place On Earth

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Tristan Bloch is an outcast – he’s the weird kid that no one else likes. The only people who seem to like him are his English teacher and his mum. Then comes the day that 13 year old Cally finds a letter from Tristan in her locker, professing his love for her.  Cally gives Tristan’s letter to her boyfriend Ryan, hoping he will look after this awkward situation for her. He does. Instigated by Ryan, a bunch of kids from their grade bully Tristan over Facebook, pointing out his flaws, some even urging him to kill himself. Eventually, he does.

Fast forward 4 years and Molly Nicoll is beginning at the school in her first role as an English teacher. She brings fresh eyes to the school and gets to know and comes to care about this group of teens. Little does she know the story of their past, or how it has affected each of them.


I’m not sure what I was expecting when I selected this from the Netgalley list, but I got a lot more than I bargained for. This is a stunning debut novel, raw and honest with some great characters. Lindsey Lee Johnson focuses her lens on rich kids allowed to run amok with little supervision from their parents and fewer consequences for their actions. We meet Dave, who desperately wants to succeed at school but has no idea how. We meet Calista (Cally), still nursing her guilt from her part in Tristan’s end, and trying to spend all of her time too high to notice. We meet Abigail, who is engaging in an illicit affair with one of her teachers in an effort to connect to someone

 The weight of the expectations placed on the teens, plus the lack of engagement  with their parents makes for some terrible decisions and awful outcomes.

High school is supposed to be a safe environment for young people to experiment with who they are and what they want from their lives … up to a point. The parents in this book were absent for a number of reasons – from being self obsessed, to a terrible illness, to being incapable of entering a two way dialogue with their teen no matter how hard they tried. Some of the kids felt so isolated, confused and despairing about their situations that they felt there was no one they could talk to, not even the adults that were trying to connect.

Johnson beautifully captures the loneliness, fear, despair and hope of being a teenager.

5 out of 5 reminders of why I’m glad I never have to be that age again.

Shelf Control!

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Shelf control is hosted by  Bookshelf Fantasies and is designed to help keep your book budget in check by remembering all the cool books you already have lying around.

I have a bunch of these but I’m restricting myself to two.

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I have wanted to read this for years – I was a new mum when this first came out and had no time. Fast forward 13 years, and my boss has loaned me his copy – one of the many reasons that he is pretty awesome. And no, I don’t work in the book industry, so it’s not actually a work related thing. Can’t wait for the time to get into it!

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This book has been in my Netgalley queue for a while and the time has come. As soon as my dalliance with Jock is over Lauren and I are going to be spending some quality time together.

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Wednesday Wishlist

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Welcome to the Wednesday Wishlist, hosted by Pen to Paper

We always have a bunch of stuff on our wishlists.

Mine is:

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I started the Iron Druid Chronicles a few months ago and then the rest of my TBR demanded my attention and I just haven’t gotten back to them. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into Atticus and Oberon’s next adventure.

For Imogen:

delirium

Everyone has great praise about this book and basically it sounds freaking awesome.

What’s on your wishlist this week?

 

Top Ten Tuesday

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Welcome to the Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and The Bookish.

This week our Top Ten consists of most notable book to screen adaptations (as far as we’re concerned.)

  1. The Princess Bride

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OK, I have been raised on this movie and have only recently read the book. This book confused me a little [OK, a lot] at first because Goldman insists that the book is written by Morgenstern so, my brain didn’t cope very well with the lies. Being raised with the movie I really loved being able to learn the characters’ backstories and motives to a larger degree, like Inigo’s father, Count Rugen’s wife (and he’s much taller and broader than the movie leads us to believe) as well as Fezzik’s past and many other details. Anyone who has seen this movie I believe will agree with Goldman in saying that it’s a classic and if you want to know the tale more in depth the book is the right alley to go down. Anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, you’re either younger than me, older than my mum or an unfortunate soul. You should fix that.

2. BBC Pride and Prejudice

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Sue here. The 1995 adaption of Pride and Prejudice was utterly fantastic. The screenplay was wonderful , the locations and scenery on point, the costuming divine and the casting exquisite. Adrian Lukis as Wickham was both dashing and an utter cad. The younger sisters and Mrs Bennet were perfectly ridiculous and utterly obnoxious. All the early scenes between Darcy and Lizzie are the perfect level of awkward, with the proposal scene being perfectly awful! And then there was Colin Firth. I’m sure sufficient ink and pixels have been spent discussing the amazing smoulder that Firth brought to the screen. I’m sure a character has rarely been as fetishised all whilst leaving his shirt on.

3. Sense & Sensibility

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Sue again. I have one thing to say.

Alan Rickman.

End of discussion.

5.If I stay

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This book and adaptation are more recent than the other books so far. OK, this was a very interesting book to read from the way it switches POV from past to present. The movie took this concept and performed it brilliantly. Going from where Mia was to where she had been and mixing the two together, transitioning amazingly. I have to admit, I am waiting for ‘Where she went’ ,the sequel to If I stay, to be adapted, though I haven’t heard anything along those lines so I will sit here and foolishly hope for another 14 months.

5. The 5th Wave

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I believe there has been sufficient talk about this book and movie that we all know what’s going on. I loved this book series. I pushed myself through the first book in a day so we could see the movie that night and I wasn’t too disappointed. The movie did a very good job capturing the characters, and the transitions from the different scenarios and the similarities of the characters came through really well. And once again we are waiting for the sequel that seems like it’s never going to arrive. Or I’m utterly impatient. Probably both.

6. Percy Jackson

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I know what you’re going to say. But I am including the Percy Jackson movies. AND to add insult to injury, this book and the next one are basically neck-and-neck, this is higher on the list solely because I got further through the second book. Yep, I forced myself through the first two books not even finished the second book. But, on a controversial note, I actually really enjoyed the movies. The movies and the books seemed to come from completely different places. I know plenty of people who love these books, but I always felt like I was being talked down to by the author, like I wasn’t expected to understand the ‘big words’ that many other authors used. But the movies! There was a complete new energy, a complete new life brought to that story. Then I found out the third adaptation wasn’t going to be made, I still wanted to know what happened in the story, but I wasn’t game enough to pick up those books.

7. The Maze Runner

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Like I said before, the sole reason this is lower than Percy Jackson was the I didn’t get as far through the second book as I did with the aforementioned series. Now, I did something unforgivable with this series; I watched the movie before I read the book. And I loved the movie, so I was sure that the book would be fabulous, and the first book was great, The Scorch Trials, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t watch the scorch trials movie until I read the book; but… I never finished the book so I still haven’t seen the second movie. Looking back on the book I think either one of two things happened, (a) seeing the movie first raised my expectations of the first book leading me to enjoy it immensely, for the second book I had no such expectations so I read it as it was; or (b) the second book was, sadly, as most second books in a trilogy a kind of ‘filler’ and I got bored faster than normal. Either way, I still have this trilogy in my possession, so if I ever want to give it another go, it’s there.

8.Vampire Academy

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I love these books. These books are awesome, the main idea is fabulous and the movie recognized this and didn’t do the most brilliant job of it. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy the movie but I don’t think many people share my opinion. The movie captures many of the main ideas and moments of the plot, and I thought the casting choices were fabulous, (biased, I am) but, once again: when do I get Frostbite? There was he whole big scene at the end to ready us for the next movie but it’s not happening. I see a recurring theme in my problems with adaptations, do you?

 

9.The Hunger Games

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OK, I have read this book series once; Sue can tell you how strange that is, I re-read EVERYTHING. So, you can see how I would not know how to process my feelings about this series when I don’ want to re-read it. The movies have been quite good and true to the story but in his one I think; the fact That I could fit into the Capitol without and white make-up smeared over my face just kind of disturbs me (pale person). I like the books and the movie about equally the story is mainly fabulous, but all of the lying and drama, I just…

10.Divergent

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Here we go.

I am sorry I had to rant about this at some point. Anyone who read the Divergent series and loved is on the same page, the books got better each time, the story just built up and became more intricate and soul shattering and then the movies. Keep. Getting. WORSE. Last I saw was Insurgent and I was so excited for Allegiant then I saw Rotten Tomatoes rating of it, and… no. None of my friends liked it, there’s still another one coming, and I just couldn’t. Nope, I give up, these movies are not worth wasting my time while I could read the book and have a good version. It makes me sad, the books were really good. And they spoiled the ENTIRE Chicago part in the first thirty seconds, that’s not how we should find out! Nice one directors.

OK, and that is this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. I apologize for any ranting, bringing up of painful adaptation memories and the killing of peoples dreams. Leave a comment if you want to try and change my mind on anything here, I’ll do my best. As the title says these are the top ten notable adaptations, not the best. Half of these wouldn’t be in here if it were the best ones. Happy reading.

 

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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The It’s Monday! What are you reading? book meme is hosted by Book Date.

I always have multiple books on the go.

For my commute, I’m listening to this on audio:

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Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies was recommended by the wonderful Liberty from All the Books  I have gone into it completely blind – with a title like that, who needs information! Turns out it’s YA fantasy and right up my alley. The protagonist is delightfully snarky and I suspect he’s about to find himself in hot water.

If I get any down time, I’m reading this ARC on Kindle:

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A young man has his identity stolen by a drug ring which then executes a bunch of dangerous drug runners leaving him terrified, broke and desperate. So he submits to his fate and starts on a crime spree to get himself enough money to set himself up in New York until he can come up with a better plan. I’m about 40% through this one so far.

Imogen is reading:
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I’m sure I’ve mentioned this book enough times to cause no confusion. Imogen is gearing up for the release of Gemina (and I have been told that if I manage to acquire Gemina prior to our ordered copies coming in on November 1, my physical safety will be forfeit.)

What’s your reading week looking like?