Paul and his family live in a big, beautiful, gated neighborhood. Unfortunately, it isn't a wonderful place to be. The neighborhood might seem like a beautiful and glorious place, but it is all a façade hiding serious problems. Lake Windsor Downs is place that has problems with dangerous lightning strikes, termites, underground muck fires, robberies, and racism.
The neighborhood itself is actually the cause of most of the problems for Paul and the other residents. To build Lake Windsor Downs, a lot of the land's natural features had to be torn out, burned down, and bulldozed over. One such natural feature was the trees. Readers will discover that the trees were burned down and bulldozed into the ground in order to clear space for the houses. Several unintended consequences resulted from this. One consequence is repeated lightning strikes in Lake Windsor Downs. To be fair, those lighting strikes were always present. Florida is the lightning capital of the United States, but the trees would usually take the majority of the lightning strikes. Now it is people's homes or just the ground itself, and the lightning strikes have proven to be very dangerous. Mike Costello was killed by a lightning strike, and the lightning is also igniting the underground muck fires that plague the area.
The buried trees also attract termites, and the termites move into people's homes. This is why the houses are constantly having to be fumigated. Since the homes are not occupied while tented, the homes are easily robbed. Theft has become an issue in Lake Windsor Downs.
On top of all of that, the people in Lake Windsor Downs tend to be entitled and intolerant of anybody different. Paul receives a lot of this intolerance because of his vision problems, and once he transfers schools, Paul sees that racism runs deeply in the area too:
I'd say the most obvious difference between my old school and my new one is this: At Tangerine Middle, the minorities are the majority. I have no problem with that. I've always felt like a minority because of my eyes.