Rebecca Ronning on “The Right Person” by Stacy Padula

Rebecca Ronning, New York, NY

Rebecca is a junior at Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York. As a city kid, some of her hobbies include riding the subway and exploring the city with friends, making all kinds of art and traveling with her family and experiencing new and exciting things along the way.

What do you believe influenced Courtney to turn away from her morals in order to feel accepted?

The transition from middle to high school  is typically a very difficult, and having to find a group of friends to stick with for your high school career certainly doesn’t help. Nobody wants to be left out, and it’s common to want to associate with the “cool kids,” in a vain effort to maintain some sort of social status. Many will go to great lengths in order to be accepted in these groups, like Courtney did, including being tempted by your peers into doing things you know are morally wrong. 

What is one major theme you noticed running through the story?

One major theme I noticed throughout the story surrounds the importance of finding a group of friends who like you for who you are, not simply because you fit within their status quo. For example, when Chris decided that he didn’t want to go to Jason’s party, much less throw one of his own, most of his friends got mad at him. The fact that the moment Chris started to reject these antics, he was essentially kicked out of the group, proves that this group is strung together by nothing more than a shared love of partying and provide little support for their peers’ feelings (which is very important to have when experiencing something as tough as your first year of high school).

How do you, as a teenager, personally relate to this story?

Having two years of high school experience in my back pocket, I can certainly say that I know what it is like to be confused and trying to find a group that you fit into, without being pressured to change yourself. Going into high school without really having anybody from my old school with me was difficult. I wanted to be accepted by my peers, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about that without completely changing myself. Thankfully, I figured out that an easy way to make friends is to join clubs or teams of interest, so you will already have something in common with the people that you meet.


The Right Person is the debut novel in The Montgomery Lake High Book Series, which follows a large cast of personalities as they navigate through the social waters of high school.
While Chris Dunkin’s parents travel freely for business, his older cousins Jordan and Taylor are left in charge. A parentless household provides the perfect venue for Jordan, a senior in high school, and Taylor, a junior in college, to throw parties that soon become infamous in Montgomery. After two years, Chris–donned “the life of the party” by his popular group of friends–begins high school with a responsibility to live up to his reputation. Deep down inside, however, he wants more than that.

Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.