Q&A with Jenna Finnerty of Norwell, Massachusetts


Jenna Finnerty is a senior at Norwell High School in Norwell, Massachusetts. She is planning to major in nursing next year. Jenna has accrued years of experience as a cheerleader and gymnast. She also has a passion for traveling and looks forward to studying abroad in college.

Jenna was asked to read the first book in Stacy Padula’s Montgomery Lake High book series “The Right Person” and answer questions about the novel. Below are her responses.

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

A. Teenagers are so easily influenced and want to fit in. People conform to things much easier if they see other people around them doing similar things. If young girls, including Courtney, do things they feel are “cool” that other people around them do, they feel that they will become popular and will be accepted more. To most high schoolers, the one thing they want is popularity. Therefore, they will do everything they can to reach their goal, even if it goes against their morals.

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

A. A major theme I noticed throughout the story was the importance of friendship and the way it affects people’s behaviors. Courtney gained a whole new group of friends that led totally different lifestyles than her previous friends. She began attending parties, drinking, and was in the presence of drugs more often. Her previous friends were avid church goers and seemingly innocent girls. The change in Courtney’s friends brought to light a clear change in her personality as she began doing the same things her new friends were doing and abandoned her old friends.

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

A. I relate to this story because I realize I have changed over the course of high school. Freshman year I really wanted to have a lot of friends and be liked around the school. I realized I did not fit in with the “popular” girls and eventually realized I was happy with the friends I had. As high school continued, my friends changed, along with my personality. Different from Courtney, I do not think my friends negatively influenced me. If anything, they changed me for the better and made me the happy, outgoing person I am.


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.