Kyle Banker of Needham, Massachusetts is a senior at Beaver Country Day School. He will be attending the University of Miami in the fall as a biology major. This month, Kyle read “The Right Person” – a young adult novel by Stacy Padula – and shared some insightful feedback:
Who do you think should read “The Right Person”?
I would recommend “The Right Person” to all incoming high school students, as this novel brings out the truth in how high school can change relationships very quickly. Furthermore, this novel heavily touches upon how drugs and alcohol can have a great effect on one’s life, even at a young age. Through the juxtaposition of relationships and substances, I believe that “The Right Person” will show the reality of what drugs can do to a student’s social life, and even more, towards their overall satisfaction with their life.
What can be learned from Chris and Courtney’s story?
At first, I think that Chris and Courtney’s relationship was very valuable and strong. But, as time moved on, it was clear that Chris had influenced Courtney to switch her morals to make her a totally different person. Overall, this dynamic relationship shows that people can change very rapidly based upon their surroundings, creating them into partners who were entirely different from who they began as. This can sometimes be a good thing, but when a relationship is revolved around substances and partying, these kinds of changes can definitely be for the worse.
What did you enjoy most about “The Right Person”?
I really enjoyed the individual internal thoughts from many characters that were scattered throughout the novel. In my opinion, this allows the reader to completely analyze the situations occurring in the novel and to truly see within the thinking of each character. This was very effective in the ending of the book, as these paragraphs gave an interesting and thorough conclusion on the mental status of every character. Overall, I really enjoyed this new style of writing as I have rarely seen it in this format in any novel that I have read.
What is one major theme you noticed running through the story?
The major theme that I noticed throughout “The Right Person” was the conflicts and changes with relationships. In high school, it can be very difficult to find the ideal friend or group to be around during the four years. Because of this, relationships can be altered very quickly, causing your whole social life to be flipped upside-down. This is ultimately because as you grow older into a teenager, you start to gain independence and confidence by making your own decisions. In this novel, decisions arise such as breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend, “cutting off” old friends, and formulating new groups. Through these scenarios, “The Right Person” paints the realistic picture that nothing remains consistent throughout middle/high school, resulting in rapid changes of personality and relationship statuses.
How do you, as a teenager, personally relate to this story?
I can directly relate to “The Right Person” as I have been involved in a lot of controversies within high school with my friends. Luckily, we are all still together, but I understand that this is normal within any social group: nothing socially will go perfectly for your whole life. Outside of my friend group, I have seen a lot of people at parties and get-togethers make impactful decisions, similar to some in “The Right Person.” Besides all this, I truly believe that adjusting to avoid these conflicts is very important, but not entirely so that you are not the same person you originally were.