Article by Jennifer O’Sullivan, Dover-Sherborn Regional High School, Dover, Massachusetts
The Battle for Innocence by Stacy Padula is a story that can help teens navigate difficult relationships. In this book, the realities of high school are revealed as friends grow apart based on what they value. Some characters value popularity and partying, while others, like Chantal, value God and living a life in his image. As these characters grow up, this book shows how their values change and how their friendships are affected.
In this story, Chantal is faced with many tough situations, like when she has to pick between the boy she likes and the boy who shares her faith or when she has to choose between the party full of her school’s most popular kids and her Friday night Youth Group. The Battle for Innocence helps teens realize that prioritizing their values will help them make the right choices, and while temptations will naturally arise among high schoolers, it is important to keep in mind what really matters to them.
This book is also a good example of what teenagers should truly value in a relationship or a friendship, and it shows that if you put your faith in God, He will help you achieve the happiness that comes along with relationships created in His image. Today, friendships and relationships often become clouded by what teenagers see in a romance movie, but this book emphasizes what is really important for teenagers to look for when it comes to the people in their lives.
In this story, one of my favorite characters is Chantal. I really admire her strength and seemingly immovable moral compass. Chantal is beautiful, kind, and lusted after by the most popular boy in school but no matter what, she stays strong in her convictions. Chantal never misses Church or Youth Group and does her best to make good decisions with a strong moral code to help. She never gets caught up in a situation and always realizes that the positive outcome is more important than the struggles she may have to face to reach that end. Chantal is one of my favorite characters because I think that she is a great example of how you can be kind and have faith, but still have the “popular” kids at school love and respect you, which in today’s high school atmosphere seems impossible. Teenagers tend to forget that later in life it will be how they treated people, and not the parties they went to, that they will be remembered for and Chantal is an ever-present reminder of that in this book.
MONTGOMERY LAKE HIGH #4: THE BATTLE FOR INNOCENCE
Jon Anderson and Chantal Kagelli are trying to live moral lives, but temptations are plaguing them in and out of school. Will they continue to be lights in their best friends’ lives or will they get pulled into the darkness?
ABOUT JENNIFER O’SULLIVAN
Jennifer O’Sullivan, a rising senior at Dover Sherborn High School, enjoys reading, playing the piano, spending time with friends and doing volunteer work. Jennifer leads her school’s community service club, runs on her school’s cross country and track teams and loves to travel, especially to Ireland where she spends time with friends and family.
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