Written by Joanna Dakoyannis of Dover-Sherborn High School
The Aftermath, by Stacy Padula, is an exceptional book that continues to follow the lives and challenges of a group of teens at Montgomery Lake High. The teens embody many different lifestyles, challenging each other to find their voice against the many vices that high school social life offers. The characters find a common thread in rallying around a critically injured friend, causing them to interact in ways that normally would not happen. These interactions with people outside their usual social circle is intriguing, sometimes confusing and eventually rewarding.
The teens in the book face challenges such as peer pressure and bullying. The book follows Jason, who is the central character in this installment of the MLH series, through various difficult situations. Jason faces peer pressure from his brothers and classmates to continue on his destructive path of alcohol and drug use. An unlikely friend, Jessie, is the incentive that helps him escape this disastrous lifestyle. Jason is able to take himself from nearly being hospitalized from drug and alcohol use to being confident enough to refuse repeated offers to use drugs. His strength comes from friends who, each in their own way, help him find his faith in God.
The Aftermath is a fascinating story about how important it is to have faith and surround yourself with the right people. While Jason has to ultimately make his own decision to turn his life around, it would not be possible without the right friends. Teens who read this can see what an impact our words and actions can have on another person’s life. Behaving badly can harm those around you, while helping a friend see that there is always hope can save their life. The Aftermath is an inspirational book that I would highly recommend, exemplifying how we can impact others positively by helping them find their faith.
MONTGOMERY LAKE HIGH #3: THE AFTERMATH
At age fifteen, Jason Davids appears to have nearly any worldly thing that promises enjoyment at his disposal. Despite this, there is a persistent emptiness inside his heart. After failing to fill the void with achievements, relationships, and illicit substances, Jason finds himself intrigued by Jessie Robins: the daughter of a local pastor. How is it possible that she stands for everything his lifestyle opposes yet possesses the one thing he has been searching for all along?
JOANNA DAKOYANNIS, DOVER, MA
Joanna Dakoyannis is a rising senior at Dover-Sherborn High School. She enjoys creative writing, traveling, going to the gym, running track for her high school team and loves cheering on her team at school sporting events. She plans to be a science major in college and hopes to eventually attend dental school.