Teen Novel “The Right Person” Prepares Kids for the Social Pressures of High School

Written by Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA

The Right Person by Stacy A. Padula takes like an authentic glimpse into the lives and minds of high school freshmen. It can be easy to forget or ignore the pressures and social stresses placed on young teenagers, but this story provides an intimate view of the exciting and dramatic world of a group of freshmen at Montgomery Lake High. 

Throughout the book, several stories are progressing simultaneously. There is a story about Chris and Courtney, who recently started dating, but are already drifting apart. Meanwhile, Chris’s friends and Courtney’s friends are scrambling to solidify their groups for high school and establish their place in the world. 

I recommend this book to teenagers entering into, or already in, high school. There are important lessons in this book about the impacts of peer pressure and the ensnaring trap of drugs and alcohol. Under all the darkness of painful heartbreak and mistakes, there is a glimmer of the greatest hope available to mankind. Courtney and Chris help each other to find the light that initially drew them together.


Growing up in the shadow of two NFL-destined cousins, Chris Dunkin has high hopes for his own future in football. However, a drug addiction threatens to destroy everything he has worked hard to attain. When Chris meets Courtney Angeletti–the mayor’s straightedge Christian daughter–he believes she could be the source of inspiration he needs to overcome his destructive lifestyle.

Courtney, however, has other ideas.

The desire to rebel has been tugging on Courtney’s heartstrings for some time, and Chris’s “bad-boy” reputation draws her to him like a moth to a flame. After all, he is a central part of the most popular clique in her high school. Will Chris pull Courtney away from her faith or will Courtney inspire him to overcome his rebellious lifestyle?

About Mackenzie Wells

Mackenzie is a senior at the University of Georgia majoring in English and public relations. She is a leader at the Wesley Foundation at UGA, the community outreach coordinator for UGA’s Undergraduate English Association, and a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Mackenzie has always had a passionate love for books and their ability to open doors to new worlds. She is excited to assist Stacy Padula O’Halloran in making a change in the young adult community.