Written by Maya Daly, Duxbury, Massachusetts
Maya is a senior at Duxbury High School, where she is a member of the Varsity Rowing Team. In school, she is a part of the yearbook club, Best Buddies club, and Habitat for Humanity. She enjoys studying English and history, and plans to major in one of those subjects in college.
As a senior in high school, I would recommend Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person by Stacy A. Padula to all students who are either in or soon to be in high school. This book takes readers into the depths of how easy it can be to be influenced by the wrong crowd, and how all actions can lead to serious consequences. This book also highlights how anyone, even those who may be the most against it, can be sucked into drug and alcohol abuse. I think that no matter what stage of life someone is in, this book can be a beneficial read, as it truly shows how anyone can fall victim to the slippery slope of addiction. However, I do think that overall, this book is most important for those who are either in or entering into high school, as it teaches another important lesson of how you are only as good as the people who you surround yourself with.
What can be learned from Chris and Courtney’s relationship in The Right Person is that you cannot always push yourself to fit into a life that does not suit you. At the time when Chris and Courtney meet in the book, we see two teens who are the antithesis of one another. Chris, the “life of the party”, who has been surrounded by drugs and alcohol from a young age, but is now looking to get away from this title. On the other end of the spectrum, there is Courtney, who is a highly moral and “innocent” girl, who is just beginning to dabble in the party atmosphere. I think that as their paths cross, and they continue to both draw farther away from each other in what they want, Courtney holds Chris back as he searches for newfound sobriety. I see the two of them as being a good example of a “right person, wrong time” situation, unless they can continue to try to work through this issue, and both come away from the intense partying environment.
One of the main ideas that I saw as I read this book was the idea of being on the right path, and how easily small things can throw you off track. For Courtney, the main thing that pushed her away from the highly moral and sober path she was on was meeting Chris and falling into his bad habits. I think that with most of the teens in this book, even those who aren’t the main characters, they do not see that they are going down the wrong path until its too late. We are able to see this directly with Chris, who begins to search for sobriety only after developing an addiction, which forces him to have a long and hard journey in his future toward getting sober. We also see this with Courtney, who is thrown off of the right path down onto the wrong one in an attempt to fit in with Chris’s lifestyle, which leaves her much worse off than she would have been had she not met Chris or fallen into his life.
For me, I think what was most intriguing about this novel was the push and pull between Chris and Courtney’s storylines. Seeing these two people intersect, and then in turn begin to sort of change roles in many ways was a very interesting way to see drug and alcohol abuse painted. In this book, we are able to see both paths that one may take, the road to sobriety and the dangerous road of getting involved with drugs and alcohol. I think that the contrast between the two really emphasizes the importance of being safe around drugs and alcohol and really knowing the consequences before going down that road. Watching as these two story lines unfolded was the most interesting part of the book for me, as well as watching how the change between these two characters and what they were most focused on impacted their relationship with one another.
As an older teenager now, I can reflect back on the time of coming into high school and feeling an immense and overwhelming pressure to fit in with others. I think that no matter how strong someone’s morals may be at this time, it is inevitable that we all may conform to peer pressure now and then. However, this novel illustrates how at a certain point, confining to peer pressure can become more consequential than a juvenile mistake, especially when drugs and alcohol become involved, which I think speaks highly to those in the phase of their life as teens and young adults.
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 addiction?
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