Posts Tagged ‘easton massachusetts’

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Samantha Waxman is a senior at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, MA. Some of her hobbies include cheering for her high school’s team, hanging out with friends, and spending time with her dog Rosie. Samantha’s favorite subject in school is history, and she is excited to start her senior year.

Samantha was asked a series of questions about young adult novel “The Battle for Innocence” by Stacy Padula, which is the 4th book in the Montgomery Lake High Series. Below are her responses.

Why is this book a helpful resource for teens?

This book is a helpful resource for teens because it sheds light on different sides of the teenage lifestyle. You can be more religious and low key or you can be a “party goer” and really enjoy that scene. Either way, it is very important to be your own person and not make choices based on other people. Know yourself and your limits no matter what setting. Throughout the book, you can see some people changing for others and it gives you the most uneasy feeling. The best way to make friends or relationships is to be yourself and show your true colors.

Who is your favorite character in this story and why?

My favorite character in this story is Jon. You get to see him in such an innocent light and I really like that side of him. You can tell how much he cared for Chantal even though she was going back and forth between him and Andy. I really liked how Jon approached the situations he was faced with and it could help some teens out there who are struggling with the same obstacles.

What was the most surprising thing about seeing the main characters’ lives in 7th grade?

I was surprised at how much relationships and dating meant to the majority of them. Of course not for Cathy, but they all seemed to like someone or already be dating. In 7th grade, a lot of the “relationships” are glorified friendships but they seemed to take it pretty seriously. Another thing that caught me off guard was the amount of drinking. In my opinion that is way too early to even look at a drink so I was taken back by it all and how they abused it in a sense.

Why is it important for readers to know the backstory shared in this novel?

It gives you a sense of who the characters used to be and how much they have changed due to certain obstacles or certain people. They are only freshman in the first couple of books but from 7th grade they really did change a lot.

 

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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?

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Samantha is a senior at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, MA. Some of her hobbies include cheering for her high school’s team, hanging out with friends, and spending time with her dog Rosie. Samantha’s favorite subject in school is history, and she is excited to start her senior year.

Samantha read “The Aftermath” by Stacy Padula and was asked a series of questions about the novel. Her responses are below.

How has your opinion of Jason changed since reading the first MLH book?

When reading the first book, I didn’t think much of Jason. He was the typical high school drug addict and honestly was made out to seem much worse than his true self. In The Aftermath, you could tell how willing he was to change his ways. Jason did something he never thought he would do. I personally think it was half for himself and half for Jessie. To prove to her and her father how much he has come from where he was. An addict. He even proved himself to me as reader that he is capable of changing and with the help of God anything is possible to him.

Who do you think could benefit from reading this book and why?

There are lots of ways you could benefit from this book. It shows how you can use your faith (like Jason) to overcome certain difficulties you thought you never could. You can fail before you get it right. I learned even in the darkest of times you still have your friends and family to guide you into the right path.

What message does this book send to readers?

This book shows readers that again, it is okay to fail and have dark times. You are allowed to go through the struggle just like everyone else. But, there is a point in time where you need to try and get out of that darkness. Jason has shown us that he is willing to do so with the help of his closest friends. Even if it is something you never thought you were capable of doing, reach out and ask for help.

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About 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?

Article by Samantha Waxman, Easton, MA

The Aftermath by Stacy Padula is mainly focused in on one the characters, Jason. As you know, he is a little bit of the typical high school druggy. Throughout the book, he is stuck in his party ways. Constantly drinking and smoking until he comes to the realization that enough is enough. He explains his whole situation to Pastor Mark, which is surprising to say the least but, he gets a little more than expected from it.

This book shows readers that times may be tough but you need to push through. With the help of great friends and family supporting you, anything is possible. I believe this book is good for those readers that are struggling with something so similar. It could potentially make them realize this isn’t the path they should be going down. They could have a change of heart or way of life.

About Samantha

Samantha is a senior at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, MA. Some of her hobbies include cheering for her high school’s team, hanging out with friends, and spending time with her dog Rosie. Samantha’s favorite subject in school is history, and she is excited to start her senior year.

About 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?

9781628570571_Padula_CV_022318

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Samantha is a senior at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, MA. Some of her hobbies include cheering for her high school’s team, hanging out with friends, and spending time with her dog Rosie. Samantha’s favorite subject in school is history, and she is excited to start her senior year.


October 25, 2018—Easton, Massachusetts

1. A main theme of this story is the battle between the dark and the light. When one is in darkness, he or she cannot see anything clearly. How does the last chapter relate to the events of the story and the theme of light vs. darkness?

Jason met with Pastor Mark and I feel like that really turned things around for him. Pastor Mark could relate to the drug abuse and real struggle Jason is trying to get over. By doing this, he is essentially pulling Jason out of that darkness and showing him the light. He is letting him know that it’s okay to be in this dark state but eventually we need to find a cure. Jason has a very good support system and his friends really want to see him do well.

2. How did your opinion of Jason change as you read the story?

Jason to me is the stereotypical high school boy who obviously loves to party. Throughout the book you get to see his struggles which we didn’t get a glimpse at in the first book. He struggles with extreme drugs and you can tell deep down in his heart he is trying to be better. I was hoping he would break it off with Cathy and pursue Pastor Marks daughter. Hopefully that would really get him on the right. His intentions are good and I felt like I had to cut him slack throughout the book.

3. What can be learned by the way Chris treats Jason in this book?

Tough love is the perfect way to describe the way Chris treats Jason. Chris wants to see Jason do good and get him out of the rut he is in. While this might not be a good idea for Chris considering he is only two months sober, he is willing to try and show his friend the light. While spreading the word about Andy’s service, Chris was adamant that Jason stay with him and not “go home to eat and nap” which I personally think that really demonstrated how much Chris cares even if they aren’t as close as they once were.

4. What positive message does this book convey to readers?

I believe the message is that it is okay to be in the darkness like Jason and its okay to have those weak moments. Eventually in life you need to pull yourself through and you don’t even have to do it on your own. There are so many people to turn to such a family and friends. I think every one of the characters was in a dark place at one point in the book. Whether it be dealing with Andy, relationship problems or drug abuse they all struggled. But it makes you think of how many people go through this struggle, knowing you’re not alone, it is a positive thing to me.

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A powerful supercell is spawning above Montgomery Lake High School, while a separate storm is brewing in its halls. The question is–which one should Cathy Kagelli, Jason Davids, and their friends fear the most?

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Samantha Waxman is a rising senior at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, Massachusetts. After reading Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person, a young adult novel by Stacy Padula, she was asked a series of questions. Her responses are below:
Q. How do you, as a teenager, personally relate to this story?
A. I relate to this story because I know all about this lifestyle. Not that I have ever lived it, but I have watched from the outside. I know about the struggles, loss of friends, and lies these teenagers are going through. The path these kids went down was not surprising to me in the least. The drugs and alcohol are all so familiar in high school. You just want to fit in, so you try things you would have never even thought about in years past. I feel as though it is just a part of growing up. Being exposed to things you never thought you would be.
Q. What is one major theme you noticed running through the story?
A. The ongoing theme that caught my attention throughout the book is the feeling of abandonment. Everyone one way or the other left a friend, or a significant other to be with the wrong crowd. Courtney left her boyfriend of over a year to be with someone she barely knew because of the lifestyle he lived. She also abandoned her best friends Julianna and Marielle for the same reason. Chantal and Cathy abandoned each other when they found the party lifestyle. They  even friends. Chris abandoned Bryan when he started to date Courtney. The list goes on and on.
Q. What do you believe influenced Courtney to turn away from her morals in order to feel accepted?
A. Throughout the book, Courtney was always easily influenced. Once she stopped dating Bryan to be with Chris, from then on it was a downward spiral. Since Chris was more apart of the “party scene”, it was like second nature for Courtney to be with him and party. When you are apart of that lifestyle, you have no morals. It was so tempting to Courtney she just let all her old habits go. All in order to please Chris and basically run away from her thoughts and feelings about her past life.

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As the “life of the party,” Chris Dunkin begins high school with a responsibility to live up to his reputation; deep down inside, however, he wants more than that. When he begins dating Mayor Angeletti’s youngest daughter, Courtney, two worlds collide. The twist ending will not disappoint!

 

Additional Books in the MLH Series

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The Right Person by Stacy Padula focuses on the ins and outs of high school drama. Giving you a look into the world of teenagers. The parties, the relationships, the drinking. In the book, a group of high school freshman struggle to find themselves and use outlets they never would imagine.
The characters are so true to life. Coming from someone who is currently in high school, it could not get more real. Chris, the main character is known as the life of the party. True to any high school, they all have one. He struggles to stray away from this lifestyle and tries to become more family and school oriented. In end, it finally happens for him. Courtney, his new girlfriend, is not used to the party lifestyle at all. She is a newbie and leaves her past behind to see if this life is for her. She quickly realizes this is not what she planned for and tries to go back to the way things used to be.
Overall, this book is a great read. It has many life lessons that anyone could learn from. Being there for others, seeking and staying with real friends, as well as being true to yourself. I would recommend it to anyone starting high school or even finishing high school to bring back the memories of the short four years.
– Written by Samantha Waxman of Oliver Ames High School, Class of 2019

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As the “life of the party,” Chris Dunkin begins high school with a responsibility to live up to his reputation; deep down inside, however, he wants more than that. When he begins dating Mayor Angeletti’s youngest daughter, Courtney, two worlds collide. The twist ending will not disappoint!

Additional Books by Stacy Padula