Posts Tagged ‘norwell high school’

There are a few different storylines running through Gripped Part 1 because it is setting up the rest of the series. What storyline do you find the most interesting and why?

I thought the police storyline was the most interesting. It lets the readers see what is at stake for Taylor and what could be happening in the future. I also thought Cathy and Jason’s story was interesting because the readers are aware they break up, so I am interested to see what happens to their relationship.

Gripped Part 1 sets up the rest of the series but leaves a lot of things “hanging.” What are you most curious to uncover by reading Gripped Part 2?

I am interested to see how Taylor’s future pans out and hope to see him straighten up. I think it will be intriguing because it seems as though he wants to improve his life but does not know how to get out of his situation. I also want to see Cathy and Chantal rekindle their relationship.

What character do you feel bad for and why?

I feel bad for Chantal. I feel bad for her because years have gone by and she has not spoken to her twin sister, Cathy, over a misunderstanding. I hope that when she learns the truth, their relationship can be fixed.

Who frustrates you and why?

Taylor frustrates me the most. He frustrates me because he was given so many great opportunities and threw them away for his addiction. I hope to see him change and get back on track in the future.

Who do you most relate to and why?

I think I can relate to Jason, as most young adults probably can as well. I can relate to him because he is aware of his mistakes and how they have affected his relationships. Most young adults make mistakes because they want to fit in, but when they take a step back as Jason did, they realize what is at stake.

Who do you like and why?

I like Jason the most. I think he has made poor decisions in the past, but I believe he is beginning to see his mistakes and is changing for the better. I also like how he is still looking out for Cathy and is trying to help her even after they broke up.

Who do you hate and why?

I do not really hate any of the characters. I think some of them, like Taylor and Jon, need to get back on track and try to fix some of their mistakes, but I believe they will all be given the chance to redeem themselves.

Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told
In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.
One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.
When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.
$3.99 Kindle | $13.50 Paperback
In its release week, Gripped was ranked by Amazon as the #1 New Release for Children’s books about drug use on Kindle.

About Jenna Finnerty

Jenna Finnerty is a senior at Norwell High School in Norwell, Massachusetts. She is planning to major in nursing next year. Jenna has accrued years of experience as a cheerleader and gymnast. She also has a passion for traveling and looks forward to studying abroad in college.

Other Articles by Jenna:

Q&A on MLH #1 with Jenna Finnerty

The Right Person by Stacy Padula Accurately Depicts High School Social Challenges

Hope Found in Darkness: A Young Adult Book Review by Jenna Finnerty

Q&A with Jenna Finnerty on Young Adult Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

Jenna Finnerty’s Take on New YA Novel “Gripped” by Stacy Padula

Jenna Says…

The book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy Padula allows readers to learn from the mistakes of the young and naive characters. It shows how entangled young adults can get in drugs and alcohol and the consequences that come with them. When relationships are ruined due to the mistakes the teens have made, many of them question their actions and if it is worth the loss of friends and family. Gripped Part 1 will show young adults how easy it is to succumb to peer pressure and how it can ruin relationships. This book teaches valuable lessons to anyone struggling with addiction or who is faced with decisions posed by people who may be negative influences. It also shows how faith in God can help to bring teens out of situations if they need someone to turn to.

Who would you recommend Gripped Part 1 to and why?

I would recommend Gripped Part 1 to anyone who is dealing with addiction. Gripped shows how far an addiction can take you, even when you have become sober. It can be an example for anyone who is starting to go down that path and allow them the chance to get out of their situation.

How do you as a young adult relate to the story?

I can relate to this story because as a young adult, I am faced with many difficult decisions. I am constantly given many options in difficult situations, whether they are good or bad. I believe by reading this book, young adults will be able to recognize the consequences that could come from their actions.

What did you like best about the story?

I liked how the story kept going back and forth. It allowed me to tie in the information I knew from the previous series as well as what was mentioned in previous chapters. I believe it all allows the story to come together in the end.

What message does this book send to readers?

Gripped Part 1 informs readers of the dangers of peer pressure. Many of the characters relationships were impacted by the effects of peer pressure. It demonstrates the importance of surrounding yourself with positive people.

Synopsis

In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.
One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.
When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.
$3.99 Kindle | $11.50 Paperback

In its release week, Gripped was ranked by Amazon as the #1 New Release for Children’s books about drug use on Kindle.

About Jenna Finnerty

Jenna Finnerty is a senior at Norwell High School in Norwell, Massachusetts. She is planning to major in nursing next year. Jenna has accrued years of experience as a cheerleader and gymnast. She also has a passion for traveling and looks forward to studying abroad in college.

Other Articles by Jenna:

Q&A on MLH #1 with Jenna Finnerty

The Right Person by Stacy Padula Accurately Depicts High School Social Challenges

Hope Found in Darkness: A Young Adult Book Review by Jenna Finnerty

Q&A with Jenna Finnerty on Young Adult Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

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When Darkness Tries to Hide is a teen novel by Stacy A. Padula. It is book #2 in the Montgomery Lake High book series. Jenna Finnerty was asked a series of questions about the characters, theme, and plot of the story. Reading this would be useful for anyone who has read the book to gain deeper insight from a Montgomery Lake High intern.

Q: How did your opinion of Jason change as you read the story?

A: As I read the story, I began to like Jason and feel bad for him. I wanted him to recover and get out of the bad situation. I hope to see that he sticks with his sobriety and tries harder to become a better person. Whenever I saw Cathy being rude to him or about him it made me mad because I wanted him to recover and not have her as a bad influence.

Q: What can be learned by the way Chris treats Jason in this book?

A: You can learn that since Chris knew Jason was in a bad place, he did not care what rumors Jason was spreading about him. Chris was in the same place and understands that Jason is not thinking clearly. Chris wants to bring God into Jason’s life in order to change the same way Chris did.

Q: 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?

A: In the last chapter, Jason reflects on all of his mistakes from the past, as well as all of the new people in his life who have already tried to help him change. Jason is thinking about what he can do to get himself out of the darkness and bring himself into the light. Jason hopes he will be able to stay strong and fight off this darkness, in order to become a better person.

Q: What positive message does this book convey to readers?

A: This book tells readers that they can come out of bad situations no matter what it is. Chris is clearly doing well despite all of his previous partying antics, Chantal and all of Andy’s friends are able to deal with Andy’s injuries, and Jason is beginning to show some improvement. All of the characters are able to cope with the help of God. Chris improved when he let God into his life and is trying to influence Jason to do the same. Chantal and her friends also depend on God to help them get through Andy’s situation.

About Jenna:

Jenna Finnerty is a senior at Norwell High School in Norwell, Massachusetts. She is planning to major in nursing next year. Jenna has accrued years of experience as a cheerleader and gymnast. She also has a passion for traveling and looks forward to studying abroad in college.

Articles by Jenna:

Q&A on MLH #1 with Jenna Finnerty

The Right Person by Stacy Padula Accurately Depicts High School Social Challenges

Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries To Hide
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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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When Darkness Tries to Hide, by Stacy Padula, follows the same group of friends from Montgomery Lake High, The Right Person. The group of friend has begun to split up, with some of them realizing partying and getting into drugs is not the best idea. Some of them have turned to God, and are letting Him guide them to recovery. The friends constantly need to hope for the best in all of their situations. Their hope is always found in God. They all work to accept God’s abilities in healing, both from addictions and injuries. The teens are faced with struggles throughout “When Darkness Tries to Hide” and constantly look to God for His guidance.

The story is very relatable to teens dealing with drug and alcohol problems, as well as problems with trying to fit in. Many of the freshman from Montgomery Lake High strive to be popular, and will do anything, even if it is against their morals, to fit in. When the teens realize what they have been doing, they all turn to God in hopes that He can help them get back in their ways.

About Jenna Finnerty: Jenna Finnerty is a senior at Norwell High School in Norwell, Massachusetts. She is planning to major in nursing next year. Jenna has accrued years of experience as a cheerleader and gymnast. She also has a passion for traveling and looks forward to studying abroad in college.

 Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries To Hide
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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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Written by Jenn Finnerty—Norwell, MA

The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, shows how a group of freshman at Montgomery Lake High face the challenges of high school. They go through dangerous situations and have to resist temptations. They realize what it is like to try to become popular and how you can lose friends easily. All of their situations are very relatable to many high school students.

The main character, Chris, realizes he has become dependent on drugs and alcohol and wants to change his actions, after being influenced by his new girlfriend, Courtney. While Chris is done partying, Courtney tries to fit in with his wild friends and finds herself going back on her morals in order to fit in and become popular.

The struggles in the novel are faced by many other high schoolers, and gives a good example of how to deal with struggles and how a student can change.

About Jenn Finnerty

Jenna Finnerty is a senior at Norwell High School in Norwell, Massachusetts. She is planning to major in nursing next year. Jenna has accrued years of experience as a cheerleader and gymnast. She also has a passion for traveling and looks forward to studying abroad in college.

Articles by Jenna:

Q&A on MLH #1 with Jenna Finnerty

About The Right Person

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The Right Person is the debut novel in The Montgomery Lake High Book Series, which follows a large cast of personalities as they navigate through the social waters of high school.
While Chris Dunkin’s parents travel freely for business, his older cousins Jordan and Taylor are left in charge. A parentless household provides the perfect venue for Jordan, a senior in high school, and Taylor, a junior in college, to throw parties that soon become infamous in Montgomery. After two years, Chris–donned “the life of the party” by his popular group of friends–begins high school with a responsibility to live up to his reputation. Deep down inside, however, he wants more than that.
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Q. How do you personally relate to the story?
A. I personally can relate to this story in many different ways. In my career as a student at Norwell High School I have personally witnessed underage drinking and drug use during school hours and after school hours. There is also in the book the people that drink and do hard drugs are the most popular kids. Which is also true at my school and many other schools around Massachusetts.
Q. What is one major theme you noticed running through the book?
A. One major theme that I noticed while reading this book is the use of drugs to feel socially accepted. You see in this book Chris who is just starting high school and is helplessly addicted to drugs, drinking, and smoking. He decides to quit all of that and leave his darker ways in the past to try and pursue his hopes in football even if it means leaving his girlfriend behind.
Q. Why do you believe Courtney sacrificed her morals?
A. Her friends had influenced her to becoming the person that she is now. She had always put her religion first but now as the peer pressure started to amount on her shoulders she gave in to the bad ways and habits of her friends.

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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!

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A rising high school junior at Norwell High School in Massachusetts reviews Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person by Stacy Padula:
As a high school student myself I have a personal connection to this book. The way that the use of drugs and alcohol are presented in this book are unfortunately truthful. As you read further and further into the book you see the main characters become more and more distant to their religion and families and instead choose to make poor decisions to further their social status.
Chris is a great athlete which was proven in his possible spot on the JV Football team as a freshman. The only thing that is holding him back is his dependence on drugs and alcohol. As the story continues you see him start to reject his old ways and focus on his future as a football star.
This story shows real life challenges that real people are faced with as students in high school. The characters in the book are faced with many different choices that influence their social status and their friendships. I do believe that people that are headed into highschool should read this book so they know how to  handle certain crises that will inevitably influence them during their journey through high school.
-Jack Gallagher, Norwell High School Class of 2020

 


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The Right Person is the debut novel in The Montgomery Lake High Book Series, which follows a large cast of personalities as they navigate through the social waters of high school.
While Chris Dunkin’s parents travel freely for business, his older cousins Jordan and Taylor are left in charge. A parentless household provides the perfect venue for Jordan, a senior in high school, and Taylor, a junior in college, to throw parties that soon become infamous in Montgomery. After two years, Chris–donned “the life of the party” by his popular group of friends–begins high school with a responsibility to live up to his reputation. Deep down inside, however, he wants more than that.
amazon-buy-button_2