Posts Tagged ‘norwell massachusetts’

Caitlin Shields

Article by Caitlin Shields of Norwell, MA

I would recommend Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy A. Padula to people of all ages—but especially to those around a similar age to the characters, which is middle school and high school. The book touches on topics that everyone can relate to in some way, making it versatile enough for everyone to be interested in the story.

As a young adult, I can relate to the story because I have witnessed many similar events and situations that the characters are faced with, and I understand the complexity of the change in everyone’s lives during middle school and high school. I particularly related to the huge misunderstanding between Cathy and Chantal, as well as their friends, in the sense that the whole disaster could have been avoided if they had talked it out. It was fascinating seeing all the different influences the characters had on each other, and how someone’s morals can completely change, based on who he or she is around.

My favorite parts of the story were when the characters were finally coming together to learn about all kinds of truths that evaded them and how they began to understand that the course of their lives could have gone in a completely different direction just because of a few small events.

This book sends the important message to readers that everything is not always what it seems, and there is great value in communication, as well as, looking out for your friends.

About Caitlin Shields

Caitlin is a freshman at Fordham University where she studies Communications. Her favorite hobbies and interests include psychology, photography, fitness, community service, and traveling. Caitlin has been heavily involved with volunteering and raising funds for The Boys & Girls Club of Brockton since age fourteen. She has a passion for connecting with people and hopes to have a career focused on helping others.

More articles by Caitlin:

Q&A with Caitlin Shields on Young Adult Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

Q&A Part 2 with Caitlin Shields on When Darkness Tries to Hide

Why Teens Should Read “The Right Person” by Stacy Padula

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.

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

Article by Caitlin Shields, New York, NY

Caitlin is a freshman at Fordham University where she studies Communications. Her favorite hobbies include reading about psychology, photography, fitness, community service, and traveling. Caitlin has been heavily involved with volunteering and raising funds for The Boys & Girls Club of Brockton since age fourteen. She has a passion for connecting with others and hopes to have a career focused on helping others.

Caitlin read “Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person” by Stacy A. Padula and shared her opinion below:

I would recommend “The Right Person” to people of all ages, especially those entering high school or parents with kids who are around that age. This book provides insight into how people can end up in difficult situations and seemingly compromise their character by mistake. This book could serve as a fair warning about how things can get out of control with young kids and partying, and the importance of getting out and staying out of compromising situations.
My favorite part of the story was Chris’s journey to sobriety and his complete reversals in attitude and views on life throughout the book. I loved seeing how all of the other characters impacted him, and how someone in such a dark place managed to turn his life around.
One major theme I noticed throughout the story was the power of religion and how it brings people together. The story begins with Chris, a lost party boy, being attracted to the warmth, kindness, and innocence of Courtney. Courtney is a deep believer in God and did not involve herself with partying. When Chris breaks up with Courtney, he leads her back to God, and brings himself closer to him.
I personally relate to this story because I have seen good people get involved in bad situations and make choices that they later regret deeply. I understand how difficult it can be to act independently with such strong influences swaying your opinion and views on everything.
A teen or pre-teen could benefit from reading this book because it could teach them ways to help a friend who is struggling with similar issues to the characters in the books, as well as warn them of the dangers of alcohol and drugs. The book could make someone take a step back and realize the dangerous mistakes they are making and how those consequences could play out.

More Articles by Caitlin:

Q&A with Caitlin Shields on Young Adult Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

Q&A Part 2 with Caitlin Shields on When Darkness Tries to Hide

Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person

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.

Written by Caitlin Shields, Communications Intern

About the Author: Caitlin Shields is a freshman at Fordham University where she studies Communications. Her favorite hobbies include reading about psychology, photography, fitness, community service, and traveling. Caitlin has been heavily involved with volunteering and raising funds for The Boys & Girls Club of Brockton since age fourteen. She has a passion for connecting with people and hopes to have a career focused on helping others. After Reading Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries to Hide—a young adult book by Stacy Padula—Caitlin was asked to answer questions about the theme, characters, and plot.

Who should read this book?

People of all ages should read this book, especially those in high school or about to enter into highschool. The book touches on many important topics including how religion can bring people together, the importance of community, and the stresses of being a teenager.

What did you like best about the story?

My favorite part of the story was how all of the members of the community came together to pray for Andy, even those who were not fond of him or did not regularly attend church. This part of the book showed the power of people coming together in a difficult time and how big of a role the Church can play in that.

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

My opinion of Jason has completely changed since reading the first book in the Montgomery Lake High Series. At the beginning, I perceived Jason as a selfish person who wanted to negatively impact others and was one of the evil forces of his friend group. As the book continues, I learned that, similar to his old friend Chris, he felt completely lost and hopeless and hated his self destructive behavior but did not know how to stop. As the book continued to show more of his life, I gained a lot of sympathy for the difficulties of his addictions and his lack of joy in his current relationships.

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

Many people could benefit from reading this book because it is very relatable, everyone knows someone who is struggling and this book could help shine light on how good people get turned down a dark path, and how they could try to help them out of it. This book could especially benefit teens about how powerful addiction can be and how one decision can lead to another.

What message does this book send to readers?

This book sends messages on how important it is to stand by someone who is struggling, how religion can help change people tremendously, and the impact community can have.

 

Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries To Hide

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 Caitlin Shields, Communications Intern

About the Author: Caitlin Shields is a freshman at Fordham University where she studies Communications. Her favorite hobbies include reading about psychology, photography, fitness, community service, and traveling. Caitlin has been heavily involved with volunteering and raising funds for The Boys & Girls Club of Brockton since age fourteen. She has a passion for connecting with people and hopes to have a career focused on helping others. After Reading Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries to Hide—a young adult book by Stacy Padula—Caitlin was asked to answer questions about the theme, characters, and plot.

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

This book conveys the powerful message to help others and that God has a plan and can help those in the darkest of places. The book touches on the importance of friendships and how good people can get sucked into bad behaviors and places.

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?

This book relates to the theme of light and darkness because of the struggle between different characters, such as Chantal and Cathy, and Jason and Chris, and how eventually if you can make someone understand a different perspective, you can bring them into light. The last chapter shows how Jason is pulled out of the darkness, which no one ever thought would be possible and how powerful the light of others can be.

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

My perception of Jason changes drastically throughout the book. Jason appeared to be a bad influence, who was angry that his supposed best friend was lucky enough to embrace his spirituality and guidance from God for his journey to sobriety. The fact that Jason mocked the fact that someone was getting their life together made me question his character and wondered if he was the type of person who thrived on watching other people fail. However, as the story continued I realized that Jason did not enjoy his lifestyle and the reason for his disdain towards Chris was out of shock, jealousy, and loneliness in losing his best friend. Jason learned that he too needed guidance from the Church and that his girlfriend was a toxic person who enabled and encouraged him to continue down his dark path.

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

Chris continuously tries to help Jason even when he is harshly pushed away throughout the story. It shows that he understood what Jason was going through and was not afraid to be patient because his friendship still meant a lot to him. Chris’s kindness also shows how much he has transformed since opening his heart up to God.

Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries To Hide

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 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?

amazon-buy-button_2

 

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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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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.

Jenna was asked to read the first book in Stacy Padula’s Montgomery Lake High book series “The Right Person” and answer questions about the novel. Below are her responses.


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Q. What do you believe influenced Courtney to turn away from her morals in order to feel accepted?

A. Teenagers are so easily influenced and want to fit in. People conform to things much easier if they see other people around them doing similar things. If young girls, including Courtney, do things they feel are “cool” that other people around them do, they feel that they will become popular and will be accepted more. To most high schoolers, the one thing they want is popularity. Therefore, they will do everything they can to reach their goal, even if it goes against their morals.

Q. What is one major theme you noticed running through the story?

A. A major theme I noticed throughout the story was the importance of friendship and the way it affects people’s behaviors. Courtney gained a whole new group of friends that led totally different lifestyles than her previous friends. She began attending parties, drinking, and was in the presence of drugs more often. Her previous friends were avid church goers and seemingly innocent girls. The change in Courtney’s friends brought to light a clear change in her personality as she began doing the same things her new friends were doing and abandoned her old friends.

Q. How do you, as a teenager, personally relate to this story?

A. I relate to this story because I realize I have changed over the course of high school. Freshman year I really wanted to have a lot of friends and be liked around the school. I realized I did not fit in with the “popular” girls and eventually realized I was happy with the friends I had. As high school continued, my friends changed, along with my personality. Different from Courtney, I do not think my friends negatively influenced me. If anything, they changed me for the better and made me the happy, outgoing person I am.

 

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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.
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