Posts Tagged ‘rebecca ronning’

img_6649Rebecca is a junior at Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York. As a city kid, some of her hobbies include riding the subway and exploring the city with friends, making all kinds of art and traveling with her family and experiencing new and exciting things along the way.

Rebecca read “The Aftermath” by Stacy Padula, which is the third book in the Montgomery Lake High young adult book series. Afterwards, she was asked to answer some questions about the characters and plot in order to give potential readers some background on the novel.

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

In The Aftermath, we see jason make a great change in his life as compared to the way he was in the first book. I think that this change is certainly inspiring, as he makes the great but challenging switch from constantly partying and bullying peers to working on being kind and considerate, stopping his constant drug abuse, and turning to other outlets of happiness in his life. This change couldn’t have been easy, given both him and his older brothers have a certain “party animal” reputation to uphold, but he truly recognized that what he was doing was bad for him, both in the short turn and in the long run, and simply started from there. This is extremely inspiring and has made me see jason as a good example and role model for teens going through similar things.

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

I think that there are many different people who could benefit from reading this book. I think that kids like jason, who want to make a big switch in their lives, can use him as inspiration for their lifestyle change and reaffirmation that anything is possible and reputations / popularity dont matter if you are just going to be doing dangerous things with it. I also think that people who have friends like Jason could benefit from reading this book, because it can be a good example of how to be supportive in helping your friend through these difficult times.

What message does this book send to readers?

This book sends the message that anybody, regardless of reputation, can change, as long as they recognize what they are doing and are willing to fix it. Although Jason did have a strong bad boy reputation, he saw the light and knew what was good for him and what he wanted to do. With the help of his supportive friends, like Chris, he makes a change that many might have thought impossible at the beginning of the book. People can impress you, you just have to give them the time and patience they deserve to make a significant change.

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

The way that Chris treats Jason in this book teaches the reader that much can be forgiven and people can grow and change for the better, and that the best way to foster said growth is through support, patience, and understanding. It is understood from the last book that Chris and Jason didn’t leave on very good terms, due to Jason not being too accepting of Chris’s new ideals. Throughout “When Darkness Tries to Hide,” however, Chris was patient with jason and did his best to support him, because he understands that is what friends do for eachother.

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

I think that Jason changed for the better when he came to realize the good that having faith in something can bring into your life. It is important to recognize that everybody can benefit from some sort of grounding thing that they can go back to when they feel like they are getting a little bit out of control. Jason, being only a freshman in high school, is certainly making the, while difficult, smart choice in looking to find an outlet instead of abusing drugs at such a young age.

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? 

The last chapter represents Jason and his coming into light, realizing that living a life in darkness is not truly living. Jason had previously lived in darkness, and found comparing himself to others to justify his actions easier than really confronting himself and realizing that what he was doing would only bring temporary joy. Jason’s breakthrough in the final chapter was brought about by recognizing that putting his effort into something positive made him feel better than doing drugs. It brought him closer with his friends, family, and with his religion, and he was extremely thankful for that.

What positive message does this book convey to readers?

This book is a good reminder that people change, and that even just coming to the conclusion that you are not content with the way you treat yourself or others is an imperative step in making a much bigger change in your overall lifestyle

 

Learn More about When Darkness Tries to Hide
Other Books by Stacy Padula

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Written by Rebecca Ronning—NY, NY

In the wake of a disaster, it is only natural for communities to come together in an effort to rebuild what was brought down. The residents of Montgomery seems to take this sentiment to heart in Stacy Padula’s second book, “When Darkness Tries to Hide.” After a devastating tornado hits, one of the students at montgomery lake high is put in a coma, and an unlikely group of his classmates set up something for the community in his honor.
This book focuses on Jason, a popular jock and avid party-goer, as he begins to come to a realization that his reputation as the “life of the party” will only give him so much joy. This book acts as a good reminder that people change, and that even just coming to the conclusion that you are not content with the way you treat yourself or others is an imperative step in making a much bigger change in your overall lifestyle.
Learn More About When Darkness Tries to Hide
Rebecca Ronning, New York, NY

Rebecca is a junior at Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York. As a city kid, some of her hobbies include riding the subway and exploring the city with friends, making all kinds of art and traveling with her family and experiencing new and exciting things along the way.


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

Having two years of high school experience in my back pocket, I can certainly say that I know what it is like to be confused and trying to find a group that you fit into, without being pressured to change yourself. Going into High School without really having anybody from my old school with me was certainly difficult. I wanted to be accepted by my peers, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about that without completely changing myself. Thankfully, I figured out that a really easy way to make friends is to join clubs or teams for things that you are really interested in, so you already have something in common with the people that you meet.

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

The transition from middle to high school  is typically a very difficult, and having to find a group of friends to stick with for your high school career certainly doesn’t help. Nobody wants to be left out, and it’s common to want to associate with the “cool kids,” in a vain effort to maintain some sort of social status. Many will go to great lengths in order to be accepted in these groups, like Courtney did, including being tempted by your peers into doing things you know are morally wrong.

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

One major theme I noticed throughout the story was that it is important to find a group of friends who likes you for  who you are, not simply because you fit within their status quo. . For example, when Chris decided that he didn’t want to go to Jason’s party, much less throw one of his own, most of his friends got mad at him. The fact that the moment Chris started to reject these antics, he was essentially kicked out of the group, just proves that this group is strung together by nothing more than a shared love of partying, all of whom provide little support for their peers feelings (which is very important to have when experiencing something as tough as your first year of High School).

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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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Rebecca Ronning, New York, NY

Rebecca is a junior at Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York. As a city kid, some of her hobbies include riding the subway and exploring the city with friends, making all kinds of art and traveling with her family and experiencing new and exciting things along the way. Below she shares her opinion of the first book in the young adult book series: Montgomery Lake High #1 – The Right Person by Stacy Padula.


Rebecca Says:
Going into your first year of high school is a historically stressful, confusing, scary experience. Surrounded by new faces, new perspectives, and new ideas, it is easy for a young impressionable teenager to be tempted to go against their morals and change themselves in an effort to fit in and make a good impression on their classmates, even if they know it’s not the right thing to do. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, perfectly represents this internal conflict by entering the minds of a group of incoming freshman at Montgomery Lake High as they come across new obstacles in their social lives, much unlike what they experienced in middle school.
The Right Person is centered around a group of friends, all connected by one thing – a shared love of partying. The story focuses primarily on Chris, an athlete who is known for being the “life of the party,” and his new girlfriend Courtney, a girl with a strong moral compass and strong religious beliefs. Each go through almost opposite changes in an effort to please the other, as Courtney begins to attend more and more parties and become closer with Chris’ friend group, while Chris decides to stop partying, getting him in trouble with his “best friends.”
This book is a good portrayal of something that most high schoolers experience at one point or another, and it would definitely be helpful for middle schoolers who are currently preparing for their high school experience. The Right Person serves as a reminder that you can break off from the crowd, and if your friends make you do something that you don’t necessarily feel comfortable with, you shouldn’t feel pressured to because these people obviously don’t have your best interest in mind. Just keep being yourself and following your own path, and you will find the right person.
-Rebecca Ronning, Brooklyn Technical High School, Class of 2020

Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person

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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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