Posts Tagged ‘teen fiction’

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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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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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Easton, Massachusetts, September 11, 2018: written by Samantha Waxman, Oliver Ames High School

When Darkness Tries to Hide by Stacy Padula is based around the same group of friends as the first book but this time, with a different struggle in mind. One of their close friends has been injured and the story is about how each one of them cope.
This book touches on the struggle to get out of the darkness and back into the light but also the great feeling of having an amazing support system to help you when in need. It makes you feel grateful for the friends you have and makes you want to help others in their times of need. While struggle with the injury of that friend, Jason, one of the main characters in this book, has a tough time with just that. But, by the end of the book he realizes just how great of friends he has and starts to follow his faith.
It is an amazing transition and overall the book is very relatable. I would again, recommend this to all teenagers whether you are starting or finishing high school. It is a great read to remind of all the good you have in your life even when darkness strikes.
-Samantha Waxman Class of 2019

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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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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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Montana Aldridge of Plymouth, Massachusetts is a rising senior at Plymouth North High School. She was asked to share her thoughts on Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person – a young adult novel by Stacy Padula. The Montgomery Lake High book series addresses teenage social issues commonly faced in high school and middle school. Topics such as identity, morality, substance abuse, and sexuality are explored in the novels. Currently, there are five books in the series, but Padula is working on a spin off series, set to hit the shelves in 2019.

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

-I relate to multiple characters in this story. I come from a very religious family and have the same morals as Chantal and Courtney (the beginning and end Courtney). I try hard to keep my faith and use it to strengthen me and lead me to make the right decisions, but sometimes my “id” gets the best of me. Having a lot of different types of friends is also hard, because you want to have fun with them and partake in the same activities as them, but when they make bad choices, like Jason and Alyssa, it’s hard.

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

-I believe Courtney, like all humans, felt the desire to fit in. Some people are lucky enough to be surrounded by genuinely good, humble people with strong morals, while others, akin to Courtney, are not as fortunate and are surrounded by people with little morals. When Courtney decided to break up with Bryan for Chris, I think she was more interested in who would bring her more friends, and who was more popular. While Chris was ultimately attracted to Courtney because of her morals, Courtney was attracted to Chris because of of his social status, which caused Courtney to lose focus of her morals.

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

-Although the next books may shed even more light on this theme, I do think Coming of Age was a major theme throughout the book. All of the characters were faced with decisions that arise as you grow older. It may have seemed that characters such as Jason, Alyssa and Cathy were the older more mature ones on the surface because of how they talked and because of the party’s they attended, but by the end of the book it was clear they had not come of age. Characters such as Courtney and Chris are the ones who truly came of age, when they had the conversation about religion and morals, during their breakup.


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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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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– Written by Montana Aldridge, Class of 2019, Plymouth North High School, Plymouth, Massachusetts
I was enlightened by the overall theme of this book. It provided me with real life examples of the tough decisions that I will come across as I grow older. The message this book relayed to me was that it is important not to loose focus of your morals, and that is an important life lesson that this book portrayed in an amusing, way.
There was many twists throughout the book, that were exciting and intriguing, yet realistic for what teenage expectations of high school should be. Each character evolved throughout the story, some in positive ways, some in negative ways. I enjoyed the depth to each character their was. It enabled me to get very involved in the book, and at times made me feel as if I was the character, and had to make their tough choices myself. The different outcomes of the decisions made by the characters allowed me to learn from their mistakes, making me feel as if I had suddenly gained wisdom and experiences.
This story always captivated my full attention, with it’s uniqueness. In past stories I have read there has been the typical climate throughout the whole book, then the plot and resolution. What was different about the style of this book, was that there were multiple plots throughout the book. The roller coaster of events left me wanting to read more, and kept me from putting the book down and getting bored. After finishing this book I have been left excited to read the next book!

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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  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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Montgomery Lake High #3: The Aftermath

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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?

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Montgomery Lake High #4: The Battle For Innocence
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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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Montgomery Lake High #5: The Forces Within
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After being trapped inside his own body, unable to communicate with anyone but his own thoughts, Andy Rosetti finally wakes up from the coma that controlled his life for one month. But upon awakening, Andy finds himself and his friends in an unfamiliar setting: a mansion riddled with secrets and supernatural forces. As his friends fall prey to the entities encompassing them, Andy must figure out if the darkness lies within the mansion’s walls or within the people surrounding him.

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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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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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Providing a teen’s perspective on Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person, Caroline Forbes is about to begin her senior year at Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts…
What do you believe influenced Courtney to turn away from her morals in order to feel accepted?

I believe tht Courtney turned from her morals because she wanted to experience high school with a carefree and crazy outlook, just like the other freshman she was around. Clearly this is thanks to Chris’ bad influence as well. Courtney also may have turned away from her morals in order to impress Chris, and to even be more like him.

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

The theme that often came up while reading was a coming of age/growth. Especially in Chris’ case, he begins to grow as a teenager, and realizes that he must mature in order to become successful later in life. Chris’ growth is also thanks to Courtney’s strict religious morals, making him shape up in order to stay with her.

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

A. I relate to this story personally because sometimes in the past I have tried changing myself in order to fit in with other groups of girls. I would do things that I didn’t feel comfortable doing just so I could fit in with a group of girls that weren’t like me, even though I wanted to be like them.

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Other Articles by Caroline Forbes