Posts Tagged ‘teen reads’

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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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?

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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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(Autographed) Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person

When infamous party boy Chris Dunkin begins dating Mayor Angeletti's youngest daughter, Courtney, two worlds collide. Will Courtney rid Chris of his partying ways or will Chris rub off on her? *This price includes tax and shipping within the United States. Please allow 5-10 days for delivery.

$18.00

(Autographed) Entire Series: Montgomery Lake High Books #1 – 5

You can now order autographed copies of the entire Montgomery Lake High book series (5 books) for $80. The set includes The Right Person, When Darkness Tries to Hide, The Aftermath, The Battle for Innocence, and The Forces Within. The price includes taxes and shipping within the United States. Please allow 5-10 days for delivery.

$80.00

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Review of “The Battle for Innocence”

Written by Max Alva – Drexel University Class of 2020
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“Jon Anderson’s heart pounded heavily against his chest as he opened Chris Dunkin’s front door. He had walked through that door thousands of times before, but never during one of Taylor Dunkin’s ‘ragers.’ As Jon stepped into Chris’s living room, the odor of beer besieged his nostrils. Chris’s home—the normally calm spot, perfect for watching Patriot’s games—resembled a whirlwind.” In The Battle for Innocence by Stacy A. Padula, a Young Adult/Realistic Fiction novel, the main character, Jon Anderson, is thrown into just what the quote above says: a whirlwind. The story is set in western Massachusetts, and is a back-story to the Montgomery Lake High book series.
Jon, a seventh grader at Montgomery Lake Middle School, is the only Christian in his group of friends. As a result of the wild parties thrown by his best friend’s older cousin, Jon fears his closest friends are getting pulled into a world of temptation. He is stuck in an emotional battle, torn between pulling away from them and staying as a good influence in their lives. “‘God help me,’ Jon muttered aloud, hurdling over a large rock that lay at the edge of the lake. My heart is filled with conflict. I don’t want to separate myself from my friends. I don’t want to give up on them. I know you can change them. I know they don’t have to follow Taylor Dunkin’s path. Please intervene…I can’t abandon them. They need me. I love them. Please put someone in my life that can hold me accountable. I just want a Christian friend who will be able to understand my struggles.”
Meanwhile, Jon’s friend from church, Chantal Kagelli, finds herself in a similar dilemma across town. Chantal, a seventh grader at Sterling Middle School, has more than just one boy chasing after her. While her Class President, Andy, is trying to win her over with notes, cookies, and all the right words, her heart is aching over her interest in Jon. Chantal is petrified of her feelings for Jon, and decides that she should try to fight them off by getting closer to Andy. Despite many warnings from her twin sister that Andy could be a bad influence in her life, Chantal decides that it is more important to shine as a good influence in Andy’s life than to worry about the dangerous path he could take her down. Chantal finds herself in a whirlwind of her own, as she learns a life-changing lesson about the teenage world outside of church! The Battle for Innocence is filled with realistic party scenes and tempting situations that teenagers face during middle school and high school. The way the book is written allows readers to get inside Jon and Chantal’s heads and relate to their internal battles.
Out of all of Stacy A. Padula’s books that I have read, The Battle for Innocence is my favorite. It overflows with valuable background information about the main characters of the Montgomery Lake High series that makes the characters even more relatable and dynamic. I recommend this book to anyone age eleven and up. It has a lot of strong messages about peer pressure and making good decisions. I think anyone who has read the Montgomery Lake High books should read The Battle for Innocence to gain a deeper understanding of how Jon, Chris, and their friends got into so much trouble at such young ages. To learn more about the causes of teenage substance abuse and the gateway to addiction join Jon and Chantal in their battle for innocence.
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Review Written by Kelly Mitchell – Newton Country Day Class of 2018

It has been three weeks since a terrible storm left Andy in a coma, and for Jason Davids, nothing has been the same. Jason, the most popular freshman boy at Montgomery Lake High School, recognizes that he needs to make a change in life and give up the partying lifestyle he has been a part of for the past two years. Jason discovers this task is not going to be easy and struggles to turn away from darkness, as he is constantly presented with new temptations. Jason must decide whether to go back into the daze he has been living in or look for a new source of strength to help him win his battle over his addictions.
I would recommend this book to anyone in middle school or high school, as it touches on topics very prevalent to this age group: temptation, gossip, popularity, and prayer. It reminds readers that one’s reputation in high school will be insignificant to the rest of our lives, and that, therefore, people should focus on more important matters such as their relationship with God.

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JANUARY 26, 2018 – PLYMOUTH, MA – Later today, Stacy Padula will be interviewed on live radio by Doug Llewelyn – the host of The People’s Court and creator of Judge Judy. He is interested in hearing about her journey as an author and a business owner. In preparation for the interview, she has reflected on various experiences. Here is a sneak peak at some topics that will be covered:

Q. What drives you to write for the young adult genre?

A. When I was a child, I read a lot of books. I was ever so curious to know what high school would be like. I read the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High, which painted pictures in my mind of what high school would be like. However, when four towns of kids combined under one roof of Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston, Massachusetts, it was nothing like Sweet Valley. I was completely caught off guard by the harsh rumors and drugs circulating around, as well as the bullying taking place. The books I had read did not address the social issues that are extremely prevalent in the teenage world. I began writing my book series as a teenager because I believed kids deserved books that were realistic to help them navigate high school.

After college, I found the books I had written as a teenager, and when I read through them, I was amazed by the topics I had written about at such a young age. I was also in somewhat disbelief that kids were partying so hard at such young ages. I began editing the books and adding in life lessons I had learned along the way. I realized that the books could help teenagers navigate through the tricky years of high school, so I sought out a literary agent. My first book was published in 2010, followed by four sequels. For the last eight years, it has been my goal to write books that help teenagers become more secure with themselves and find fulfillment.

Q. Why do you feel your books are necessary for young adults to read?

A. My books share the raw truth about opioid addiction, as well as other substances, in a realistic and relatable way. Drugs pose an empty promise for fulfillment that often leads to self-destruction and the destruction of others. I want to help kids avoid the heartache that goes along with substance abuse and find positive/beneficial outlets for their energy. There is an immense amount of social pressure on kids today. Between social media and technology, they are constantly connected and can easily lose touch with themselves. They face so much pressure to fit in with their peers, and can easily lose themselves in the process.

Q. You have written five novels. Are you planning to write another book?

A. Yes, I am about 185 pages into a novel that heavily focuses on opiate addiction. It is a part of my Montgomery Lake High series, and it circles back to the root of many problems in my main characters’ lives. The story starts off a few months after where my 5th book left off, but it does a lot of time traveling between old and new experiences. This story ties a lot of plot points together that are briefly mentioned in the other books but never explored in-depth. It follows three different characters stories and shows, from their perspective, how they got caught up in drug abuse—which were for very different reasons. I think it is easy for people to cast aside drug users and look down upon them, but the book I am writing shows how easily substance abuse can become a problem for good people. Moreover, it conveys the hope that exists once someone is able to forgive himself and find sobriety.

Stacy Padula will be interviewed on live radio at 4:00PM by Doug Llewelyn (CUTV News, New York)

Listeners can tune in live at 4:00PM on 1/26/18 here.