Posts Tagged ‘ya fiction’

Montgomery Lake High #5: The Forces Within
mlh-5-cover

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.

amazon-buy-button_2

Advertisements

 

mlh-aftermath-new-cover

 

Can faith and reason co-exist? At age fifteen, Jason Davids appears to have it all: high grades, popular friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and 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: a rather quiet girl, who is 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?

 

 

 

barnes_and_noble_logo

 

Q&A with Kelly Mitchell

Newton Country Day Class of 2018

IMG_0735

Kelly is a very insightful teenager, who has a knack for perceiving underlying meanings and concepts within works of literature. As an author, I am truly blessed to have her on staff as an intern. Kelly is applying to many prestigious colleges this year, and I could not be more proud of her! Below is a short series of questions I asked her to complete about Book #1 “The Right Person.” I hope you enjoy her insight:

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

As a high schooler peer pressure surrounds me in all aspects of life. Whether presented with extremes, like Chris, of drugs and alcohol or something as minor as gossiping, high schoolers are constantly put in situations where they sacrifice morals to fit in. Personally, I resonate most with the concept that who I associate with greatly influences my decisions and behaviors. When sitting with girls participating in gossip, I find it difficult sometimes to not engage. I have learned through my years that it is important to surround yourself with people who share similar morals and values as myself; the same lesson Chris discovers.

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

Courtney’s desire to fit in with a group of kids whom she perceives to be “popular” causes her to turn from her morals. Her values are no longer a priority to her if they interfere with her belonging with the others. Courtney becomes more focused on how her new friends view her than on staying true to herself. 

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

The significance of friendship is a common theme in the story. The friendships that the characters form in the story greatly influence their decisions. Courtney’s friendship with people like Cathy causes her to go away from her morals. Other friendships, like Chantal and Marielle, strengthens their morals. Friendship is a core part in each person’s life, this is why Julianna feels lost when she loses her friends.

How does it appear God worked to get Chris’ attention?

Chris was becoming tired of the partying scene and began longing for something more. To get Chris’ attention God brought Courtney into his life. Chris is immediately attracted to Courtney and believes spending time with her will help him gain the strength to abstain from sin as she does. This caused improvement in Chris’ behavior but was not a permanent solution because he soon finds himself back into his own ways. It is not until the end when Chris realizes that it is not Courtney whom Chris should attempt to gain strength from but rather, God: the source of Courtney’s virtue.  

IMG_4500-0

 

High School can be a difficult time in one’s life and presents unfamiliar situations and temptations that challenge one’s morals. Parties, peer pressure, and popularity can become an attraction and lead students away from God. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, tells the story of a group of freshmen at Montgomery Lake High as they confront these same obstacles faced as many other high school students around the world.

The story focuses mainly on Chris: an athletic, partier who has spent the past two years reliant on alcohol and drugs. As freshman year begins, Chris finds himself becoming tiresome of his partying ways and looking for something more. He is influenced by his new girlfriend Courtney; a girl who is firm on her morals and opposition to drugs and alcohol. Courtney, however, intrigued by this new surrounding becomes absorbed into the party scene of Chris’ friends and sacrifices her values to fit in.

This book depicts the struggles many kids encounter during their high school years through the eyes of compelling characters. I recommend this book to both students currently in high school and middle schoolers preparing for these tricky years. It is a reminder of God’s presence in our lives and the importance of seeking strength through him in times of uncertainty.

-Kelly Mitchell, Newton Country Day School Class of 2018

IMG_4500-0

The Montgomery Lake High Book Series

book2cover

Written by Charlotte Moynihan

The second book in the Montgomery Lake High Series, When Darkness Tries to Hide, continues the journey of the students at MLH as they venture further into the depths of high school. After following the stories of Chris and Courtney in The Right Person, the focus shifts to Chris’s wayward, childhood best-friend of almost a decade: Jason Davids.

When Jason is first introduced, he is dealing with many of the same challenges that Chris once faced. Already addicted to multiple prescription drugs, Jason has fallen in with a dangerous and unsupportive crowd. A tragic accident points Jason onto a new path, and he begins to realize how manipulative and unkind his companions are. All the while, Jason struggles to reconcile his dark past with his desire for a meaningful life. Throughout the novel, the reader gains insight into Jason’s true personality and the potential he has to be not only a good person, but also a faithful one. However, because of the darkness surrounding him, he struggles to see the benefit of leading any other lifestyle than his current, party-filled one.

I recommend this book to teens and adults. Jason’s struggles are relatable to anyone who has ever deviated from their beliefs or has struggled to make the right choices.

 

IMG_4500-0

Written by Charlotte Moynihan, NCDS Class of 2018

The Right Person, the first book in the Montgomery Lake High book series by Stacy Padula, chronicles the difficulties faced all too commonly by high school students. As the story follows a group of friends – some new, some old – as they navigate the beginnings of freshman year, the reader is quickly drawn to two of the main characters, Courtney and Chris.

All throughout middle school and even the summer leading up to ninth grade, Courtney is a person of integrity and great faith. She has no issue standing up for her religious beliefs and saying no to the peer pressure to indulge in drugs and alcohol. However, like many new high schoolers, Courtney is drawn away from her convictions and swept into the world of popularity and the pressures of fitting in. Consumed with the desire to be liked by her new boyfriend Chris and his party going friends, Courtney abandons everything that she once stood for. Chris, on the other hand, begins the story as a diehard party goer and is rarely sober. However, upon reflection on his own life Chris begins to see God in his life again – not through his own actions, but the influence another person has on his life.

This story very accurately details the pressures teenagers face and the feeling that fitting in and loving God may not seem to go together. I think many high schoolers, especially those feeling consumed by the constant social pressure, will be able to relate to the ups and downs the characters in The Right Person face. Their struggles with the sudden prevalence of drugs and alcohol in Montgomery Lake is very real to new high schoolers suddenly faced with these difficult choices. I would recommend this book to all teenagers, but especially those struggling with drug or alcohol abuse or those who feel they might be at risk of future abuse.

 

On Sale This Week for Only $3.99 (Kindle)

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 3.04.37 AM
$13.00 (Paperback)
Available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon

IMG_4500-0

After reading “The Right Person” by Stacy Padula, Elizabeth H. of Needham, Massachusetts provided the following feedback:

1. What would you say is appealing about “The Right Person”?

The fact that this is a universal story is the most appealing thing about the book. It also focuses on teenage relationships which are very appealing to middle school and high school aged students. Teenagers often look to movies, tv, and books and apply the lessons or stories they see to their own lives. This book focuses on a love story and various relationships which makes it a very entertaining, yet still educational read, including  elements of both drama and comedy which grasp the attention of the target audience. The character development is also very appealing and creates a story that is able to resonate to teenagers.

2. What kept you wanting to read more?

Every teenager around the world will at some point in their life deal with a moral crisis, such as how to handle going to a party, and this book does a great job at creating a world and characters that are very relatable, drawing the reader in and making them very invested in the storyline. Additionally the detailed descriptions of every character and the setting in which the story takes place add to the intrigue of the entire story and made me want to keep reading more.

3. Who is your favorite character and who do you relate to the most in The Right Person? 

My favorite character is Chris. His storyline and arc was amazing to read and I really enjoyed how he changed his lifestyle for not only himself, but his younger sister, friends and God. He is a caring guy who was lost for a while and who suffered from a lot of pain and the absence of his parents. Despite these challenges he was able to overcome it all, becoming sober for 5 months, and implement change in the lives of others. His drive and compassion was very inspiring to see because many people in his situation could’ve stayed on the destructive path that he was on and their story would not have had the same happy ending.

I identify most with Courtney. Throughout the story Courtney struggles with a profound desire to be popular and her insecurities drive her to put herself into situations that she is not comfortable with and are not true to herself. High school is quite difficult for most people, but particularly for girls and the need to be liked by all, something that I can definitely relate to. Additionally the jealously seen in the relationship between Cathy and Courtney is common amongst teenage girls, especially when a boy is involved. I enjoyed the ending where we discover that Courtney finds herself back with her friends from middle school, the people who genuinely care for her and like to be around her for who she is, not because she likes to party.

4. Write a few sentences explaining how this story accurately portrays the life of a teenager.

This story describes a typical friend group, one that everyone is able to relate to and apply to their own life. Everyday teenagers are forced to make decisions that question and test their morality and this story uses the example of partying to illustrate the different choices one can make and the different outcomes that those choices result in. The temptation of alcohol and drugs is very prevalent in the lives of teenagers and only grows as one enters high school and college. The realistic descriptions throughout the story accurately portray some of the intimate conversations that teenagers have with friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, and family.  

Tonight at 8:30, Stacy Padula will be a guest on the TV show “It’s in the Word” with a 3 other Massachusetts authors. The show will be aired live here: https://www.bnntv.org/tune-in/community-tv and on Boston TV through BNN.