Rebecca Ronning on the Young Adult Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide” by Stacy Padula


How did your opinion of Jason change as you read the story?
Jason changed for the better when he came to realize the benefits that having faith can bring into your life. Faith and spirituality, individual to all and regardless of form, is something one can always return to as a grounding element at times when life seems out of control.  Jason, as a freshman in high school, is certainly making the smart albeit difficult choice in looking to find a spiritual outlet instead of turning to drugs at such a young age. 

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

Chris’s treatment of Jason teaches the reader that much can be forgiven, 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, as Jason failed to accept 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 understood that is what friends do for each other. 

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, comparing himself to others to justify his actions rather than 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 for that, he was thankful.

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