Q&A with Sophia Tufankjian on Teen Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”


When Darkness Tries to Hide is a young adult novel by Stacy Padula. It is book #2 in the Montgomery Lake High book series. After reading the book, teen intern Sophia Tufankjian was asked a series of questions. If you have read the series and would like to gain deeper insight into the story read her responses below:

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

A: Jason starts off the book painted as a troubled young man. His classmates know him as a punk that spreads rumors and starts trouble. Although he was liked by most because of his outgoing and witty personality, Jason’s love for partying made him out of control. He was deep into drinking and drugs and on his way to destroying his future. Throughout the book Jason used his faith to pull him out of this cycle of destruction. In times of need, like after a classmate Andy has a serious accident, Jason steps up and shows his true colors. He is truly a good person and just needed the help of God to be shown in the right light.

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

A: In this book, Chris took Jason for granted. He was selfish and acted like Jason would always be there for him no matter how he treated him. Although they have had a rocky relationship due to Jason being into partying and Chris focusing on redeeming himself, these boys found their way back to each other. This teaches the lesson that not all friendships are perfect but what’s meant to be will always work out and everything happens for a reason.

Q: 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?

A: Jason is a perfect example of a character that faced light and darkness. Throughout the book he faced darkness in the form of partying. Drinking and doing drugs caused him to not see clearly and lose sight of what really matters. He made poor choices that were reflected in the relationships he formed and the ones he lost. Although Jason faced a lot of darkness, he eventually came into the light. Eventually, Jason found God after participating in the prayer service for his classmate Andy. This allowed for him to rekindle old relationships such as his friendship with Chris and start to make positive decisions that would allow him to grow.

Q: What positive message does this book convey to readers?

A: A positive message that this book conveys to readers is that people can change. Everyone makes mistakes and nobody is perfect all the time. Just like Chris and Jason, your sins can be forgiven and you can grow and learn from them. With the help of God and exercising faith, anyone is able to get their life back on track. This book is a perfect example to show how powerful God is, and how finding your faith can change your life.

About Sophia:

Sophia is a senior at Duxbury High School. Some of her hobbies include volunteering, being involved in her church, and writing. She plans to study business or communications in college.

Articles by Sophia:

A Young Adult Fiction Review by Sophia Tufankjian

A Positive Message for Teen Readers

 Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries To Hide
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?


Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.