Q&A with Caitlin Shields on Young Adult Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

Written by Caitlin Shields, Communications Intern

About the Author: Caitlin Shields is a freshman at Fordham University where she studies Communications. Her favorite hobbies include reading about psychology, photography, fitness, community service, and traveling. Caitlin has been heavily involved with volunteering and raising funds for The Boys & Girls Club of Brockton since age fourteen. She has a passion for connecting with people and hopes to have a career focused on helping others. After Reading Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries to Hide—a young adult book by Stacy Padula—Caitlin was asked to answer questions about the theme, characters, and plot.

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

This book conveys the powerful message to help others and that God has a plan and can help those in the darkest of places. The book touches on the importance of friendships and how good people can get sucked into bad behaviors and places.

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?

This book relates to the theme of light and darkness because of the struggle between different characters, such as Chantal and Cathy, and Jason and Chris, and how eventually if you can make someone understand a different perspective, you can bring them into light. The last chapter shows how Jason is pulled out of the darkness, which no one ever thought would be possible and how powerful the light of others can be.

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

My perception of Jason changes drastically throughout the book. Jason appeared to be a bad influence, who was angry that his supposed best friend was lucky enough to embrace his spirituality and guidance from God for his journey to sobriety. The fact that Jason mocked the fact that someone was getting their life together made me question his character and wondered if he was the type of person who thrived on watching other people fail. However, as the story continued I realized that Jason did not enjoy his lifestyle and the reason for his disdain towards Chris was out of shock, jealousy, and loneliness in losing his best friend. Jason learned that he too needed guidance from the Church and that his girlfriend was a toxic person who enabled and encouraged him to continue down his dark path.

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

Chris continuously tries to help Jason even when he is harshly pushed away throughout the story. It shows that he understood what Jason was going through and was not afraid to be patient because his friendship still meant a lot to him. Chris’s kindness also shows how much he has transformed since opening his heart up to God.

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.