May’s Q&A with Joanna Dakoyannis of Dover Sherborn High School

Who would benefit from reading “When Darkness Tries to Hide” by Stacy Padula?

Although this book would be most relevant to teenagers and the struggles they might face in high school, I would recommend this book to anyone who feels that they are struggling with something. Teens and adults alike who are trying to find themselves or answers to their place in life would benefit from reading When Darkness Tries to Hide because it would help them look at their situation from a faith based perspective. This book shows that regardless of how terrible you think your actions or situation may be, there is always hope and the ability to change.

What did you like best about the story?

There were several things that drew me in to When Darkness Tries to Hide. Above all, it was never boring. There were several storylines running simultaneously with many different characters. Each character was facing some type of struggle that kept me wanting to read more to find out their outcome.  It was easy and exciting to read this book.

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

While Jason begins the story as one of the “bad boys” in the school, he is the character who experiences the greatest transformation. Through the help of his friends and his return to faith, he begins his transformation to becoming the person that he wants to be.

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

Chris is the catalyst to Jason’s transformation. Chris’ kindness and willingness to reach out to Jason made all the difference.  Their relationship exemplifies the impact we can have on our friends. Even more, it shows how important it is to try to help our friends who seem to be struggling or even just to check in on them when they seem to be down.  The smallest gesture can change someone’s life.

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?

Jason has been in darkness since he began using drugs and drinking and dating Cathy, who leads a similar life. By being surrounded with people who are just as or even more immoral than he was, it was difficult to see any light.  When Chris re-enters his life and he visits the church, meeting Rachel and the pastor’s daughter, his life begins to change. Light slowly enters his life and is the beginning of his transformation.

What positive message does this book convey to readers?

When Darkness Tries to Hide conveys the message that there is hope for everyone. It also reinforces the importance of surrounding yourself with good people who allow you to see the light through faith.


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?

$3.99 Kindle | $10.50 Paperback

About Joanna Dakoyannis

Joanna Dakoyannis is a junior at Dover-Sherborn High School. She enjoys creative writing, traveling, going to the gym, running track for her high school team and loves cheering on the team at school sporting events. She plans to be a science major in college and hopes to eventually attend dental school.

More Articles by Joanna:

An Exceptional Book I Recommend to Teens & Preteens

April’s Q&A-with-joanna-dakoyannis-on-the-right-person-by-stacy-padula/

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.