Jennifer O’Sullivan on Jason Davids, Protagonist of “The Aftermath”

Article by Jennifer O’Sullivan of Dover-Sherborn High School

Instagram @jds_on

Jason Davids is a character that has always sparked my interest; he’s smart, funny, confident, good-looking, well-loved and wealthy, yet he always found his life to be empty and sad, and turned to drugs as an escape. His hostile attitude intrigued me, because he seemed to be so against the things that could potentially help him the most with his struggles—like faith and God. Despite the fact that Jason caught my attention from the beginning of the Montgomery Lake High book series, it often bothered me that he was insensitive to others and unappreciative of the help that other people, such as Chris, tried to offer him.

In The Aftermath, Jason makes a huge effort to become sober, and during his journey toward sobriety, he begins to see the mistakes that he has been making. Jason, for the first time, realizes that people see him as rude and even “heartless,” and this begins to eat away at him. Despite the struggles that Jason is facing from withdrawal and trying to navigate his faith, he begins to make a conscious effort to treat people better and appreciate the friends who have been reaching out to him. This new side of his personality made me have a lot of respect for him, and I realized that he wasn’t a cruel teenager who only cared about drugs and partying, but a young kid who was lost and turned to substances to ease his pain. 

I think that a wide variety of people would benefit from reading The Aftermath, but especially those who are struggling with things similar to Jason, such as substance abuse, finding a purpose, or simply navigating high school. Many teenagers prioritize the wrong things in life, which leads them down a dark path. Although in other books Jason showed how having shallow values can cause a person’s life to take a seriously bad turn, he showed in The Aftermath that people can turn their lives around if they find inner-strength through faith. In a world of social media likes and comments, many teenagers feel lost in regards to having a purpose. This book reminds people of all ages that while they may drift from it, their ultimate purpose in life is to serve others and God. 


At age fifteen, Jason Davids appears to have 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 Robins: 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?



Jennifer O’Sullivan, a rising senior at Dover Sherborn High School, enjoys reading, playing the piano, spending time with friends and doing volunteer work. Jennifer leads her school’s community service club, runs on her school’s cross country and track teams and loves to travel, especially to Ireland where she spends time with friends and family.


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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.