The Forces Within by Stacy Padula: an Excellent Teen Read

Article by Joanna Dakoyannis, Dover, Massachusetts

The Forces Within, by Stacy Padula, is the fifth and most compelling book in the MLH series. The story focuses on the spiritual battle of several characters in the series, but mainly dissects the actions of Andy Rosetti.  Andy finds himself in a strange place called Fallen Lake, in an even stranger house. He is surrounded by his friends but they all seem to take on different roles than he remembers before his accident. After Andy finally wakes up from this alternate reality, he struggles to decipher what the events at Fallen Lake mean.

While Andy battles to find peace, other characters in the story also grapple with their relationships, including their relationship to God.  Both Chantal and Katherine look for guidance in trying to give their life up to God and surrender to his will. They look for signs from God to guide them in their lives.  Metaphors first mask and then reveal a deeper meaning to many of the characters’ life questions.

The Forces Within is a book unlike any other in the MLH series that is essential and relevant to almost anyone willing to look beneath the surface.  The story is full of examples that show how our relationship with God, or lack thereof, is evident in everyday life. The Forces Within shows how the teens in the story are able to analyze the signs and make adjustments to their life accordingly.  Finally, the book demonstrates how effective spiritual warfare can be in helping to guide friends from darkness to light.

About Joanna Dakoyannis

Joanna Dakoyannis is a rising senior 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.

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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.