The Screwtape Letters Meets Nancy Drew in this Spiritual Warfare Must-Read Novel for Young Adults

Written by Mackenzie Wells, University of Georgia

A mixture between “The Screwtape Letters” and a Nancy Drew novel, “The Forces Within” by Stacy A. Padula takes a poignantly authentic look at spiritual warfare – albeit disguised as a metaphor. A group of high school freshmen find themselves taking refuge in an old abandoned mansion deep in the woods. As mysterious occurrences begin to take place, the teenagers realize that the battle is for their lives – and their hearts. A shocking reminder of a too-often overlooked battle, this book is desperately needed to educate today’s generation. Although this book deals with a heavy topic which can take some guidance to understand, it is specifically aimed at young adults and approaches the issue in a way relevant to our lives. 

This book was the fifth in Stacy Padula’s Montgomery Lake High series. The appeal of the series is in the finely developed minutiae of the social web that is Montgomery Lake High. The relationships between the high schoolers in these novels run the gamut from soulmates to enemies. There are uplifting friendships in these novels, as well as self-destructive relationships, backstabbing, and sabotage. The drama which ensues will keep readers turning pages until the very end.

About Mackenzie Wells

Mackenzie is a senior at the University of Georgia majoring in English and public relations. She is a leader at the Wesley Foundation at UGA, the community outreach coordinator for UGA’s Undergraduate English Association, and a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Mackenzie has always had a passionate love for books and their ability to open doors to new worlds. She is excited to assist Stacy Padula O’Halloran in making a change in the young adult community.

Other Articles by Mackenzie:

Fiction Novel Addresses the Struggle for Acceptance Teens Commonly Face in High School

Teen Novel “The Right Person” Prepares Kids for the Social Pressures of High School

The Forces Within Synopsis

After being trapped inside his own body, unable to communicate with anyone but his own thoughts, Andy Rosetti finally wakes up from the coma that controlled his life for one month. But upon awakening, Andy finds himself and his friends in an unfamiliar setting: a mansion riddled with secret passages and supernatural forces. As his friends fall prey to the entities surrounding them, Andy must figure out if the darkness lies within the mansion’s walls or within the people surrounding him.