A Story of Hope & Redemption for Teenagers

Written by Mackenzie Wells, University of Georgia

When Darkness Tries to Hide by Stacy A. Padula tells a story of an entire community coming together in the wake of a tragedy; any divisive lines which were drawn between age groups or cliques are dissolved in the interest of the greater good. Many characters in this book have epiphanies about their lives, or learn about having a relationship with Christ for the first time. There is so much hope and redemption in this story, and the ultimate story it is built around. 

Any teenager or young adult could benefit from reading When Darkness Tries to Hide. Although the book centers on freshmen in high school, the story is bigger than just their drama. I believe that anyone who has faced a tragic experience will relate to this book, and anyone who has not can learn a lot about gratitude. 

Protagonist Jason Davids, like anyone, has made lots of mistakes. In the first Montgomery Lake High book, Jason was truly at a low point in his life. In the second book, we get to see him in the beginning stages of turning his life around and accepting the grace and forgiveness that are freely offered him. I always felt that Jason had a good heart, but now I have gained more respect for him as he begins to make difficult but redemptive decisions. 

In the last chapter, Jason finally takes an honest look at his life, his past, and those around him. After spending the entire day with exactly the people whom he had been making fun of for months, he sees that they have something which makes their lives drastically different than his. With this newfound knowledge, Jason can see that he has been living in a shroud of darkness, while those who actually have developed a relationship with Jesus Christ and a dependence on Him alone, are shining a light which expands beyond their own lives.

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.

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

When Darkness Tries to Hide Synopsis

Jason Davids has not slept in thirty-seven hours. He glances at his clock: 7:20 p.m. 
You can do this, Jason, he says to himself. Just get up and go. Go tell them the truth. Tell everyone at Alyssa’s party that you found Andy’s body. Tell them that he looked dead. Tell them about the horror in Chantal’s eyes when she came rushing up the stairs. Make sure you tell them that it is all your fault.
One day after a tornado strikes Montgomery, Massachusetts, Andy Rosetti is in a coma with life-threatening injuries. Jason Davids and Chris Dunkin devise a plan to help Andy and unite the students at Montgomery Lake High School. However, no one–not even Chris–knows Jason’s secret about the day of the storm.

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.