Teen Novel Demonstrates the Power of God and Salvation

Written by Mackenzie Wells, University of Georgia

The Aftermath by Stacy A. Padula is all about transformation. Reading this book could be the inciting incident that launches change in the lives of readers. Sometimes, seeing transformation in others is enough to create a discontent for the status quo in our own lives. Everyone has aspects of their life they know they need to change, and reading this book could help them find the gumption to go after change. 

The book’s most important and most clear message is about salvation and the way God moves in our lives. There are also secondary messages about popularity, drugs, and reputation. The Aftermath is a reminder that every person has their vices, and no one is perfect. Setting people on a pedestal will only result in our disappointment and their pride going before the fall. 

I enjoyed watching protagonist Jason Davids’ simultaneous discovery of weakness and strength. Jason learns that in his own power, he does not have the strength to resist temptation. However, he learns that he has the strength to do all things through the power of the Holy Spirit who strengthens him when he invites Jesus Christ into his life. There is a beautiful tenderness in the humility Jason learns and the dependence he gains for Christ alone. 

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

The Aftermath Synopsis

At age fifteen, Jason appears to have it all: high grades, popular friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and 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: a rather quiet girl, who is the daughter of a local pastor. Jason cannot understand his sudden interest in her. How is it possible that she stands for everything his lifestyle opposes yet possesses the one thing he has been searching for all along?

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.