The Battle for Innocence

Kyle graduated from Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill in 2019. His favorite subjects include Biology, English, and Entrepreneurship. Some of his hobbies are playing soccer and hockey, volunteering, and being with friends and family. Kyle is now studying Biological Sciences at the University of Miami.

Written by Kyle Banker, University of Miami

The transition from middle school to high school is very important, as it sets up teens for four crucial years of their lives. However, in the modern-day, this change may not be as smooth, as many teens are introduced to parties, drugs, alcohol, and sex. Yet, how exactly do these things affect an individual’s progression and status in the future? In “The Battle for Innocence,” author Stacy Padula showcases the reader a key flashback of the main characters at Montgomery Lake High to compare how certain individuals have fared by being exposed to these potentially harmful things. 

“The Battle for Innocence” (the 4th installment in the Montgomery Lake High book series) focuses mainly on Chantal: a good-girl who stays close to God and has very good and strong morals. In the novel, the reader sees Chantal being introduced to Andy and “the party lifestyle” at Montgomery Lake Middle School. Throughout the story, it is clear that Chantal seems tempted to subside her morals, as Andy and many others convince her to try it out. However, the reader will see how Chantal sticking to her morals will benefit her near the end of the novel. The stories of characters such as Chris, Jason, Cathy, and Lisa are also briefly told, which provides an explanation for how they transformed into the people they are in the present day (and in the Gripped book series).

“The Battle for Innocence” showcases the struggles and bad influences that can cause one with good morals to “crack” or abandon their strong intentions in life. However, Padula shows that if any young adult stays true to their core beliefs, good things will ultimately happen to them sooner or later. I recommend this book to all young adults who have been exposed to substances and bad influences, as the novel could serve as a teaching point about why staying away from dangerous substances in these years is imperative.

Jon Anderson and Chantal Kagelli are trying to live moral lives, but temptations are plaguing them in and out of school. Will they continue to be lights in their best friends’ lives or will they get pulled into the darkness?

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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.