An Interview with Y.A. Reader Isabelle Semas on “The Battle for Innocence”

Isabelle Semas is in her senior year of high school, and has been homeschooled most of her life.  She looks forward to graduating this year and hopes to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education.  In her spare time, she sings in a christian band named NHB with her friends, is very involved in her church’s children’s ministry, and enjoys art.  She hopes to someday publish a book of her own.

Who would you recommend this book to and why?

I would recommend “The Battle for Innocence” to all teens.  For teens in highschool, it will help open their eyes to the fact that younger siblings, cousins, and friends look up to them, and will follow in their footsteps.  For younger teenagers, it presents the dangers of peer pressure and the highschool party scene in a realistic way. 

Why is this book a helpful resource for teens?

Teenagers like myself often feel confused by the mixed messages this world gives on drugs and alcohol.  This book does not hesitate to display the hard and often brutal truth about these subjects.   They don’t satisfy.  “The Battle for Innocence” dares to speak truthfully about these things which should not be ignored, especially among teenagers.

Who is your favorite character in this story and why?

I couldn’t help but identify with Chantal, who is like me in so many ways.  Other than the fact that we are both twins, her strong faith in God is something we share.  To be a Christian as a teen is not easy, and it can often feel like others constantly tear you down.  But she always persists, no matter the circumstances.

What was the most surprising thing about seeing the main characters’ lives in 7th grade?

It was surprising to see how innocent all of the characters were in seventh grade.  Even those who are the rowdiest in high school were just kids at the beginning of this book.  It surprised me how quickly their innocence could be taken.

Why is it important for readers to know the backstory shared in this novel? 

Knowing the history of the MLH kids displays how living in darkness can change a person dramatically.  This novel depicts how characters like Chris and Jason began partying.  This is important to the plot in order to understand how deeply buried in darkness they become in highschool.  Not only that, but “The Battle for Innocence” also displays Cathy and Chantel’s relationship in a way not seen in books 1-3.  The character’s lives are completely turned around in this book by temptation and depravity, but it is important to know that it was not always that way.


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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.