Fordham University Graduate Reviews ‘When Darkness Tries to Hide’ by Stacy Padula

Written by Reilly Fournier, Falmouth, Massachusetts

Stacy Padula’s second installment of the Montgomery Lake High (MLH) series “When Darkness Tries to Hide” brings back the beloved characters from book one, while also introducing new characters and new relationships, which only complicate life for the teens of MLH. This book throws the readers completely into the MLH world on a deeper level than ever before and makes for a quick read as you will not be able to put it down!

Some of the same topics of issue, such as drug addiction and social struggles are still relevant in book 2, but we have new characters and personalities navigating these familiar problems. Through this subtle change, Padula is able to maintain the tone and feel of the first book, while also adding a refreshing twist. For example, main character Chris Dunkin has recently discovered a relationship with God that he had been unknowingly searching for, for so long. From this new relationship with God and his church, Chris has become sober and is now acting as a spiritual guide for his best friend Jason, who is just starting the process of overcoming addiction. 

Another obstacle Montgomery Lake must overcome is the tragic injury of Andy Rossetti which leaves some heartbroken, some riddled with guilt, and others questioning everything. Padula expertly expresses how earth shattering such events can be for anyone, especially young people who already feel helpless to their circumstances. Rather than leaving Andy’s fate up to chance, Padula offers young readers hope and opportunities to take action when her characters join together and plan a prayer service for their classmate. Even those who barely knew Andy, and those who aren’t part of the church, step up to help in any way they can. By demonstrating the actions that can be taken in trying times, no matter how small, Padula offers some agency to any reader feeling lost as a result of being affected by tragedy.

I am so excited to read book number 3 and feel like I’ve truly entered the MLH world by continuing to read this series!


Students at Montgomery Lake High believe the ominous clouds and impending storm will only bring a temporary interruption to their regularly scheduled lives. However, when the tempest grows worse and a classmate’s life hangs in the balance, students must pull together to support each other and seek help for their friend. As the lines between cliques dissolve, dark secrets are revealed and hearts are transformed.

About Reilly Fournier

Reilly is a recent graduate from Fordham University where she received her Bachelors of Arts as a double major in English and Communications with a concentration in Film. During her time in New York she held many positions, but the most formative experience was being a Resident Assistant to freshman students. She has an expansive background working in multiple fields such as marketing, film production, and law. When she’s not reading and working on projects, Reilly loves to play soccer, watch Boston sports, and spend time with family. Though she grew up in Central Massachusetts, she currently lives in Falmouth where she is building a life and planning a wedding with her fiancé.

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.