5-Star Reviews

Reviews from Amazon.com
1.
A look into the past March 17, 2019
There is a first time for everything. In the book “The Battle for Innocence,” we are shown the first expressions of teenage rebellion amongst the kids of Montgomery Lake. Taking us all the way back to the eighth grade, this book gives the reader the chance to see where exactly the Montgomery Lake High kids began their journey to high school popularity. It is extremely interesting to see who changed due to the temptation of bad influence, and who remained true to their morals.Show Less
2.
great read! March 17, 2019
The Forces Within by Stacy Padula tells the story of an adventure gone wrong. This book is about a group of teens, just looking to explore their friends summer house and unfortunately getting caught in something much more. The reader learns so much more about characters they thought they knew, and gets a very deep insight into their childhoods. My favorite part of this book was the obviously powerful story coming through in a very entertaining way. I just couldn’t put it down!Show Less
3.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
A Great, Honest Book For Teens March 13, 2019
The novel Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told, by Stacy Padula is book that I could not be put down due to its unique character web and thorough storyline. It addresses the problem of addiction within teenagers from a variety of situations, such as affecting a potential professional football player named Taylor Dunkin. Taylor is helped by other characters such as his brother Marc to move past his troubles with drug abuse after being prescribed painkillers after surgery. Along with this, multiple relationships are created that are also affected in some way by drugs, specifically targeting the partnership of Chantal and Jon. As a result, two outliers, Cathy and Jason, bond together to avoid being impacted by the same problems while also maintaining a healthy relationship. Through this, they both continually help their friends and family to return Montgomery to the socially-active and safe place that it used to be.

This book is a quick read that is perfect for Middle School and High School students, while also being very applicable to adults wanting to know more about teenage drug abuse. This book introduces the consequences that come with taking drugs, and this could hopefully reduce the likelihood of students utilizing drugs throughout their education; this is very important considering the steep increase of drug usage in the United States. In all, I rate this book a 5/5 and would recommend reading it. I loved this book both because it was powerful and thorough, yet easy to follow.
– Review by Kyle Banker, Beaver Country Day School, Class of 2019Show Less

4.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Amazing book! January 8, 2019
The book The Right Person by Stacy Padula is one that reflects the hardships and choices throughout high school. The desire to fit in and be popular leads to many poor choices within the book. Obstacles such as partying, drugs, and alcohol use characterize the novel. The characters are faced with choosing whether to party to fit in or follow their hearts and do what they know is right. Throughout the book you meet many characters who are changed and define themselves by the decisions they have chosen to make.
The two main characters in the story are Courtney Angeletti and Chris Dunkin. Courtney is first known as being the perfect mayor’s daughter, while Chris is remembered for his crazy parties. When these two become a couple their influences on each other cause them to switch roles. Chris realizes he is letting his life go to waste and stops wanting to attend parties, drinking, and doing drugs. On the other hand, Courtney has become completely wrapped up in her newfound popularity and will do anything it takes to fit in. With the help of God these characters struggle to get their lives on track.
This book informs you of the difficulties faced throughout high school and provides many life lessons. This story is relatable to any high school and something many students can connect with. It is a quick and easy read that will have you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this to any high school students or soon to be high school students. There are many things you can take away from this book that could even help guide you in your own life.Show Less
5.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Excellent book for all teenagers! December 8, 2018
The Forces Within is a story that explores the power of spirituality and the battle that many teenagers go through when faced with tough decisions. The story focuses on life after Andy Rossetti wakes up from his coma and what his recovery process looks like, including the recovery that those closest must go through as well.

The Forces Within begins in Fallen Lake, a small New England town, where Leslie’s family owns a Mansion. A group of friends decides to go there for a weekend, but as soon as their trip begins, it is apparent that supernatural forces are at work. The story allows the reader to better understand the characters that they met in the previous MLH books and reveals the truth in who each person really is.

I recommend The Forces Within to all teenagers, especially those who are currently struggling with identity and social pressures. It would be useful to read the other books in the MLH series before reading The Forces Within to fully understand the characters and their relationships to one another. The story is filled with suspense and drama, something that kept me glued to each page. High school is a time for teenagers to discover themselves and this story does a great job of describing some difficulties that are very relatable, and how to get through those daunting situations.Show Less

6.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
This novel is a fantastic read for teens who are experiencing the ups and downs of growing up November 24, 2018
This novel is a fantastic read for teens who are experiencing any type of obstacle. Specifically, those who are struggling with a tragedy, and are resorting to drugs or other violent tendencies. Many children struggle with challenges such as sick family or friends, death, or divorce. This novel describes how it is possible to see the light in even the most dreadful of situations and turn them into a positive experience. It also emphasizes the importance of not getting caught up in the negatives of something, and focusing on the positives.
It is also a great influence for teens who are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. It emphasizes the negative effects and challenges of drug abuse and how it can cause something so destructive as fatal injury to you or someone else. The book also describes the possibility of overcoming drug addiction, and how even people who seem so perfect, such as pastors, can struggle with drug abuse. The book emphasizes the message of positivity and seeing the light in a dark situation. It also emphasizes the importance of being proactive and helping others, as well as being a contributive member to your community. Overall, I highly recommend this book for all teens. It provides great insight on appropriate ways to handle difficult times, and the importance of working together through tough situations.Show Less
7.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Great book ! October 21, 2018
Highschool is supposed to be an open space of learning and change, where you are meant to respect and support your peers, no matter what they may be going through. Unfortunately, it is not always like this. People tend to judge others based on prior reputations, social status, looks, pretty much everything you could think of to separate one crowd, one person from another. “The Aftermath” by Stacy Padula represents party animal Jason David’s’ experience with trying to change for the better in the extremely restricting environment of Montgomery Lake High.
In “The Aftermath,” Jason takes a step back to look at his life and analyze what he does on a daily basis. At 15 years old, Jason is a popular jock, who gets good grades, but most importantly, loves partying. He recognizes that this constant party lifestyle is dangerous at such a young age, and decides to make a switch in his mindset. He soon realizes that because of his reputation, some might be skeptical of the possibility of his transformation. Throughout the book, Jason is tested with rumors and temptation, but he comes out victorious and serves as a good example to not only his friends, but to those who didn’t believe he could do it.Show Less
8.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Really good book for highschoolers September 29, 2018
In the wake of a disaster, it is only natural for communities to come together in an effort to rebuild what was brought down. The residents of Montgomery Lake seemed to take this sentiment to heart in Stacy Padula’s second book, “When Darkness Tries to Hide.” After a devastating tornado hits, one of the students at montgomery lake high is put in a coma, and an unlikely group of his classmates set up something for the community in his honor.
This book focuses on Jason, a popular jock and avid party-goer, as he begins to come to a realization that his reputation as the “life of the party” will only give him so much joy. This book acts as a good reminder that people change, and that even just coming to the conclusion that you are not content with the way you treat yourself or others is an imperative step in making a much bigger change in your overall lifestyle.Show Less
9.
3 of 3 people found the following helpful
Great read! September 29, 2018
Going into your first year of high school is a historically stressful, confusing, scary experience. Surrounded by new faces, new perspectives, and new ideas, it is easy for a young impressionable teenager to be tempted to go against their morals and change themselves in an effort to fit in and make a good impression on their classmates, even if they know it’s not the right thing to do. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, perfectly represents this internal conflict by entering the minds of a group of incoming freshman at Montgomery Lake High as they come across new obstacles in their social lives, much unlike what they experienced in middle school.
The Right Person is centered around a group of friends, all connected by one thing – a shared love of partying. The story focuses primarily on Chris, an athlete who is known for being the “life of the party,” and his new girlfriend Courtney, a girl with a strong moral compass and strong religious beliefs. Each go through almost opposite changes in an effort to please the other, as Courtney begins to attend more and more parties and become closer with Chris’ friend group, while Chris decides to stop partying, getting him in trouble with his “best friends.”
This book is a good portrayal of something that most high schoolers experience at one point or another, and it would definitely be helpful for middle schoolers who are currently preparing for their high school experience. The Right Person serves as a reminder that you can break off from the crowd, and if your friends make you do something that you don’t necessarily feel comfortable with, you shouldn’t feel pressured to because these people obviously don’t have your best interest in mind. Just keep being yourself and following your own path, and you will find the right person.Show Less
10.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Fantastic Novel for Adolensents September 26, 2018
The book “The Right Person”, by Stacy Padula, is an excellent novel for adolescents going through the stress and pressure of growing up. The book describes the story of a group of teenagers who undergo the numerous changes of a growing teenager. The story focuses mainly on Chris: an athletic, partier who has spent the past two years reliant on alcohol and drugs. He is influenced by his new girlfriend Courtney; a girl who is firm on her morals and opposition to drugs and alcohol. Courtney, however, intrigued by this new surrounding becomes absorbed into the party scene of Chris’ friends and sacrifices her values to fit in. Along with the two main characters, each character experiences a different aspect of growing up whether it is learning how to overcome peer pressure when faced with temptation, choosing between maintaining moral values and being popular, and managing making and losing friends. The book provides an accurate description of how difficult life can be during middle and high school and emphasizes the importance of sticking true to yourself and maintaining the same moral values. This story is a great read for adolescents as it is extremely relatable as they may be going through the same struggles as the characters in the novel.
As a teenager, I can personally relate to this story as it emphasizes the struggle of being a teenager with trying to fit in, reject peer pressure, and retain the same moral values. During middle and high school, it is extremely difficult to find friends who will want to be with you if they do not share the same moral standards with you. Additionally, kids in middle and high school can be extremely pressuring when it comes to drinking/ doing drugs, and may only want to be with people who endure in that kind of behavior. As a teenager, part of growing up is learning how to make friends who will accept and you and respect your moral values and it is important not to get too caught up in pressure and stress from social hierarchy.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to any teenagers who may be experiencing these same challenges as they undergo the changes of becoming an adult. Additionally, I feel it would be very beneficial for parents of adolescents to read as well in order to get a sense of the perspective of a child this age, and know how easy it is to slip into the wrong habits. I feel it is extremely relatable and provides a great insight into what life is like during high school, and can provide advice about how to handle specific situations.Show Less
11.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Great Read August 31, 2018
Starting high school and becoming a young adult can present many challenges and difficult choices. At this time, you are trying to find yourself and choose what kind of person you want to be. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, tells the story about a group of incoming high school freshman at Montgomery Lake High School. Alcohol, peer pressure, and partying causes lots of drama and decisions throughout the book, which relates to many high schoolers today.
The story focuses on Courtney, a religious, good girl who begins to break her morals when she starts dating party-crazy Chris. Although, Courtney’s religious values start rubbing off on Chris, and he begins to want something more than just drinking and partying in his life. The opposite begins the happen to Courtney, as she begins to wonder about the partying lifestyle, and starts to lean farther away from her stern morals.
I recommend this book too pre-teens and teenagers who will begin to go through these troubling years soon. Seeing Courtney and Chris’ point of view on entering high school is a good way to prepare yourself. Sticking to your morals is a huge lesson throughout the novel, as well as trying to change your bad habits when entering a new environment.Show Less
12.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Much like Andy’s life in Montgomery Lake April 24, 2018
In “The Forces Within” by Stacy Padula, events in Montgomery Lake take a long-awaited turn: Andy Rosetti wakes up from his coma. After spending a month trapped within his own body, Andy is faced with a unique set of challenges in another unfamiliar setting – Fallen Lake. As soon as the group enters the mansion, it is evident that there are larger forces at work.
Much like Andy’s life in Montgomery Lake, he is forced to make difficult choices and truly think about the people in his life during his time at Fallen Lake. Andy must rely on his own instincts and be able to trust himself, bringing up a message that Padula has woven throughout “The Forces Within”: identity. Unable to trust those around him, Andy must come to terms with and understand himself in order to navigate Fallen Lake. In this book, the students of Montgomery Lake High come to learn much about both themselves and each other.
An engaging page-turner, the latest book in the Montgomery Lake High series does not disappoint. Even as the story unfolds in a mansion consumed by supernatural forces, this book presents very relatable and real issues in an approachable way. Much like the teens in Montgomery Lake, teenagers today are often plagued by social pressures and struggle to discover who they really are.Show Less
13.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
I would recommend this book to all high schoolers April 5, 2018
A trip to Fallen Lake takes an unusual twist when Andy Rosetti and his closest friends end up in an old spooky mansion. The students quickly discover that dark forces are present throughout the house, and discerning illusion from reality becomes increasingly hard to do.

Suspenseful and filled with unexpected turns, The Forces Within will keep readers guessing until the very end. This book not only gives insight into the true identity of some of the Montgomery characters, but causes readers to question what is true in their own lives.

I would recommend this book to all high schoolers. Not only is it a page turner but it forces the audience to really think. Topics such as social status, temptation, and identity are all prevalent in this book and are important for high schoolers to think about. This book also offers the message that prayer and devotion to God are the most comforting defenses a person can have as they go through various battles in life–a lesson that will serve students both in school and during the rest of their lives.Show Less

14.
Chantal finds herself recalling the events of 7th grade when she first entered the complicated love triangle with Jon and Andy and when the Montgomery … March 17, 2018
Standing over Andy in his hospital bed, Chantal finds herself recalling the events of 7th grade when she first entered the complicated love triangle with Jon and Andy and when the Montgomery kids first became involved with partying. Facing new temptations, the students from Montgomery will have to decide whether to keep God at their lives’ center or allow themselves to be brought into darkness. The Battle for Innocence allows the reader to learn about the different influences and decisions which have shaped the characters of Montgomery into who they are in high school.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is faced with temptation in their lives, especially students in middle school or high school. It shows how much of a negative effect bad influences can have on people and how rapidly poor decisions can escalate once one starts to give into temptation. The Battle for Innocence shows that the best way to fight against the pressures of darkness is through prayer and an active relationship with God.Show Less

15.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Like many teens March 6, 2018
In “The Aftermath” by Stacy Padula, the reader is taken back to Montgomery Lake in the wake of the tragic storm that shook the close-knit town and left Andy Rosetti in a coma, fighting for his life. The focus is brought to popular high school freshman Jason Davids as he struggles to process what has happened.
Seeing the world from Jason’s perspective, the reader gains valuable insights into his struggles, now amplified by the guilt and confusion he feels following Andy’s accident. Jason makes the difficult decision to change his partying ways, but soon realizes that it will be a long and challenging road. Like many teens, Jason is faced with many temptations along the way and must find the strength to continue on his new path.
While this book is universal in its themes, I would recommend it to high schoolers in particular. Like Jason, teens everyday are faced with difficult choices and with the reality that the right decision may not always be the easiest. The topics of popularity and faith are all things that are very present in the lives of high schoolers, and teens can learn a lot from seeing how Jason navigates those same issues.Show Less
16.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
like Chantal and Jon’s friendship February 12, 2018
In “The Battle for Innocence,” the reader gains valuable insight into the background of the Montgomery Lake High characters. This book is important for the audience to understand how many of the relationships in the present day came to be, like Chantal and Jon’s friendship. It is surprising to see how much their relationship has been through from the time that they initially met each other, but it this provides helpful context for the state of their current relationship.
My favorite character in “The Battle for Innocence” is Jon. I was impressed that even as a young seventh grader, he was able to stand by what he believed in. He had the courage to defend his beliefs to his friends when almost all of them didn’t understand or respect his decision. While his faith may have wavered later on, Jon also had the strength to find his way back to his faith. These are a testament to his character.Show Less
17.
the reader gains insight into Jason’s true personality and the potential he has to be not only a good person, but also a faithful one February 12, 2018
The second book in the Montgomery Lake High Series, When Darkness Tries to Hide, continues the journey of the students at MLH as they venture further into the depths of high school. After following the stories of Chris and Courtney in The Right Person, the focus shifts to Chris’s wayward, childhood best-friend of almost a decade: Jason Davids.

When Jason is first introduced, he is dealing with many of the same challenges that Chris once faced. Already addicted to multiple prescription drugs, Jason has fallen in with a dangerous and unsupportive crowd. A tragic accident points Jason onto a new path, and he begins to realize how manipulative and unkind his companions are. All the while, Jason struggles to reconcile his dark past with his desire for a meaningful life. Throughout the novel, the reader gains insight into Jason’s true personality and the potential he has to be not only a good person, but also a faithful one. However, because of the darkness surrounding him, he struggles to see the benefit of leading any other lifestyle than his current, party-filled one.

Jason’s struggles are relatable to any teen or adult who has deviated from their beliefs or has struggled to make the right choices.Show Less

18.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
It has been three weeks since a terrible storm left Andy in a coma February 7, 2018
It has been three weeks since a terrible storm left Andy in a coma, and for Jason Davids, nothing has been the same. Jason, the most popular freshman boy at Montgomery Lake High School, recognizes that he needs to make a change in life and give up the partying lifestyle he has been a part of for the past two years. Jason discovers this task is not going to be easy and struggles to turn away from darkness, as he is constantly presented with new temptations. Jason must decide whether to go back into the daze he has been living in or look for a new source of strength to help him win his battle over his addictions.

I would recommend this book to anyone in middle school or high school, as it touches on topics very prevalent to this age group: temptation, gossip, popularity, and prayer. It reminds readers that one’s reputation in high school will be insignificant to the rest of our lives, and that, therefore, people should focus on more important matters such as their relationship with God.Show Less

19.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
a terrible storm has hit Montgomery Lake and left Andy Rosetti … December 6, 2017
When tragedy hits a community, people are often left with a choice: they can either allow themselves to sink further into the darkness or find hope and choose light.
In “When Darkness Tries to Hide”,a terrible storm has hit Montgomery Lake and left Andy Rosetti in a coma. Jason Davids is greatly upset by the accident and feels responsible for what has happened. He is presented with a choice to either continue into the the darkness of drugs and alcohol he has surrounded himself with for the past two years, or he can join some old friends and try and bring light into this situation.

I recommend this for people of all ages, especially those who have recently dealt with a traumatic event or have been struggling or know someone struggling to follow a moral path. It reminds us of the gift of God’s forgiveness and how he can bring hope and comfort into the most troubling of times. It also teaches us the importance of surrounding ourselves with people who will be a positive influence on us. Kind words and support from a friend can go a long way as shown through how impacted Jason is by his experience.Show Less

20.
3 of 3 people found the following helpful
Chris finds himself becoming tiresome of his partying ways and looking for something more November 12, 2017
High School can be a difficult time in one’s life and presents unfamiliar situations and temptations that challenge one’s morals. Parties, peer pressure, and popularity can become an attraction and lead students away from God. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, tells the story of a group of freshmen at Montgomery Lake High as they confront these same obstacles faced as many other high school students around the world.

The story focuses mainly on Chris: an athletic, partier who has spent the past two years reliant on alcohol and drugs. As freshman year begins, Chris finds himself becoming tiresome of his partying ways and looking for something more. He is influenced by his new girlfriend Courtney; a girl who is firm on her morals and opposition to drugs and alcohol. Courtney, however, intrigued by this new surrounding becomes absorbed into the party scene of Chris’ friends and sacrifices her values to fit in.

This book depicts the struggles many kids encounter during their high school years through the eyes of compelling characters. I recommend this book to both students currently in high school and middle schoolers preparing for these tricky years. It is a reminded of God’s presence in our lives and the importance of seeking strength through him in times of uncertainty.Show Less

21.
3 of 3 people found the following helpful
Engaging and well-written October 9, 2017
The Right Person, the first book in the Montgomery Lake High book series by Stacy Padula, chronicles the difficulties faced all too commonly by high school students. As the story follows a group of friends – some new, some old – as they navigate the beginnings of freshman year, the reader is quickly drawn to two of the main characters, Courtney and Chris.

All throughout middle school and even the summer leading up to ninth grade, Courtney is a person of integrity and great faith. She has no issue standing up for her religious beliefs and saying no to the peer pressure to indulge in drugs and alcohol. However, like many new high schoolers, Courtney is drawn away from her convictions and swept into the world of popularity and the pressures of fitting in. Consumed with the desire to be liked by her new boyfriend Chris and his party going friends, Courtney abandons everything that she once stood for. Chris, on the other hand, begins the story as a diehard party goer and is rarely sober. However, upon reflection on his own life Chris begins to see God in his life again – not through his own actions, but the influence another person has on his life.

This story very accurately details the pressures teenagers face and the feeling that fitting in and loving God may not seem to go together. I think many high schoolers, especially those feeling consumed by the constant social pressure, will be able to relate to the ups and downs the characters in The Right Person face. Their struggles with the sudden prevalence of drugs and alcohol in Montgomery Lake is very real to new high schoolers suddenly faced with these difficult choices. I would recommend this book to all teenagers, but especially those struggling with drug or alcohol abuse or those who feel they might be at risk of future abuse.Show Less

22.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
A must read! March 5, 2017
Well written with well developed characters – this book is just as good as the first in the series. The suspenseful plot keeps you wanting to turn the page. Very realistic and relatable.
23.
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Suspenseful December 22, 2016
Very enjoyable read. The characters are easy to relate to ane well developed. The way the author writes makes you feel like you are there in the suspense with Jason and his friends. It keeps you wanting to read more.
24.
1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Must in homes June 16, 2015
Amazing read for any one but every high schooler could use it
25.
2 of 3 people found the following helpful
Realistic book that any young person can relate to and learn from August 30, 2011
A great read for anyone going into middle school, high school, or even college. This book describes a lot of situations that young adults in our society are faced with on a daily basis and brings to life all of the consequences associated with drug use and addictive behavior. It is entertaining to read and each character is very realistic. Every teenager should get their hands on this book and take the time to read it and also maybe learn a few lessons from it as well. Overall great book!Show Less
26.
3 of 5 people found the following helpful
Believable Characters August 6, 2011
I can’t believe I had this book sitting on my shelf unread for so long! Fast paced, edgy, a page-turner! Now that I’ve read the first book of the series, I am looking forward to reading the second book. Stacy has captured the teenaged angst well in her books. Her characters are believable and I found myself drawn into the story.
Well done!
27.
5 of 6 people found the following helpful
beautifully written August 2, 2011
Well this is a book that I received for review a few months back, it has set in my TBR pile now for awhile as I never found time to get to it. But now that I have read it I can only say that I wish I had gotten to it a lot sooner. I found myself completely attached to this book, I was literally not able to put it down. I would stay up to all hours of the night trying to finish it so that I could find out what was going to happen next.

The characters are well developed, and completely believable. I was transformed back to my high school days, I felt a real connection with Brain as I found myself to be more like him. I was able to relate to all of the characters as I found myself and my group of friends in each of the characters. I found myself wanting to cry as I read some of the obstacles that these teens have to go through, to learn the difference between right and wrong.

The plot is well well spaced and not quickly written as I find in some books that I have read. I never found myself stuck thinking why am I reading this, it was smooth sailing from the beginning to the end. I can not wait to see what happens to the characters in the sequel as I have found myself completely attached. Great debut novel by a great author.Show Less

28.
5 of 6 people found the following helpful
Confronts issues in an honest and real way… February 17, 2011
This book does an amazing job capturing the “realness” that is the adolescent experience. It lays the foundation for parents to start talking with their children about the issues they will inevitably confront in their futures. It is enjoyable, engaging and written in a way that seems pure and honest. The religious overtones are faith-based versus advocating for a specific denomination which makes this book accessible to all. As a practitioner, I am exploring using this book to help guide my clients and their families make sense of what goes on around them. I am eager to read the other novels in the series.Show Less
29.
4 of 5 people found the following helpful
Really brings you back! February 16, 2011
This is a great book! It’s perfect for teenagers because it helps prepare them for all of the experiences that high school brings. The book talks about difficult subjects for teens and shows them how to overcome the obstacles. It’s also great for adults, because it really brings back memories of your high school days! You learn so much about the characters, you feel like you know them and can relate it back to your own life. This is an excellent read! It’s hard to put the book down!Show Less
30.
4 of 5 people found the following helpful
Montgomery lake February 15, 2011
While reading this Book I was taken back to my senior year in high school, remembering all the mistakes and the good choices I’ve made that year. Montgomery Lake will make you remember your high school days and how it was those days that made and mold you into the person you are now. Ever chapter brings in new challenges and new frustrations as you which you can actually go in to the book and say “what are you doing?!!!”. I couldn’t put the book down and every time I finally did I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. You always want to know what happens next!
The characters are easy to relate, you find yourself liking some and hating some,then there is one that reminds you of yourself. For me it was Julianna. Everything she went through brought back so much memories of my life. I know that if you read this book it will remind you of the lessons you’ve learned and it will make you learn most of them all over again.
I recommend this book to anyone, who wants to learn and grow, even though it is High School and the story is more for High School kids, there is still something that you can take, no matter how old.
Most importantly I know that this book and the series will help young teenagers to be conscious of their choices and who they spend their time with. I know that this book will help so many to be able to face High School and also life with wisdom.
Stacy’s story will stay with you for a while after you read it, the lessons and the experiences you will get from the book will stick with you.Show Less
E. Harvey | March 26, 2019

Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy A. Padula is an essential book for both parents and teens alike to read. The book follows multiple characters through a fast-paced and impossible to put down storyline that dives into the subject matter of addiction, specifically teenage drug abuse. The story begins with Taylor Dunkin, a college-aged football player, who has excellent NFL potential. Taylor has fallen victim to a sports-related injury and subsequent surgery and is prescribed painkillers, a medicine which ultimately causes more harm than good for Taylor, his family, and friends; an unfortunate, but an all too common occurrence that has ramifications that begin to impact the greater community of Montgomery. Taylor’s story intersects with other characters throughout the book, such as his younger brother Marc and their immediate family and takes us back in time in order to better understand Jon and Chantal’s relationship and Cathy and Jason’s relationship respectively. The characters have varied experiences with drug and alcohol use at a young age, but these substances still have a severe impact on the future of all characters. This story is perfect for Middle School and High School students, as well as their parents. It is an educational, yet entertaining narrative that highlights the growing problem of addiction in the U.S and just how easy it is for harmless fun to take a dark turn, regardless of who you are or where you come from.

Sydney banker | March 13, 2019
The novel Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told, by Stacy Padula is book that I could not be put down due to its unique character web and thorough storyline. It addresses the problem of addiction within teenagers from a variety of situations, such as affecting a potential professional football player named Taylor Dunkin. Taylor is helped by other characters such as his brother Marc to move past his troubles with drug abuse after being prescribed painkillers after surgery. Along with this, multiple relationships are created that are also affected in some way by drugs, specifically targeting the partnership of Chantal and Jon. As a result, two outliers, Cathy and Jason, bond together to avoid being impacted by the same problems while also maintaining a healthy relationship. Through this, they both continually help their friends and family to return Montgomery to the socially-active and safe place that it used to be. This book is a quick read that is perfect for Middle School and High School students, while also being very applicable to adults wanting to know more about teenage drug abuse. This book introduces the consequences that come with taking drugs, and this could hopefully reduce the likelihood of students utilizing drugs throughout their education; this is very important considering the steep increase of drug usage in the United States. In all, I rate this book a 5/5 and would recommend reading it. I loved this book both because it was powerful and thorough, yet easy to follow.

Cathy Farinacci | April 2, 2019
The book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told investigates the complicated social lives of young adults ranging from middle-school to college. The story follows numerous people throughout their lives outside of school and demonstrates how difficult decision can be for young adults, and the consequences that these decisions have. The book deals with drug abuse, relationships, and the effects of miscommunication as it follows the lives of the children from Montgomery lake, while brilliantly setting up the rest of the series. This story is perfect for Middle School and High School students, as it is a quick read, and deals with many of the issues that they may face. The book offers not only a warning against drug abuse, but also has the ability to teach many life lessons and guide a young adult through the tumultuous times that are Middle School and High School. This book is a must read for all Young Adults, and I would easily rate it a 5/5.
Electronically Submitted Reviews

Title: The Right Person

High School can be a difficult time in one’s life and presents unfamiliar situations and temptations that challenge one’s morals. Parties, peer pressure, and popularity can become an attraction and lead students away from God. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, tells the story of a group of freshmen at Montgomery Lake High as they confront these same obstacles faced as many other high school students around the world.

The story focuses mainly on Chris: an athletic, partier who has spent the past two years reliant on alcohol and drugs. As freshman year begins, Chris finds himself becoming tiresome of his partying ways and looking for something more. He is influenced by his new girlfriend Courtney; a girl who is firm on her morals and opposition to drugs and alcohol. Courtney, however, intrigued by this new surrounding becomes absorbed into the party scene of Chris’ friends and sacrifices her values to fit in.

This book depicts the struggles many kids encounter during their high school years through the eyes of compelling characters. I recommend this book to both students currently in high school and middle schoolers preparing for these tricky years. It is a reminded of God’s presence in our lives and the importance of seeking strength through him in times of uncertainty.

-Kelly Mitchell, Newton Country Day School Class of 2018


Title: The Right Person

Starting high school and becoming a young adult can present many challenges and difficult choices. At this time, you are trying to find yourself and choose what kind of person you want to be. The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, tells the story about a group of incoming high school freshman at Montgomery Lake High School. Alcohol, peer pressure, and partying causes lots of drama and decisions throughout the book, which relates to many high schoolers today.

The story focuses on Courtney, a religious, good girl who begins to break her morals when she starts dating party-crazy Chris. Although, Courtney’s religious values start rubbing off on Chris, and he begins to want something more than just drinking and partying in his life. The opposite begins the happen to Courtney, as she begins to wonder about the partying lifestyle, and starts to lean farther away from her stern morals.

I recommend this book too pre-teens and teenagers who will begin to go through these troubling years soon. Seeing Courtney and Chris’ point of view on entering high school is a good way to prepare yourself. Sticking to your morals is a huge lesson throughout the novel, as well as trying to change your bad habits when entering a new environment.

– Caroline Forbes, Needham High School Class of 2019


Title: The Right Person

The Right Person by Stacy Padula focuses on the ins and outs of high school drama. Giving you a look into the world of teenagers. The parties, the relationships, the drinking. In the book, a group of high school freshman struggle to find themselves and use outlets they never would imagine.

The characters are so true to life. Coming from someone who is currently in high school, it could not get more real. Chris, the main character is known as the life of the party. True to any high school, they all have one. He struggles to stray away from this lifestyle and tries to become more family and school oriented. In end, it finally happens for him. Courtney, his new girlfriend, is not used to the party lifestyle at all. She is a newbie and leaves her past behind to see if this life is for her. She quickly realizes this is not what she planned for and tries to go back to the way things used to be.

Overall, this book is a great read. It has many life lessons that anyone could learn from. Being there for others, seeking and staying with real friends, as well as being true to yourself. I would recommend it to anyone starting high school or even finishing high school to bring back the memories of the short four years. – Written by Samantha Waxman of Oliver Ames High School.


Title: The Right Person

As a high school student myself I have a personal connection to this book. The way that the use of drugs and alcohol are presented in this book are unfortunately truthful. As you read further and further into the book you see the main characters become more and more distant to their religion and families and instead choose to make poor decisions to further their social status.

Chris is a great athlete which was proven in his possible spot on the JV Football team as a freshman. The only thing that is holding him back is his dependence on drugs and alcohol. As the story continues you see him start to reject his old ways and focus on his future as a football star.

This story shows real life challenges that real people are faced with as students in high school. The characters in the book are faced with many different choices that influence their social status and their friendships. I do believe that people that are headed into highschool should read this book so they know how to  handle certain crises that will inevitably influence them during their journey through high school.

– Jack Gallagher, Norwell High School Class of 2020


Title: Books #1-5 (Series Review)

Padula’s Montgomery Lake High series is a hard-hitting look at today’s teen culture. Fictional, yes, but as Padula notes in her biography, based on current events. The books all feature a large cast of students who assemble and reassemble in couplehood. They are from the typically popular crowd, the faith crowd, and the straight-and-narrow group. Although it might be best to start from the beginning, the winding story line throughout the five books currently available are written so a reader can step into any of them. It will take time to get to know the different cliques, but they are fleshed and real, facing angst, fear, and joy. I did not read them in order, and wasn’t bothered.

Each story is told in multiple viewpoints and are mostly daily activities, behind-the-scenes events at school, home, church, sporting events, or activities. One of the stories, The Forces Within, is one of the character’s first-person accounts of a strange dream-like adventure with the friends lost in an evil-laced mansion. Lies, experimentation, angst, and self-discovery are explored.

-Lisa Lickel, Author


Title: The Right Person

The Right Person, the first book in the Montgomery Lake High book series by Stacy Padula, chronicles the difficulties faced all too commonly by high school students. As the story follows a group of friends – some new, some old – as they navigate the beginnings of freshman year, the reader is quickly drawn to two of the main characters, Courtney and Chris.

All throughout middle school and even the summer leading up to ninth grade, Courtney is a person of integrity and great faith. She has no issue standing up for her religious beliefs and saying no to the peer pressure to indulge in drugs and alcohol. However, like many new high schoolers, Courtney is drawn away from her convictions and swept into the world of popularity and the pressures of fitting in. Consumed with the desire to be liked by her new boyfriend Chris and his party going friends, Courtney abandons everything that she once stood for. Chris, on the other hand, begins the story as a diehard party goer and is rarely sober. However, upon reflection on his own life Chris begins to see God in his life again – not through his own actions, but the influence another person has on his life.

This story very accurately details the pressures teenagers face and the feeling that fitting in and loving God may not seem to go together. I think many high schoolers, especially those feeling consumed by the constant social pressure, will be able to relate to the ups and downs the characters in The Right Person face. Their struggles with the sudden prevalence of drugs and alcohol in Montgomery Lake is very real to new high schoolers suddenly faced with these difficult choices. I would recommend this book to all teenagers, but especially those struggling with drug or alcohol abuse or those who feel they might be at risk of future abuse.

-Charlotte Moynihan, Newton Country Day School Class of 2018


Title: The Aftermath

Everyday teenagers are faced with difficult situations that constantly question their faith and moral compass. The Aftermath by Stacy Padula follows a group of students from Montgomery Lake High School, specifically Jason Davids who has a plethora of misconceptions about God and struggles to discover who he is in a world that has already answered that question for him.

The Aftermath is written from the perspective of Jason, allowing the reader to explore his thoughts and feelings in a very detailed manner. The story begins where the last book ended and deals with the events that follow the destructive tornado that touched down in Montgomery leaving one of Jason’s classmates, Andy, in a coma. Jason’s life is forever changed by this accident and the story follows his journey of redemption to deal with the guilt that he feels for leaving Andy helpless in a hospital room.

I recommend The Aftermath to all teenagers, especially those who are currently or have in the past dealt with difficult times or struggled with drugs or alcohol. It is not necessary to read the other books in the MLH series to understand the story. It is very inspiring to read about a teenager that everyone can relate to who deals with societal and personal issues on their path to find God.

-Elizabeth Harvey, Dana Hall School Class of 2017


Title: The Battle for Innocence

“Jon Anderson’s heart pounded heavily against his chest as he opened Chris Dunkin’s front door. He had walked through that door thousands of times before, but never during one of Taylor Dunkin’s ‘ragers.’ As Jon stepped into Chris’s living room, the odor of beer besieged his nostrils. Chris’s home—the normally calm spot, perfect for watching Patriot’s games—resembled a whirlwind.” (page 4) In The Battle for Innocence by Stacy A. Padula, a Young Adult/Realistic Fiction novel, the main character, Jon Anderson, is thrown into just what the quote above says: a whirlwind. The story is set in western Massachusetts, and is a back-story to the Montgomery Lake High book series.

Jon, a seventh grader at Montgomery Lake Middle School, is the only Christian in his group of friends. As a result of the wild parties thrown by his best friend’s older cousin, Jon fears his closest friends are getting pulled into a world of temptation. He is stuck in an emotional battle, torn between pulling away from them and staying as a good influence in their lives. “‘God help me,’ Jon muttered aloud, hurdling over a large rock that lay at the edge of the lake. My heart is filled with conflict. I don’t want to separate myself from my friends. I don’t want to give up on them. I know you can change them. I know they don’t have to follow Taylor Dunkin’s path. Please intervene…I can’t abandon them. They need me. I love them. Please put someone in my life that can hold me accountable. I just want a Christian friend who will be able to understand my struggles.”(page 58) Meanwhile, Jon’s friend from church, Chantal Kagelli, finds herself in a similar dilemma across town. Chantal, a seventh grader at Sterling Middle School, has more than just one boy chasing after her. While her Class President, Andy, is trying to win her over with notes, cookies, and all the right words, her heart is aching over her interest in Jon. Chantal is petrified of her feelings for Jon, and decides that she should try to fight them off by getting closer to Andy. Despite many warnings from her twin sister that Andy could be a bad influence in her life, Chantal decides that it is more important to shine as a good influence in Andy’s life than to worry about the dangerous path he could take her down. Chantal finds herself in a whirlwind of her own, as she learns a life-changing lesson about the teenage world outside of church! The Battle for Innocence is filled with realistic party scenes and tempting situations that teenagers face during middle school and high school. The way the book is written allows readers to get inside Jon and Chantal’s heads and relate to their internal battles.

Out of all of Stacy A. Padula’s books that I have read, The Battle for Innocence is my favorite. I give it 4.75 out of 5 stars. It overflows with valuable background information about the main characters of the Montgomery Lake High series that makes the characters even more relatable and dynamic. I recommend this book to anyone age eleven or twelve. It has a lot of strong messages about peer pressure and making good decisions. I think anyone who has read the Montgomery Lake High books should read The Battle for Innocence to gain a deeper understanding of how Jon, Chris, and their friends got into so much trouble at such young ages. To learn more about the causes of teenage substance abuse and the gateway to addiction join Jon and Chantal in their battle for innocence.

Review by Maxwell Alva, Beaver Country Day Class of 2016


Title: The Aftermath

It has been three weeks since a terrible storm left Andy in a coma, and for Jason Davids, nothing has been the same. Jason, the most popular freshman boy at Montgomery Lake High School, recognizes that he needs to make a change in life and give up the partying lifestyle he has been a part of for the past two years. Jason discovers this task is not going to be easy and struggles to turn away from darkness, as he is constantly presented with new temptations. Jason must decide whether to go back into the daze he has been living in or look for a new source of strength to help him win his battle over his addictions.

I would recommend this book to anyone in middle school or high school, as it touches on topics very prevalent to this age group: temptation, gossip, popularity, and prayer. It reminds readers that one’s reputation in high school will be insignificant to the rest of our lives, and that, therefore, people should focus on more important matters such as their relationship with God.

Written by Kelly Mitchell – Newton Country Day Class of 2018


Title: When Darkness Tries to Hide.

This is a book about hope. Hope in the most serious and desperate of circumstances. Hope for healing and hope for deliverance. Hope that is only found in Jesus Christ.

This tale of high school students facing drug/alcohol addiction, peer pressure, the desire for acceptance, and unexpected tragedy hits the mark. Stacy Padula accurately portrays the battles young adults (and even older adults) go through daily. She identifies that “in the” feeling that many try to fill with alcohol, drugs, sex, and other things, and shows the reader the one thing that can fill the void—a relationship with God through Jesus.

Stacy Padula masterfully shares the Gospel of Christ in the pages of this book in a way that really helps the reader to understand. Through the characters of the story, hope, joy, peace and love are evident. But Ms. Padula does not shy away from the struggles that also are a part of the Christian life.

I will recommend her books to teens and adults alike. Well done, Stacy! God is going to use these books mightily.

Book Reviewed by Loren, a Brother in Christ


Title: When darkness tries to hide

A great story on how Gods grace and mercy work in people who accept it. Chris Dunkin who came to Jesus Christ is letting his light shine on his other friends. They are starting to recognize it, especially one of his friends, who is deep into drugs and really needs Christ in his life. It all starts with a tragedy (like how many of us start crying to God) of a kid who goes into a coma and they start a prayer meeting for him.

The point of this story to me is it shows you how God works and moves in situations and people to get his will done,even though we dont understand why or how something good can come from something bad. Like I said before, the series can be for anyone to read, teens or adults. I enjoyed it a lot, especially the way God and His Word is used in these books. Cant wait to read the rest of the series.

Reviewed by Keith, Wakula Correctional Facility


Title: The Forces Within

The Forces Within is a story that explores the power of spirituality and the battle that many teenagers go through when faced with tough decisions. The story focuses on life after Andy Rossetti wakes up from his coma and what his recovery process looks like, including the recovery that those closest must go through as well.

The Forces Within begins in Fallen Lake, a small New England town, where Leslie’s family owns a Mansion. A group of friends decides to go there for a weekend, but as soon as their trip begins, it is apparent that supernatural forces are at work. The story allows the reader to better understand the characters that they met in the previous MLH books and reveals the truth in who each person really is.

I recommend The Forces Within to all teenagers, especially those who are currently struggling with identity and social pressures. It would be useful to read the other books in the MLH series before reading The Forces Within to fully understand the characters and their relationships to one another. The story is filled with suspense and drama, something that kept me glued to each page. High school is a time for teenagers to discover themselves and this story does a great job of describing some difficulties that are very relatable, and how to get through those daunting situations.

Review by Elizabeth Harvey – Needham, MA


Title: When Darkness Tries to Hide

When tragedy hits a community, people are often left with a choice: they can either allow themselves to sink further into the darkness or find hope and choose light.

In “When Darkness Tries to Hide” a terrible storm hits Montgomery Lake and leaves Andy Rosetti in a coma. Jason Davids is greatly upset by the accident and feels responsible for what has happened. He is presented with a choice to either continue into the darkness of drugs and alcohol he has surrounded himself with for the past two years, or he can join some old friends and try and bring light into this situation.

I recommend this for people of all ages, especially those who have recently dealt with a traumatic event or have been struggling or know someone struggling to follow a moral path. It reminds us of the gift of God’s forgiveness and how he can bring hope and comfort into the most troubling of times. It also teaches us the importance of surrounding ourselves with people who will be a positive influence on us. Kind words and support from a friend can go a long way as shown through how impacted Jason is by his experience.

Review by Kelly Mitchell, Newton Country Day School Class of 2018


Title: The Right Person, Montgomery Lake High School Series, Book 1.

This story is about a high school freshman named Chris Dunkin, who, along with most of his friends, has been pulled into the party life where drugs, alcohol, and popularity seems to be all that matters until he meets a girl who seems to be different. He feels drawn to her, but doesnt figure out what drew him to her until their lives take a reverse role, that it was the life of Christ in her that was drawing Chris.

To everyones amazement, Chris, the class partier, turns his life over to Jesus Christ and everyone witnesses a dramatic change in him.

The authors purpose is to clearly show the awesome and amazing power God will have in transforming the life of anyone who repents and turns his life over to him. Regardless of ones past.

The book covers many themes dealing with teen peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, popularity, friendship, and even depression.

I loved the Biblical teachings where a teen can understand them in todays examples

Book Reviewed by:  Leon, a Brother in Christ.


Book: The Right Person

This book is about pretty much most of the teenagers today—wanting to party, get drunk, or high. Some of them know and have a personal relationship with God. Like this one girl who is a Christian gets herself caught up in the party scene. Then there is one kid who gets tired of all the partying and getting wasted. Then he finds out about Christ and becomes a believer.

It was a God story. I enjoyed reading this book. It has Scripture and shows how God works to get into you the good message about His Son. I recommended this book to anyone who enjoys a good story with Christianity. It may sound like a book for teenagers, but I believe adults will also enjoy it.

Book Reviewed by Keith.


Title: When Darkness Tries to Hide

Kids have a lot of questions… that is no secret! But someone has a haunting secret (and plethora of questions) bound within the pages of When Darkness Tries to Hide by Stacy Padula. When Darkness Tries to Hide is the thrilling second book in the young adult fiction series Montgomery Lake High. The story takes place in a fictional town in western Massachusetts. Jason Davids and Chris Dunkin take the lead roles in this intriguing book, but Chantal Kagelli and Jon Anderson also play central parts.

When Darkness Tries to Hide reads like a movie reel across your mind. You get to see how a bunch of characters think, instead of just being trapped in one person’s mindset. The story begins two months after where the first book, The Right Person, left off. The main problem in this book is that Chantal’s boyfriend, Andy, is in a coma, and Jason feels responsible for the accident that landed him there. The hail is pelting down. The lightning is a spider web across the sky. Lady, Chantal’s golden retriever, is nowhere to be found. Andy is outside in the ominous storm searching for her. As far as Jason is concerned, he should have been outside saving Lady from the tornado-spawning storm. Instead Andy is sent into a coma, and Jason into a world of dismay. “He had not slept a wink in thirty-seven hours. He glanced at his clock again, seven twenty. You can do this Jason, he said 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.” (page 22) No one knows about Andy’s accident until Jason spreads the news at Alyssa Kelly’s party the following evening. At the party, Jason seeks out his ex-best friend, Chris Dunkin, to confide in. Chris lends Jason an ear, even though Jason has been spreading slanderous rumors about Chris around Montgomery Lake High ever since Chris turned away from drugs, alcohol, and their group of friends two months prior. At the party, Jason and Chris come up with a plan to help Andy and unite the students at Montgomery Lake High. However, no one—not even Chris—knows Jason’s secret about the day of the storm.

I recommend When Darkness Tries to Hide to all teenagers, even ones who have not read the first book in the series. I especially recommend this book to people who are going through hard times, and people who have issues with drugs and alcohol. I give this book four and a half stars! It deserves such a high rating because it has a very interesting idea running all the way through it that keeps the reader fascinated with the story, even after they have finished the book. The ending leaves you wanting to know what happens next and trying to imagine what the third book in the series will bring. I think it should be made into a movie, or a TV series! When Darkness Tries to Hide is filled with answers to those tough questions often asked by kids and teenagers!

Written by Max Alva


Title: The Aftermath

The third book in the Montgomery High Lake Series is another winner. In this book, Ms. Padula addresses the emptiness inside when a person has all the toys and all the things they want. What do you do when you have everything but are still empty? This is the void only God can fill.

Jason finds out that even the drugs, alcohol, sex, and popularity leave him feeling empty. But he is drawn to some who seem truly happy. What Jason finds is that God loves him and can fill his emptiness with his love. Jason faces the demons of addiction, pride, and lust—and in the end is victorious in Jesus.

Another well-written, spiritled book. The real issues faced and the real solutions are on point. I recommend these books for anyone from 12 to 32 or who just thinks like they are still between 12 and 32. I have become a fan of these books. The development of the characters, the story line, and the presentation of the Gospel is truly amazing.

Book reviewed by Loren, a Brother in Christ


Book: The Right Person

The Right Person by Stacy A. Padula takes an in-depth look at the obstacles and pressures an average teenager faces in their lives. It focuses on all the major issues a freshman faces as they enter the battlefield known as high school. 

From peer pressure to drug use to early dating, moral, and faith issues, this book exposes how these issues can lead someone to compromise their morals and doubt their faith in their quest to be accepted.

The main point and recurring theme of this book is the strength and moral grounding that is needed to navigate the troubled waters that our youth face today, that it can only be found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I enjoyed this book tremendously. It brought me to the front lines of what our young teenagers are facing. It also made me realize some moral issues in my own life that I am compromising to gain acceptance.

Book Reviewed by Keith.


Book: The Forces Within.

This is a story about a high school kid named Andy Rosettie who is stuck in a dream world while he is in a coma. When he wakes up, he is confused by what is real and what isnt.

He comes to realize that what happened in the dream was more real than he wanted to admit because it was showing him the spiritual battles that everyone, including himself, were going through in the real world.

I think this book should be called book number four of theMontgomery Life High Series. Im not sure I would have understood the relationships of all the people without reading the other three first. But I really enjoyed the story and the Biblical teachings in it.

One of the main points I got out of the book is a lot of people claim to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, but never give their hearts to Him. Therefore, they have never known a personal relationship with God and have never received Gods Holy Spirit. Then there are some who have, but they have temporarily walked away from the faith. So the outside appearance can be deceiving.

The spiritual war for our lives never stops. And those who have not received Gods Holy Spirit by grace through faith are truly deceived.

Overall, I loved the book and strongly recommend it.

Book Reviewed by Leon, a Brother in Christ.


Title: When Darkness Tries to Hide  

This book focuses around a young teenager named Chris Dunkin. Chris has recently accepted Christ as His Lord and Savior, and, as a result, his life has changed dramatically. Once the life of any party and with a long history of drug and alcohol use, Chris now faces the trials and struggles of maintaining his new Christian morals while attending high school with new Christian friends and old friends from the past.

After a tragic accident happens to a close friend, Chris finds himself surrounded by all his friends, past and present.

I believe the main purpose of this book is to show the struggles and temptations our young teenagers go through on a daily basis and the need for God in all of our lives.

I see recurring themes like the power of prayer and fellowship in this book.

I enjoyed this book because it brought back memories of things I faced as a teenager and things that I continue to face today.

Book Reviewed by Louis.


Title: The Aftermath.

This is a story about a high school kid named Jason Davids who is dealing with peer pressure, alcohol, and drug abuse. He also finds himself caught in the middle of a spiritual battle. Luckily he has several Christian friends praying for and giving him good advice, but he also has a girlfriend and older brother pressuring him to get high and party.

Stacy Padula did an excellent job of highlighting the power of prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit to work through those who are willing to be obedient to His prompting. And how this combination will always bring Gods grace, love and light into the darkest of people.

This book has so many great messages for kids and young adults to learn from, and all of them have the foundational truths from Gods word.

I absolutely loved and enjoyed this book. So much so that any book I see written by Stacy Padula I will gladly read.

This book is mainly aimed at young adults from 12 on up, but holds so much truth and Godly advice, everyone who loves Gods word will enjoy it. And Im confident they will recommend it to every teen they know.

Reviewed by Leon, a brother in Christ.


 Title: The Forces Within.

I really enjoyed reading The Forces Within by Stacy Padula. The start of the book seems a little confused—but that is by design. The confusion sets the stage for the story. Ms. Padula weaves together the natural and spiritual worlds in a very skillful manner.

The story is action packed, entertaining, and extremely thought provoking. There were more twists and turns than a labyrinth, yet through the story is a clear thread tying it all together.

Stacy Padula has addressed very real issues facing teens and adults alike in both the physical and spiritual realms. She brings social issues like peer pressure, cliques, substance abuse, and sex into perspective—and supplies the answer.

Overall, the book is well written. It was a page-turner that I could not put down. One of the best books Ive read in several years. I would say that this book is a must read especially for fans of Frank Peretti. I dare say that Stacy Padulla has taken the baton of the spiritual realm books from Mr. Peretti and is running with it.

Book Reviewed by Loren, a Brother in Christ

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