Posts Tagged ‘montgomery lake high book series’

When Darkness Tries To Hide is another book by author Stacy Padula that aims to help teenagers navigate the trials and tribulations of high school. I think that all types of teenagers would benefit from reading this book. Although this book is based on faith and how it can help people escape the painful clutches of addiction, teenagers who are both struggling with addiction or suspect that a friend may be struggling would benefit from the book. Additionally, a main part of this story’s plot is how a community comes together to support a young boy, Andy, who had been injured in an accident; this book would also portray to high schoolers the importance of doing everything you can to help someone that is in need.

One of the main characters in When Darkness Tries To Hide is Jason, who struggles with drug addiction. Throughout the story, Jason feels guilty about what happened to his friend Andy and believes that if he had not been under the influence of drugs when the accident happened, he could have helped Andy. Jason begins to realize that this addiction and the way he’s living is not how he wants his life to be. He gets very little sleep and hangs out with bad people to make him feel better about himself. I gained a lot of respect for Jason as I read this book because he took responsibility for his mistakes, tried to find a way to make a positive change in his life, and realized that he needed to find new people in his life that would support his journey, instead of hanging out with people for popularity.

Written by Jennifer O’Sullivan

Throughout the book, another main character, Chris, tries to help Jason overcome his addiction. Although Jason is rude to Chris and initially doesn’t agree with the goals that Chris has for himself, Chris persists in aiding Jason. Jason had been spreading rumors at school about Chris and trying to ruin his reputation, yet Chris remains the bigger person and stays by Jason’s side for a whole day when he can tell that it is needed. I think that many people could learn from Chris by realizing that sometimes your purpose is bigger than you. Chris could have ignored Jason after Jason said horrible things about him, yet Chris knew that the improvement he could make to Jason’s life meant more than a petty argument. People could also learn that no matter what other people say, you need to continue on the journey that is beneficial to you. Many of Chris’ friends make fun of him for his newfound sobriety or laugh at him when he speaks about God, but Chris ignores the criticism because he knows that what he is doing is keeping him on the right track as a recovering addict.

In the last chapter of the book after Jason has accepted some help, he begins to reflect on everything that he has learned from Chris and Chris’ Pastor, Mark. For such a long time, Jason hadn’t realized how bad of a position he was in, because the people he chose to surround himself with were just as bad. Jason didn’t feel like anything he had been doing was wrong, because it mirrored exactly what the people around him did. He was in such darkness that when Chris tried to become a positive light in his life, Jason couldn’t even recognize it as that and began to harass Chris. Jason thought that because he was popular and went to parties, his life was filled with light when in reality, just the opposite was true. Eventually, after a heartfelt conversation with Pastor Mark, Jason began to realize that he was in darkness and that the lights in his life were kind people, like Chris, who had faith and morals. This realization inspired Jason to wonder if faith could bring light into his life too.


A powerful supercell is spawning above Montgomery Lake High School, while a separate storm is brewing in its halls. The question is—which one should Cathy Kagelli, Jason Davids, and their friends fear the most?

$3.99 Kindle | $10.50 Paperback

About Jennifer

Jennifer O’Sullivan is a junior at Dover Sherborn High School who enjoys reading, playing the piano, spending time with friends and doing volunteer work. Jennifer leads her school’s community service club, runs on her school’s cross country and track teams and loves to travel, especially to Ireland where she spends time with friends and family.

More Articles by Jennifer:

Why “The Right Person” is a Perfect Book for Teens

“The Right Person” by Stacy Padula Shows How Faith Can Benefit Teenagers

Who would benefit from reading “When Darkness Tries to Hide” by Stacy Padula?

Although this book would be most relevant to teenagers and the struggles they might face in high school, I would recommend this book to anyone who feels that they are struggling with something. Teens and adults alike who are trying to find themselves or answers to their place in life would benefit from reading When Darkness Tries to Hide because it would help them look at their situation from a faith based perspective. This book shows that regardless of how terrible you think your actions or situation may be, there is always hope and the ability to change.

What did you like best about the story?

There were several things that drew me in to When Darkness Tries to Hide. Above all, it was never boring. There were several storylines running simultaneously with many different characters. Each character was facing some type of struggle that kept me wanting to read more to find out their outcome.  It was easy and exciting to read this book.

How did your opinion of Jason change as you read the story?

While Jason begins the story as one of the “bad boys” in the school, he is the character who experiences the greatest transformation. Through the help of his friends and his return to faith, he begins his transformation to becoming the person that he wants to be.

What can be learned by the way Chris treats Jason in this book?

Chris is the catalyst to Jason’s transformation. Chris’ kindness and willingness to reach out to Jason made all the difference.  Their relationship exemplifies the impact we can have on our friends. Even more, it shows how important it is to try to help our friends who seem to be struggling or even just to check in on them when they seem to be down.  The smallest gesture can change someone’s life.

A main theme of this story is the battle between the dark and the light. When one is in darkness, he or she cannot see anything clearly. How does the last chapter relate to the events of the story and the theme of light vs. darkness?

Jason has been in darkness since he began using drugs and drinking and dating Cathy, who leads a similar life. By being surrounded with people who are just as or even more immoral than he was, it was difficult to see any light.  When Chris re-enters his life and he visits the church, meeting Rachel and the pastor’s daughter, his life begins to change. Light slowly enters his life and is the beginning of his transformation.

What positive message does this book convey to readers?

When Darkness Tries to Hide conveys the message that there is hope for everyone. It also reinforces the importance of surrounding yourself with good people who allow you to see the light through faith.


A powerful supercell is spawning above Montgomery Lake High School, while a separate storm is brewing in its halls. The question is–which one should Cathy Kagelli, Jason Davids, and their friends fear the most?

$3.99 Kindle | $10.50 Paperback

About Joanna Dakoyannis

Joanna Dakoyannis is a junior at Dover-Sherborn High School. She enjoys creative writing, traveling, going to the gym, running track for her high school team and loves cheering on the team at school sporting events. She plans to be a science major in college and hopes to eventually attend dental school.

More Articles by Joanna:

An Exceptional Book I Recommend to Teens & Preteens

April’s Q&A-with-joanna-dakoyannis-on-the-right-person-by-stacy-padula/

Sophia Tufankjian of Duxbury, Massachusetts read “The Aftermath” by Stacy A. Padula. Below is a series of questions and answers about the book, which is the third installment in Padula’s Montgomery Lake High book series: a teen series that covers social issues faced in high school and middle school.

Q. How has your opinion of Jason changed since reading the first MLH book?

A. My opinion of Jason has changed drastically since reading the first MLH book. From the first book, I saw him as a troubled young teen. I noted that he struggled with addiction and succumbing to the pressures of partying, drinking, and doing drugs. During the aftermath my opinion has changed in a positive way. I now see Jason as someone who is no longer a selfish partier, but someone who thinks about others and is following God. He turns his focus to bettering himself by proving himself to Jessie’s father and focusing on the more important things in life, rather than partying.

Q. Who do you think could benefit from reading this book and why?

A. I believe that anyone, young adult or older, would benefit a lot from reading this book. Specifically, I think that it would be important for a Middle School or High School students to read it. I believe this because this book teaches many lessons about dealing with life in High School and all of the pressures that come from your surrounding peers.

Q. What message does this book send to readers?

A. The message that this book sends to readers is that change is possible. Jason started as a troubled teen that was known for his crazy partying and problems with addiction. Throughout the series, he has grown with the help of God. He has become a better man while trying to prove himself to Jessie’s father in order to keep her in his life.

Montgomery Lake High #3: The Aftermath
At age fifteen, Jason Davids appears to have 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 Robins: the daughter of a local pastor. How is it possible that she stands for everything his lifestyle opposes yet possesses the one thing he has been searching for all along?


Written by Jenn Finnerty—Norwell, MA

The Right Person, by Stacy Padula, shows how a group of freshman at Montgomery Lake High face the challenges of high school. They go through dangerous situations and have to resist temptations. They realize what it is like to try to become popular and how you can lose friends easily. All of their situations are very relatable to many high school students.

The main character, Chris, realizes he has become dependent on drugs and alcohol and wants to change his actions, after being influenced by his new girlfriend, Courtney. While Chris is done partying, Courtney tries to fit in with his wild friends and finds herself going back on her morals in order to fit in and become popular.

The struggles in the novel are faced by many other high schoolers, and gives a good example of how to deal with struggles and how a student can change.

About Jenn Finnerty

Jenna Finnerty is a senior at Norwell High School in Norwell, Massachusetts. She is planning to major in nursing next year. Jenna has accrued years of experience as a cheerleader and gymnast. She also has a passion for traveling and looks forward to studying abroad in college.

Articles by Jenna:

Q&A on MLH #1 with Jenna Finnerty

About The Right Person


The Right Person is the debut novel in The Montgomery Lake High Book Series, which follows a large cast of personalities as they navigate through the social waters of high school.
While Chris Dunkin’s parents travel freely for business, his older cousins Jordan and Taylor are left in charge. A parentless household provides the perfect venue for Jordan, a senior in high school, and Taylor, a junior in college, to throw parties that soon become infamous in Montgomery. After two years, Chris–donned “the life of the party” by his popular group of friends–begins high school with a responsibility to live up to his reputation. Deep down inside, however, he wants more than that.


Rebecca Ronning, New York, NY

Rebecca is a junior at Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York. As a city kid, some of her hobbies include riding the subway and exploring the city with friends, making all kinds of art and traveling with her family and experiencing new and exciting things along the way. Below she shares her opinion of the first book in the young adult book series: Montgomery Lake High #1 – The Right Person by Stacy Padula.

Rebecca Says:
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.
-Rebecca Ronning, Brooklyn Technical High School, Class of 2020

Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person


As the “life of the party,” Chris Dunkin begins high school with a responsibility to live up to his reputation; deep down inside, however, he wants more than that. When he begins dating Mayor Angeletti’s youngest daughter, Courtney, two worlds collide. The twist ending will not disappoint!


Montana Aldridge of Plymouth, Massachusetts is a rising senior at Plymouth North High School. She was asked to share her thoughts on Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person – a young adult novel by Stacy Padula. The Montgomery Lake High book series addresses teenage social issues commonly faced in high school and middle school. Topics such as identity, morality, substance abuse, and sexuality are explored in the novels. Currently, there are five books in the series, but Padula is working on a spin off series, set to hit the shelves in 2019.

How do you, as a teenager, personally relate to this story?

-I relate to multiple characters in this story. I come from a very religious family and have the same morals as Chantal and Courtney (the beginning and end Courtney). I try hard to keep my faith and use it to strengthen me and lead me to make the right decisions, but sometimes my “id” gets the best of me. Having a lot of different types of friends is also hard, because you want to have fun with them and partake in the same activities as them, but when they make bad choices, like Jason and Alyssa, it’s hard.

What do you believe influenced Courtney to turn away from her morals in order to feel accepted?

-I believe Courtney, like all humans, felt the desire to fit in. Some people are lucky enough to be surrounded by genuinely good, humble people with strong morals, while others, akin to Courtney, are not as fortunate and are surrounded by people with little morals. When Courtney decided to break up with Bryan for Chris, I think she was more interested in who would bring her more friends, and who was more popular. While Chris was ultimately attracted to Courtney because of her morals, Courtney was attracted to Chris because of of his social status, which caused Courtney to lose focus of her morals.

What is one major theme you noticed running through the story?

-Although the next books may shed even more light on this theme, I do think Coming of Age was a major theme throughout the book. All of the characters were faced with decisions that arise as you grow older. It may have seemed that characters such as Jason, Alyssa and Cathy were the older more mature ones on the surface because of how they talked and because of the party’s they attended, but by the end of the book it was clear they had not come of age. Characters such as Courtney and Chris are the ones who truly came of age, when they had the conversation about religion and morals, during their breakup.

Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person
As the “life of the party,” Chris Dunkin begins high school with a responsibility to live up to his reputation; deep down inside, however, he wants more than that. When he begins dating Mayor Angeletti’s youngest daughter, Courtney, two worlds collide. The twist ending will not disappoint!



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Best-selling young adult author Stacy A. Padula was interviewed about her book series and college counseling company today at 4:00PM by Doug Llewelyn (host of the People’s Court and creator of Judge Judy). The interview was aired live on CUTV News, New York.

Listen here:

PLYMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES, / — There are millions of teachers all over the world that have a positive effect on children’s lives. What if you also have the advantage of being a gifted author whose books help children combat the harmful effects of social issues like bullying, drugs, and peer pressure?

Stacy Padula is the accomplished author of young adult fiction novels, including five books in a series entitled The Right Person, When Darkness Tries to Hide, The Aftermath, The Battle for Innocence and The Forces Within.

“My books focus on young people and the realistic pressures they face in their perplexing high school years,” says Padula. “With the overwhelming prescription drug problem in our society so prevalent, high school students should be prepared to withstand and defy these challenges.”

Padula’s penchant for writing was so deeply ingrained within her she wrote her first book when she was only six years old. Eventually she started her own tutoring company, South Shore College Consulting and Tutoring, all the while working diligently on her writing. Her first book was published in 2010.

“It was so enriching and thoroughly rewarding owning a company where I can tutor kids, which is the audience I was writing for,” says Padula. “My students would share with me their social experiences, read my books, and give me instrumental feedback, so it was a positive, collaborative effort.”

Padula works with junior and senior high school students assisting them with college selection, applications, and admission essays. This affords her the opportunity to work with young people and write her books.

“Drugs offer an empty, hollow promise that leads these impressionable kids unknowingly down a path of self-destruction,” says Padula. “My ultimate goal is to inspire kids not to give in to these pressures and illustrate how they can find fulfillment turning to God and finding their true passion.”

It was a dream come true for Padula when she saw her books selling in Barnes & Noble. She hopes her students will someday find joy in their future achievements.

“Everyone is born with their own unique gifts and talents,” says Padula. “When you ultimately discover your special calling and destiny, you will find your utmost joy. Everyone possesses a unique destiny to tap into and hopefully we will all impact and inspire many people along our life’s journey.”

CUTV News Radio will feature Stacy Padula in an interview with Doug Llewelyn on January 26th at 4pm EST.

If you have any questions for our guest, call (347) 996-3389.

The interview will be hosted here for one year following 1/26/18.

Lou Ceparano
(631) 850-3314
email us here

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JANUARY 26, 2018 – PLYMOUTH, MA – Later today, Stacy Padula will be interviewed on live radio by Doug Llewelyn – the host of The People’s Court and creator of Judge Judy. He is interested in hearing about her journey as an author and a business owner. In preparation for the interview, she has reflected on various experiences. Here is a sneak peak at some topics that will be covered:

Q. What drives you to write for the young adult genre?

A. When I was a child, I read a lot of books. I was ever so curious to know what high school would be like. I read the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High, which painted pictures in my mind of what high school would be like. However, when four towns of kids combined under one roof of Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston, Massachusetts, it was nothing like Sweet Valley. I was completely caught off guard by the harsh rumors and drugs circulating around, as well as the bullying taking place. The books I had read did not address the social issues that are extremely prevalent in the teenage world. I began writing my book series as a teenager because I believed kids deserved books that were realistic to help them navigate high school.

After college, I found the books I had written as a teenager, and when I read through them, I was amazed by the topics I had written about at such a young age. I was also in somewhat disbelief that kids were partying so hard at such young ages. I began editing the books and adding in life lessons I had learned along the way. I realized that the books could help teenagers navigate through the tricky years of high school, so I sought out a literary agent. My first book was published in 2010, followed by four sequels. For the last eight years, it has been my goal to write books that help teenagers become more secure with themselves and find fulfillment.

Q. Why do you feel your books are necessary for young adults to read?

A. My books share the raw truth about opioid addiction, as well as other substances, in a realistic and relatable way. Drugs pose an empty promise for fulfillment that often leads to self-destruction and the destruction of others. I want to help kids avoid the heartache that goes along with substance abuse and find positive/beneficial outlets for their energy. There is an immense amount of social pressure on kids today. Between social media and technology, they are constantly connected and can easily lose touch with themselves. They face so much pressure to fit in with their peers, and can easily lose themselves in the process.

Q. You have written five novels. Are you planning to write another book?

A. Yes, I am about 185 pages into a novel that heavily focuses on opiate addiction. It is a part of my Montgomery Lake High series, and it circles back to the root of many problems in my main characters’ lives. The story starts off a few months after where my 5th book left off, but it does a lot of time traveling between old and new experiences. This story ties a lot of plot points together that are briefly mentioned in the other books but never explored in-depth. It follows three different characters stories and shows, from their perspective, how they got caught up in drug abuse—which were for very different reasons. I think it is easy for people to cast aside drug users and look down upon them, but the book I am writing shows how easily substance abuse can become a problem for good people. Moreover, it conveys the hope that exists once someone is able to forgive himself and find sobriety.

Stacy Padula will be interviewed on live radio at 4:00PM by Doug Llewelyn (CUTV News, New York)

Listeners can tune in live at 4:00PM on 1/26/18 here.


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, Needham, MA

By Max Alva

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!