Gripped – now being adapted for TV!

In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.

One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.

When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.


High Praise!

“Invigorating, engaging and a must read. The characters in The Gripped Series diligently tackle the essence of forces that can limit greatness within.”
– LaTonya Pinkard from the Netflix Original Series ‘Last Chance U’

“The Gripped Series is fantastic for anyone looking to learn about the dangers of substance abuse. This is an essential read for those looking to protect themselves against peer pressure and drugs.”
– Emily Han, College of William & Mary

“One of the main benefits of reading Gripped Part 2: Blindsided, as well as the entire Gripped series, is that it not only shows the horrors of substance abuse, but also reveals the buildup to it. Blindsided depicts not just the worst days, but the first days. Through the story, teens are able to learn about decisions and behaviors that can lead to drug abuse. Throughout the story, the social lives of the different characters intertwine with each other, creating drama, conflict, and new friendships, which makes Blindsided a fascinating read.” 
– Michael Farinacci, University of Notre Dame

“Gripped 5: Taylor’s Story depicts what actually happens behind the scenes of drug addiction, how it can change a person, and affect even their family and friends. If you are looking for a book which will both engage and educate you, look no further than Gripped 5: Taylor’s Story.”
– Isabelle Semas, Best-selling author of ‘The Crash’

“This novel is an engaging and meaningful read, ideal for high school freshmen, while also being very applicable to adults wanting to know more about teenage drug abuse. Gripped Part 4 displays the many drawbacks of taking drugs, including losing friends, girlfriends, and your thoughts on your own life. As a result, Padula effectively shows the extreme efforts needed to begin overcoming an addiction in order to begin a new life; this is shown to be very hard to complete. This would hopefully influence all young adults to avoid using drugs in order to prevent going through this troublesome process, and to avoid losing the trust and relationships with loved ones and friends.”
– Kyle Banker, University of Miami

“Stacy Padula’s masterful control of a bifurcated storyline keeps the reader intrigued in two chronologies of events. The characters grow richer with each passing novel, as the depth of relationships between them approaches reality.”
– Mackenzie Wells, University of Georgia


About the books

About the characters

About the author

Book reviews

Articles by teen readers