Why Parents and Teens Should Read “Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told”

Article by Elizabeth Harvey of Needham, MA

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.
About Elizabeth Harvey: Elizabeth first interned for Stacy Padula during the 2016-2017 school year. We are delighted to have her back as part of our team. Elizabeth is a college sophomore, where she studies communications. She enjoys creative writing and has a passion for traveling, which she has pursued since high school. Below she shares a thorough review on Stacy Padula’s newest book, Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told.

Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told

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.
In its release week, Gripped was ranked by Amazon as the #1 New Release for Children’s books about drug use on Kindle.

Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.