Q&A with ASU’s Nick Alva on “Gripped Part 1” by Stacy Padula

Nick Alva, a Communications major at Arizona State University, read Stacy Padula’s #1 New Release Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told and answered the following questions about the novel.

Who would you recommend Gripped Part 1 to and why?

I would especially recommend Gripped Part 1 to both middle school and high school English teachers to integrate into their curriculum. I think it would be important for young adolescents to read this as early as possible, and seeing as the characters in the book are roughly the same age, there is a great chance students would be able to relate to many of the issues the characters are dealing with. Outside of school, I would recommend the book to any young teens who are either in the early stages of struggling with the pressure of drugs, or those who know someone who may be dealing with drug abuse.

How do you as a young adult relate to the story?

As a young adult, I can relate to the story because I saw the same thing happening to people I knew going through school, and still see the same things happening to people now.

What did you like best about the story?

The part of the story I liked best was the integration of the flashback to summarize the main characters’ stories. It allowed me to not only better understand what the characters are going through, but also feel more connected to them. This made me more intrigued and made it harder to put the book down, as I wanted to continue to follow the characters’ compelling stories.

What message does this book send to readers?

Gripped Part 1 acknowledges that growing up as teen can be stressful and that even what may seem like harmless fun at a party, can translate into a dark life changing series of events. The book promotes awareness of the dangers associated with drug and alcohol use that will hopefully allow young readers to veer away from poor choices and allow them to steer themselves on the right path.
About Nick Alva

Nicholas is sophomore at Arizona State University, where he studies Communications. Originally from Needham, Massachusetts, he is an avid sports fan and world traveler. His main interests lie in journalism, sports statistics, playing hockey, and attending athletic events. Nick hopes to have a career in the field of sports journalism.

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.