Q&A with Rebecca Ronning on “Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told” by Stacy Padula

Who would you recommend Gripped Part 1 to and why?

I would recommend Gripped Part 1 to any high schooler who may be feeling the inevitable temptations of dangerous party drugs. It is important to recognize the legitimate impact that the things you do in high school can have on your future, not only on your health but within your professional career. To anybody reading this book, I would say that decisions you make matter in the long run; have fun while you’re young, but refrain from making bad choices. 

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

As a young adult, I often feel that I am invincible; that my young body can handle anything thrown at me. Whether it be intense physical activity or extremely unhealthy food, I rarely find myself pausing to consider my body’s limits and trust that it will always work the way it does now. This feeling of invincibility allows me to relate to the story and gives me a better understanding of what kids like Taylor may have experienced. Luckily, this story also gives me good insight into the fact that I am not bulletproof, and that my actions do have consequences. 

What did you like best about the story?

The thing that I liked best about this story was the organization of the chapters. The jumping between time periods brought so much clarification to things that I had previously been curious about after reading the MLH series, and also provided a feeling of intense suspense for the reader. 

What message does this book send to readers?

Gripped Part 1 sends the powerful message that anybody can struggle with addiction, even those who you least expect. Taylor was once an extremely intelligent student, a talented varsity football player, and one of the most highly esteemed boys in the history of Montgomery Lake High. Based on his past, it certainly comes as a shock to hear that someone with so much potential, someone who is so loved by so many, would turn to hard drugs for support. It is important to remind people, those in high school particularly, what signs to look for in their friends who are at risk of harming themselves with inappropriate drug use.

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.

About Rebecca Ronning

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.

Articles by Rebecca:

Montgomery Lake High #1 by Stacy Padula Truly Captures the High School Experience!

Q & A on “The Right Person” by Stacy Padula with Rebecca Ronning

Q&A with Rebecca Ronning on Young Adult Lit!

Rebecca Ronning on When Darkness Tries to Hide by Stacy Padula – YA Lit for 2018!

Q&A on When Darkness Tries to Hide with Rebecca Ronning

A Teen’s Opinion of The Aftermath by Stacy Padula

Q&A with Rebecca Ronning – November 2018 (NYC)

Q&A with Rebecca Ronning on Young Adult Thriller “The Forces Within”

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.