Jenna Finnerty’s Take on New Y.A. Novel “Gripped” by Stacy Padula

Jenna Says…

The book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy Padula allows readers to learn from the mistakes of the young and naive characters. It shows how entangled young adults can get in drugs and alcohol and the consequences that come with them. When relationships are ruined due to the mistakes the teens have made, many of them question their actions and if it is worth the loss of friends and family. Gripped Part 1 will show young adults how easy it is to succumb to peer pressure and how it can ruin relationships. This book teaches valuable lessons to anyone struggling with addiction or who is faced with decisions posed by people who may be negative influences. It also shows how faith in God can help to bring teens out of situations if they need someone to turn to.

Who would you recommend Gripped Part 1 to and why?

I would recommend Gripped Part 1 to anyone who is dealing with addiction. Gripped shows how far an addiction can take you, even when you have become sober. It can be an example for anyone who is starting to go down that path and allow them the chance to get out of their situation.

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

I can relate to this story because as a young adult, I am faced with many difficult decisions. I am constantly given many options in difficult situations, whether they are good or bad. I believe by reading this book, young adults will be able to recognize the consequences that could come from their actions.

What did you like best about the story?

I liked how the story kept going back and forth. It allowed me to tie in the information I knew from the previous series as well as what was mentioned in previous chapters. I believe it all allows the story to come together in the end.

What message does this book send to readers?

Gripped Part 1 informs readers of the dangers of peer pressure. Many of the characters relationships were impacted by the effects of peer pressure. It demonstrates the importance of surrounding yourself with positive people.


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.
$3.99 Kindle | $11.50 Paperback

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

About Jenna 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.

Other Articles by Jenna:

Q&A on MLH #1 with Jenna Finnerty

The Right Person by Stacy Padula Accurately Depicts High School Social Challenges

Hope Found in Darkness: A Young Adult Book Review by Jenna Finnerty

Q&A with Jenna Finnerty on Young Adult Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

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.