Michael Farinacci of St. Sebastian’s School Reviews “Gripped Part 2: Blindsided”

Written by Michael Farinacci—Medfield, Massachusetts

The book, Gripped Part 2 follows the lives of many middle school and high school aged kids, as they venture through this difficult portion of their life. Part 2 focuses specifically on eighth graders as they look to transition into high school. The book follows these young adults to school, parties, and other social events, and demonstrates the difficult situations that are put before these kids. Throughout the story, the social lives of the different kids, intertwine with each other, creating drama, conflict, and new friendships, which makes Gripped Part 2 such a fascinating read.

The book deals with a lot of current issues, including substance abuse of many different drugs. Although the topics of the book may be uncomfortable to talk about at times, it is necessary, as many of these situations are common and middle and high schools alike. It is important for all high school and middle school aged kids to read this book, as it is very likely that they will run into a similar situation at some point in the middle and high school lives. 

About Gripped Part 2: Blindsided

Gripped Part 2: Blindsided guides the reader through a thrilling narrative, expertly utilizing flashbacks to demonstrate a complete picture of just how devastating and far-reaching substance abuse can impact not just an individual, but entire families and communities. It is an essential book for kids and parents alike.” – E. Harvey, Syracuse University

Gripped Part 2: Blindsided is an engaging and easy read that is ideal for middle school and high school students, while also being very applicable to adults wanting to know more about teenage drug abuse. It shows the efforts that are needed to even attempt to overcome an addiction, which is shown to be extremely hard to complete. This would hopefully influence Padula’s target audience to avoid using drugs in order to prevent going through this tough and painful process. In all, I rate this book a 5/5.” – K. Banker, Beaver Country Day School


“What other drugs have you tried?” Lisa asked.

“Weed, mushrooms, ecstasy, mescaline, acid, Adderall, Xanax, Klonopin, and Vicodin, but this one is, by far, the best,” Chris replied without any hesitation.

Lisa widened her eyes. “Wow. You’ve tried a lot of stuff since we broke up.”

Fourteen-year-old Chris Dunkin is known for being the life of the party and everyone’s favorite friend. Despite his amicable nature, he carries around deep-seated pain from his childhood that he frequently numbs with alcohol and drugs.

After hosting a party, Chris wakes up with a strange vibe running through his body and no recollection of the previous night. When he learns the horrifying truth of what his night entailed, the trajectory of his life is changed forever.


10% of proceeds from Gripped Part 2: Blindsided go to a different animal rescue each month!

About Michael Farinacci

Michael is a rising senior at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham, Massachusetts. Additional articles by Michael:

A Junior from St. Sebastian’s School Shares His Opinion of “Gripped Part 1” by Stacy A. Padula

Michael Farinacci Reviews Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told

May’s Q&A with Michael Farinacci of St. Sebastian’s School

Looking Ahead to Gripped Part 2 with Michael Farinacci