Sophia Coggeshall Reviews “Gripped Part 1” By Stacy A. Padula

The book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told, by Stacy Padula tells the captivating story of several high school and college students who become sucked into a life full of dangerous substances. The book reveals how easy it is for innocent, good kids to become drug addicts, and how little time it takes for harmless fun to turn into deadly situations. Once I started reading the book, it was incredibly hard to put down for it is made up of a number of different storylines, ranging from the story of the football star, Taylor Dunkin, who throws his chances of being in the NFL away as he becomes involved in the growing opioid epidemic, to the stories of several different couples who face immense difficulties as they become entangled in drugs and alcohol. 

This book is an easy read that is perfect for young adults in Middle School and High School who are most likely experiencing some of the same things that the characters in the book are dealing with. I would also recommend this book to any parent who is interested in better educating themselves on how to deal with teenage drug and alcohol abuse. Overall, I would rate this book a 5/5 for it addresses the consequences that come with addiction–a topic that is necessary for the coming generations to learn as they are growing up in a time where drug usage and overdose is at an all time high.

About Sophia Coggeshall

Sophia is a rising senior at Marshfield High School in Marshfield, Massachusetts. She is a competitive Irish Step dancer who has competed several times at the Regional, National, and World Championships, and she also plays on the Varsity Field Hockey team for her high school. With a great passion for math and science in the classroom, she looks forward to studying engineering in college.


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.