The young adult book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy Padula quite literally “grips” the reader into the story, resulting in the inability to put the book down. It transforms readers into the mysterious, yet intriguing realm of young adults, teaching valuable lessons in a journey through the pages. Specifically, Taylor is a main character whose world is turned upside down, along with his family and friends, when he is held captive by an epidemic sweeping the nation: opiates. He goes from being the star quarterback, desired by all colleges, to a drug dealer, desired by all college students. His struggles, unfortunately, form a connection between all the characters seen in the book, allowing readers to see into their lives, and the downwards spiral caused by his addiction.
Gripped is a book that can be enjoyable for a wide range of age groups: middle schoolers to parents who want to be educated on the true highschool experience in a captivating way. The lessons learned in this book have the ability to alter young adults perspectives on the importance of joining the “popular” crowd and teach them that everyone struggles with something in their own way in highschool, meaning they are never truly alone. I rate this book a 5/5 and would highly recommend diving into the life of the Montgomery Lake High students.
About Olivia Syat
Olivia Syat is a rising senior at Sharon High School. She has a passion for learning, volunteering, and special education. She is a leader in her community through programs such as friendship circle, E.D.A.F, teen speak out, and pathways. She hopes to go into a field pertaining to special education and to always encourage others to keep an open mind.
About The Gripped Book Series
IN ITS RELEASE WEEK, GRIPPED WAS RANKED BY AMAZON AS THE #1 NEW RELEASE FOR CHILDREN’S BOOKS ABOUT DRUG USE.
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.
Gripped Part 1’s Barnes & Noble Book Signing Event
About Gripped Part 2: Blindsided
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