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.