Article by Olivia Syat of Sharon, MA
I recommend Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told to young adults because of its ability to capture the reality of middle school/high school. Although the book mainly serves as a tool to help teens realize they are not alone in their struggles, I believe parents should also consider Gripped Part 1 for an accurate representation of what goes on behind closed doors in their children’s lives. The multitude of storylines captivated my attention immensely. I liked that I was always turning the page to a new and unexpected scenario. It was exceptionally hard to put the book down when a flashback would start because I so badly craved to know what happened to affect the present of the story.
The message that this book portrays is surrounded by the idea that no young adult is alone. Highschool is a scary place and sometimes it seems like no one could ever relate to situations others are going through, but this book points out the dark truths of highschool/middle school, ultimately allowing the readers to know there is still a lot of good things to come once they get over the bump of school and that others are in the same boat. As a young adult, I relate most to the struggles of friendship as time passes. It’s very evident that Alyssa felt isolated from her whole group based on a miscommunication and I feel as though that is something that constantly happens in the realm of highschool; I have had first hand experience with these situations. However, I think the book shows the truth that highschoolers are very capable of overcoming adversity even if it seems impossible at first, giving hope to teens.
The storyline I found most intriguing was the one relating to the relationship between Cathy and Chantal. The beginning of the book makes it seem as though Cathy and Chantal were just sisters with no shared interests that would lead to their disconnect, but this was not true. In attempts to protect her sister, Cathy allows her relationship with her sister to fall apart. Eventually, Chantal finds out the truth resulting in a foreshadow for a hopeful reunion between the sisters. However, I am most curious to uncover what happens between the police and Taylor. I’m really rooting for him to turn his life around, but I’m nervous the dealer will find out and threaten his family, leaving Taylor in the game for life. I hope Marc continues to support his brother and show Luke the horrors of the situation so he doesn’t fall into the same lifestyle!
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.