New Fiction Series Helps Teens Overcome Rough Patches

Written by Olivia Syat of Sharon, Massachusetts

The second book in the Amazon best-selling Gripped book series, Gripped Part 2: Blindsided by Stacy Padula, put me in a trance. After indulging in the first chapter, my eyes were unable to be removed from the pages. Moving from present day of all the characters to the past of each individual allowed me to feel like I was living alongside them through their journey in school. The story captivated my attention specifically when diving into the brain of Chris: a main character who was a slave to drugs. He overcomes adversity and transforms himself into a better, more selfless person, causing me to ponder what awaits for other characters I may have disliked in the beginning.

Gripped Part 2 is more for those in high school and beyond, due to more mature content than the previous book. It has the ability to guide teens in the right direction when it comes to the social aspect of high school. Also, the book can help parents understand the changes in character their children tend to have when entering high school whether it be due to drugs, anxiety, or depression. The book shows teens that the rough patches in life don’t define you, rather the way you overcome them.


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 awakes 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.

About Olivia Syat

Olivia Syat is a 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.

More Articles by Olivia:

Sharon High School’s Olivia Syat on Stacy Padula’s Novel Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told

A New Kind of Teen Book Series Hits the Shelves!

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.