“Blindsided” Sheds Light on Teen Experiences Often Hidden Behind Closed Doors

Written by Olivia Syat, Sharon, Massachusetts

I strongly believe Gripped Part 2: Blindsided by Stacy Padula should be read by young adults in middle school and high school. The novel depicts the harsh reality of how drugs can alter one’s life completely. Rather than glorifying the party lifestyle of teens, it draws awareness to the experiences often hidden behind closed doors. Due to a lack of conversation about the rising epidemic of misusing prescription drugs, many feel ashamed to admit they have a problem. If books like Gripped were featured in school environments, teens may seek out help to better themselves. 

Kids can learn many things from Gripped Part 2: Blindsided. For one, they uncover the real truth about drugs in a school environment and gain insight on the issues, influencing them to stay away from pills. The book also encourages kids to find a supportive friend group which is a salient part of getting through high school. With a good group of friends, you can conquer any challenge. Lastly, it touches upon appearance versus reality and going to the root of a rumor rather than just believing it, which results in a healthier community.

Others on Blindsided

Gripped Part 2: Blindsided guides the reader through a thrilling narrative, expertly utilizing flashbacks to demonstrate a complete picture of just how devastating and far-reaching substance abuse can impact not just an individual, but entire families and communities. It is an essential book for kids and parents alike.” – E. Harvey, Emerson College

“One of the main benefits of reading Gripped Part 2: Blindsided, as well as the entire Gripped series, is that it not only shows the horrors of substance abuse, but also reveals the buildup to it. Blindsided depicts not just the worst days, but the first days. Through the story, teens are able to learn about decisions and behaviors that can lead to drug abuse. Throughout the story, the social lives of the different characters intertwine with each other, creating drama, conflict, and new friendships, which makes Blindsided a fascinating read.” – M. Farinacci, St. Sebastian’s School

Gripped Part 2: Blindsided is an engaging and easy read that is ideal for middle school and high school students, while also being very applicable to adults wanting to know more about teenage drug abuse. It shows the efforts that are needed to even attempt to overcome an addiction, which is shown to be extremely hard to complete. This would hopefully influence Padula’s target audience to avoid using drugs in order to prevent going through this tough and painful process. In all, I rate this book a 5/5.” – K. Banker, University of Miami

SYNOPSIS

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 wakes up 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!