Uncensored Teen Novel Shares Important Truths That Should Not Be Ignored

Written by Elizabeth Harvey, Emerson College

Gripped Part 3: The Fallout touches upon the use of Adderall, acid, marijuana, alcohol, and Xanax. For that reason, parents may not want their children to read the novel. However, although Gripped portrays substance use and abuse, it does so in a way that can be understood by tweens and teens since the topic is addressed and experienced by the young characters, who are tweens and teens themselves. Additionally, the situations and substances portrayed in the story are very much prevalent within middle schools and high schools across the U.S. Therefore, Censoring the fact that the substance abuse problem in this country is increasingly affecting tweens and teens would be a great disservice. 

Gripped Part 3: The Fallout is written from the perspective of the young characters, which the storyline centers around. While reading, adults will be able to clearly understand the various thought processes and situations that tweens and teens face in the book, which are applicable to the “real world” and how they deal with it, including the ramifications of decisions. It is also beneficial to read about how the adults’ words or actions affect the characters and what is seen to be helpful or not. 

In the novel, the storyline that details the summer before high school is very intriguing because of how vividly it is portrayed and the complexity of the feelings and situations that the various characters face in a relatively short period. It was fascinating to read about the characters’ use of drugs throughout the summer, especially to see that when hard feelings or situations occurred, the drug and alcohol use increased—something that unfortunately is true in the lives of many young adults. I kept wanting to turn the page to find out what the characters would say or do next, especially in scenes involving a party due to the unpredictable nature of these social events. 

Gripped Part 3 demonstrates just how easy and seemingly harmless using drugs can appear at first, especially for tweens and teens. The addiction aspect of drugs clearly shown in this novel is something not often discussed amongst teens, especially at a party or social event when people offer drugs and frame them in a positive way. Gripped 3 also touches on the subject of self-medicating, a behavior that is used to regulate emotions, which can be habit-forming. It is only a temporary fix and not something that will solve the problem, which is a common misconception. 


Eighteen-year-old Marc Dunkin has received word from a detective that his oldest brother Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential case headed by the Boston Police Department. They know Taylor’s clean; they know he wants out of the game; and they want to help make that happen. However, their “help” will come at a cost—one that may put Taylor and his entire family in grave danger.

Twenty-three-year-old Taylor Dunkin is trying to get his life back in order after an opiate addiction wreaked havoc on his once promising athletic future. Getting clean was a difficult feat, but breaking free from the Bilotti crime ring will present an even greater challenge.

Gripped Part 3: The Fallout

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About Elizabeth Harvey

Elizabeth first interned for Stacy Padula during the 2016-2017 school year. We are delighted to have her back as part of our team. Elizabeth attended Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications for one year before moving back to Boston and taking courses at Northeastern University. In the fall, she plans to attend Emerson College, as a communications major with a focus on public relations. She is originally from Needham, Massachusetts. Elizabeth enjoys creative writing and has a passion for traveling which she has pursued since high school. She looks forward to continuing her work on the Gripped book series!

Latest Articles by Elizabeth:

An Editorial Review of Gripped Part 2: Blindsided by Stacy A. Padula

Why Teens & Parents Should Read “Gripped” by Stacy Padula

“Gripped” by Stacy Padula is a Book All Middle School & High School Students Will Enjoy Reading

The Spiritual Battle in The Aftermath

A Teen’s Take on the MLH Characters

Spiritual Warfare in The Forces Within

A Teen’s Review of The Forces Within by Stacy Padula

A Teenager’s Review of The Aftermath

A Close Look at the Characters in Gripped Part 2: Blindsided

A Controversial but Worthwhile Read for All Young Adults

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.