“Gripped Part 3” is a Portal into the Mind of a Teenager

Written by Olivia Syat, Sharon, Massachusetts

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.

Young adult novel, Gripped Part 3: The Fallout by Stacy A. Padula 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, I believe tweens and teens can gain an immense amount of insight on the crazy world of drugs from this book. Although sad, it is important that characters in the book were portrayed as being addicted because it shows the reality of the situation and the danger that follows it. Additionally, adolescents can learn that mistakes may not define you, but the way you choose to handle them can.

Gripped Part 3 acts as a portal into the mind of a teenager. It allows for parents to understand what their children may be going through without breaking a bond by being invasive. This book may strengthen parent-child relationships due to the fact that the parent can come into a hard conversation with a more understanding viewpoint than total disappointment and judgement. 

As drug use abounds in the series, some characters are trying their best to sober up, while others are getting deeper and deeper into substance abuse. I think Chris Dunkin’s journey gives people hope. His recoversy was by no means perfect; however, that’s what makes it more real to the audience. He not only matured over the series, but also helped others to find themselves as well. 

While reading the novel, I was most intrigued by Chantal and Jon’s past relationship. Although broken up,  their love allowed the reader to see multiple perspectives from two different friends groups that were living very different lives. It was interesting to go from book one to book three and see how Chantal and Jon’s relationship evolved. I was also highly intrigued by Jason’s oldest brother, Matt Davids, because I felt as though his presence wasn’t really seen as often in the other two books. His questions and talks with Jason turned the whole book around. He was a very influential character. Another character whom I gained a lot of respect for in Gripped Part 3 is Jordan Dunkin. Although part of a rebellious family, he seemingly left his mischievous self in high school and went to college with a mature outlook. I believe Jordan can become the glue for the Dunkin family.

Overall, Gripped Part 3: The Fallout by Stacy A. Padula demonstrates how teens can fall to peer pressure while trying to fit in with certain friends or trying to become more popular; however, by doing so, they may experience side effects such as anxiety and depression, which could ultimately lead to more severe drug issues. 

Other Articles by Olivia:

Blindsided Sheds Light on Teen Experiences Often Hidden Behind Closed Doors

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!

Olivia Syat Breaks Down the Characters and Relationships in Gripped 2

New Fiction Series Helps Teens Overcome Rough Patches

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.