Written by Olivia Syat, Sharon, Massachusetts
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.
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