Written by Abby Fusco, Marshfield, MA
Gripped Part 2: Blindsided is one of Stacy Padula’s best books thus far. I would give it a 5/5 star rating and would greatly recommend it. The topics that are covered in the book are not talked about enough yet they affect so many teenagers’ lives. Both teens and adults need to read these books to understand how hard high school and middle school is and how hard it truly is for students to avoid drugs and alcohol. Overall Gripped Part 2 was an amazing book that captivated my interest as a quick read because I simply could not put it down.
The Gripped series shows the effects of drugs and substances and how they change teenagers lives for the worse. Every character in the book shows how middle school and high school peer pressure affects teen lives forever. Anyone who wants to be informed about how high school truly is should read Gripped 2. I believe the series should be read by kids in both middle school and high school because they are the ones who can be taught before they make the mistakes that the characters do in Gripped. Most schools would not allow for the content in Gripped to be read by high schoolers because they would think that it is inappropriate for teens to be reading, but in reality, teenagers are already facing the issues in Gripped and the struggle of avoiding peer pressure in regards to drugs and alcohol.
“What other drugs have you tried?” Lisa asked.
“Weed, mushrooms, ecstasy, mescaline, acid, Adderall, Xanax, Klonopin, and Vicodin, but this one is, by far, the best,” Chris replied without any hesitation.
Lisa widened her eyes. “Wow. You’ve tried a lot of stuff since we broke up.”
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.
“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 be, as it impacts not just individuals, but entire families and communities. It is an essential young adult 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, University of Notre Dame
About Abby Fusco
Abby Fusco is a senior at Marshfield High School. She has always enjoyed painting her dog, Teddy—a King Charles Cavalier. Her paintings made perfect gifts for her mother, and this inspired her to begin painting pet portraits for her friends and family. She founded A.R.F. Pet Portraits in 2020, where people can order paintings of their beloved animals by uploading a photo through her website. Abby’s love for animals inspired to donate 100% of the proceeds from her paintings to the Marshfield Animal Shelter.
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