Written by Gianna Arcabascio of Archbishop Williams High School and Pembroke, Massachusetts
Gripped 3: The Fallout by Stacy A. Padula provides excellent examples of the causes and consequences substance abuse in ways that are relatable to a teenage audience. From the very beginning of the series, one of the main characters, Chris Dunkin, has made immature choices as most teens will at some point. Throughout the book series, Chris has made multiple mistakes that affect everyone in his life, but what I did not realize until now is that he was actually learning from his blunders. Following Chris’s journey could help teens realize that things can get better if they do what is best for them, even if that means cutting ties with friends, boyfriends, or girlfriends who are bad influences. Gripped 3 also gives reader more insight into protagonist Taylor Dunkin. We learn more about his history, character, and relationships. It becomes apparent that Taylor has his work cut out for him but a strong will to succeed. Gripped 3 also helps readers understand a teenager’s perspective. Sometimes I think parents forget that kids’ minds think differently from theirs. Reading Gripped 3 will grant parents a better understanding of not only the situations their children may be facing, but also the thoughts that weigh on their minds. Additionally, the novel will bring awareness to parents on signs of drug abuse to look out for once their teens are enter middle school and high school. Whether you read this book as a pre-teen, teen, or parent, you will gain valuable insight into an ongoing epidemic plaguing young adults today: prescription drug abuse.