An Interview with Marshfield High School Senior Abby Fusco on Gripped 3: The Fallout

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.

  1. This book 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, the author feels there is much to be learned. What do you think tweens and teens could learn from reading Gripped Part 3 that would be beneficial for them?

It is so important for both tweens and teens to read about these drugs and stories in Gripped Part 3 because the most important thing about the books is to learn from the teens’ bad choices without making them themselves. No parent wants to see their children go through the drug struggles that the teens in the Gripped series go through, so by reading the books teens are able to learn to not make the same mistakes and avoid all the problems the characters have.

  1. Why could adults benefit from reading Gripped Part 3?

Adults could benefit from Gripped Part 3 because they could see how to handle their children, God forbid they go through any of the challenges the characters face. By reading the books, adults are able to get the real perspective of how the teens feel and what exactly they are going through when they are not around their parents. This kind of experience and knowledge is uncommon in books, and it is captured in Gripped Part 3.

  1. What storylines were most intriguing in Gripped Part 3? What kept you wanting to turn the page?

The most intriguing storylines in Gripped Part 3 were reading about all the parties and gatherings the characters were having the summer before high school. I could not put down the book during the scenes where drama was unfolding and drugs were being taken. I was invested into hearing about what each character had to say next and the next crazy turn in the story. I really thought that it portrayed how many teens were trying to experience new things they thought were more grown up (like very serious drugs), and I feel that this is true for a lot of teens in real life.

  1. 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. How do you think readers can benefit from reading about Chris’s journey from the beginning of the series until now?

The readers are able to see the highs and lows of Chris’s journey to sobriety. His story is seen as the light in the other characters’ darker choices. His strides toward becoming sober and starting to create his own morals shows how much a character can change and totally become a new and improved version of themselves.

  1. What does this book teach readers about why people begin using drugs?

This book teaches readers about the many ways drug addiction starts. In many cases, it begins with peer pressure and other teens will tell their friends that it is fun and that they need to try it because everyone else is. What most do not expect is how addictive drugs can become and how even though it might just be called “one time” it most likely turns into two more times, then five more, and then a problem is started, resulting in more relationships ending than if the teen had just said no from the beginning.

  1. Chris loves Jordan, but Marc hates Jordan. He has slowly been introduced to the reader in the first three books and will play a more significant role later in the series. At this point in the series what are your honest thoughts on Jordan?

In this part of the series, I am beginning to like Jordan. In the first part of the series, I thought he was the worst of the brothers and did very bad things. Then as the books have continued, stories have been exposed as gossip, and I have been able to start really gaining an understanding of who Jordan is instead of what everyone had been saying about him.

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.

Read Additional Articles by Abby Fusco Here

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.