A Y.A. Book Series That Is Brutally Honest

Isabelle Semas is in her senior year of high school, and has been homeschooled most of her life.  She looks forward to graduating this year and hopes to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education.  In her spare time, she sings in a christian band named NHB with her friends, is very involved in her church’s children’s ministry, and enjoys art.  She hopes to someday publish a book of her own.

Written by Isabelle Semas

Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy Padula fills in some of the storylines left open in the Montgomery Lake High book series.  In the beginning of this book, we learn more about  Taylor Dunkin, former football legend turned drug-dealer, who wants out of the game.  Marc Dunkin, his brother, pledges to help police extract his brother from this crime ring he is caught up in. Meanwhile, in Montgomery, Jason Davids begins to unfold the truth about Jon and Chantal’s breakup.

I would recommend the first installment in the Gripped book series to teens and their parents.  No other young adult books are willing to be so brutally honest about the negative effects of drugs and alcohol.  This book also touches on teen relationships and how gossip affects them.  All of these topics are things which cannot become taboo in our culture, because the more we ignore them, the greater these problems will become.  Stacy Padula’s Gripped series is candid in its dealing with all of the damaging subjects which other authors glorify.

In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.

One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.

When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.

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