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.