By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA
Gripped Part 2: Blindsided by Stacy Padula is a cautionary tale for young adults, but it is also a humanizing story of those who have fallen into bad habits. Eighth graders Chris Dunkin, Cathy Kagelli, and Jason Davids are an integral part of their clique in their community, and are headed toward popularity when they attend the same high school together in a year. Despite their well-polished exteriors, they are all catapulting quickly toward destruction — and they don’t even know it yet.
Jason’s older brother has been dealing drugs, and Jason and his friends have been losing themselves in their experimentation with drugs. This book weaves together the stories of different groups in the community and flashes forward to their “present” day stories. Filled with romance, drama, danger, guilt, and redemption, this book is a look into the secret dangers that face American teenagers today.
Mackenzie is a senior at the University of Georgia majoring in English and public relations. She is a leader at the Wesley Foundation at UGA, the community outreach coordinator for UGA’s Undergraduate English Association, and a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Mackenzie has always had a passionate love for books and their ability to open doors to new worlds. She is excited to assist Stacy Padula O’Halloran in making a change in the young adult community.