By Jennifer O’Sullivan, Dover, Massachusetts & Boston College
I would highly recommend Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors by Stacy Padula to any young adults in middle or high school because of the great lessons it can teach to impressionable kids, but also parents whose children may be about to enter this life stage. This book is an accurate representation of high school life, including very similar situations to ones I’ve personally seen throughout high school. Gripped 4 touches on everything from complicated relationships and friendships to the ever evolving party scene.
Not only is this book accurate, but it teaches hard to learn yet important lessons about substance use and abuse and how seemingly harmless actions can change everything. This book is very helpful in this sense and can also help to facilitate conversation between parents and young adults or amongst teens themselves. This book paints an accurate picture of what the pressures of high school that surround you feel like, which can both prepare teens for what’s to come and inform parents. Informed parents can then have educational and supportive conversations with their children and also better understand what their child may be going through so that they can offer their help.
Jennifer O’Sullivan, graduated from Dover Sherborn High School in 2020. She enjoys reading, playing the piano, spending time with friends and doing volunteer work. Jennifer led her school’s community service club and ran on her school’s cross country and track teams. She also loves to travel—especially to Ireland where she spends time with friends and family. Jennifer also runs and operates her own childcare company in the metro west of Massachusetts. Currently, she is attending Boston College to pursue her career goal of becoming a physician.