By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA
Most books or T.V. series with a target audience of young teenagers pull back from showing the complete picture of teenage drug use and sexual activity. However, living life without knowing the complete picture and without an understanding of the repercussions can lead to very dangerous decisions. Life does not pull punches like the censored books available in school libraries. Therefore, reading uncensored books such as those in Stacy Padula’s Gripped book series gives students a more realistic view of the world in which they live. The drug use and sexual content in “Gripped 2: Blindsided” by Stacy Padula will surely get it banned from schools, but the topics are too relevant in teenage culture to be ignored.
This book shows a lot of slippery slopes and the consequences of slipping—even for “good kids.” Taylor’s knee surgery causes him to start abusing drugs, as Cathy’s anxiety does for her. Chris’s behavior goes from dangerous to near-deadly while he deals with feelings of abandonment from his parents.
While this book is a cautionary tale for young adults, it is also a humanizing story of those who have fallen into bad habits. The characters never set out with any intention of becoming addicted or hurting others, but the mind-altering influences of drugs and alcohol change them along the way.
Mackenzie is a recent graduate from the University of Georiga who has degrees in English and Public Relations. She has always adored talking about books, and she loves the opportunity to help others bring their books to life. She is an avid reader (obviously), a dog lover, and a tea enthusiast.