Debut Novel of Y.A. Book Series Addresses the Pressures & Temptations Plaguing Today’s Teenagers

Written by Megan Farinacci, Medfield, MA

As a young adult reading Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told, I related to the constant pressure of society. Peer pressure is an issue that almost all young adults face, and it can be extremely harmful to the development of teenagers. As shown in Stacy Padula’s novel, many of the characters give in to peer pressure and the results are eye opening. As a teen I can relate to the emotions that many of the characters experienced.

I would highly recommend Gripped Part 1. It is packed with complex topics that are very important to address with young adults and ultimately any age group. Drug and alcohol abuse is prevalent in our society whether we admit it or not, and this book illustrates the impact that drug exposure can have on young teens development. The message behind this novel is extremely impactful.

What I liked best about Gripped Part 1 was the layout of the stories. The book starts in 2017 and jumps back to 2016 revealing the characters’ younger selves. The novel then concludes with the present day, connecting the series of events told in the story. By doing this, the reader is able to see the impacts of the decisions made by the characters in their younger years. 

Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy Padula communicates how impactful drugs and alcohol can be to young adults. The message of the story helps the reader further understand how accessible drugs are in our society and how much damage they can do. 

“Invigorating, engaging and a must read. The characters in The Gripped Series diligently tackle the essence of forces that can limit greatness within.” – LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix’s Emmy-winning series Last Chance U

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.

About Megan Farinacci

Megan is a junior at Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. She is a member of the Varsity Cross Country and Varsity Lacrosse teams at NCDS. She also plays club lacrosse for Mass Elite. She is involved in her school’s health science, yearbook, and running clubs. She has a passion for art and is currently studying 2D design. Megan also enjoys traveling. Over the summer, she traveled to Guatemala with School the World where she helped build a school for a community in need. Her favorite subjects are science and English. She plans to study science or nursing in college. 

Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.