Weymouth High School Senior Recommends This Y.A. Book to Teens Across America

Written by John Savage, Weymouth, Massachusetts

As a senior in high school, I relate to Stacy Padula’s novel Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told. To an extent, I have seen what drugs can do to people and athletes, specifically. I also know and understand the ins-and-outs of what it’s like to be in a clique that circulates around drama.

I recommend Gripped Part 1 to any high school student throughout the United States. The book has very likable and relatable characters high schoolers can relate to. I’d also recommend it to anyone who has a love for sports. What I liked best about the story was the character development. I was able to imagine what the characters look like and understand their tendencies and habits. I also thoroughly enjoyed the flashbacks to give even more context because this allowed me to understand the characters and the plot fully.

Gripped Part 1 by Stacy Padula sends readers a message of how important it is to stay true to yourself and to not get caught up in drugs as a young adult. The book illustrates how damaging drugs can be for athletes and high school students in general. It also sends the message of staying true to God.

“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 John Savage

John is a senior at Weymouth High School. He plays Unified Basketball, Basketball, and Volleyball, and he is a leader on all teams. His favorite subjects are World History, English Literature, and Sports Management. His hobbies include playing basketball at local parks with his friends, being around his Unified Basketball teammates, and volunteering. He would like to major in Sports Management 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.