University of Notre Dame Freshman Shares Why Parents Should Read Stacy Padula’s “Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors”

Michael Farinacci

By Michael Farinacci, University of Notre Dame

I recommend “Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors” by Stacy Padula to all high-schoolers, as well as their parents. The topics covered in “Gripped 4” are real problems that are found in every high school across America. High-schoolers should read the novel to understand the precursors to drug abuse and addiction, while parents should read it to understand the warning signs for high-schoolers who struggle with drug abuse.

The topics in this book are relevant to teenagers because they are topics that teenagers will be affected by. Although not all teenagers will directly be affected by drug abuse or addiction, almost all schools in the United States have these problems. This book can hopefully steer teens away from drugs, and it can also give them an understanding of how to deal with other people as they suffer from drug abuse and addiction.

It is imperative that parents read this book, as drug abuse and addiction are nearly impossible to predict and can affect almost any teen. When talking about Jason, Cathy thinks to herself: “Jason did not fit the description of a drug addict at all—except for the doing-drugs-every-day part.” This shows how difficult it is to identify a drug-abuser. Parents should read this novel to try and discover warning signs for addiction and to try to understand the thought process of teens as they navigate through the complex years of high school.

About Michael

A Medfield, Massachusetts native, Michael Farinacci graduated in 2020 from St. Sebastian’s School in Needham, Massachusetts. He was a part of his high school’s newspaper, The Walrus, and multiple athletic teams. He was also an editor for the St. Sebastian’s Journal. In addition to writing, he has a passion for mathematics, which he is currently pursuing as a freshman at the University of Notre Dame.

Other Articles by Michael:

A Junior from St. Sebastian’s School Shares His Opinion of “Gripped Part 1” by Stacy A. Padula

Michael Farinacci Reviews Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told

May’s Q&A with Michael Farinacci of St. Sebastian’s School

Looking Ahead to Gripped Part 2 with Michael Farinacci

Michael Farinacci of St. Sebastian School Reviews Gripped Part 2: Blindsided

A Rising Senior’s Take on Stacy Padula New Release Gripped Part 2: Blindsided

An Editorial Review of Stacy Padula’s Soon to be Released Gripped Part 3: The Fallout

New YA Book Educates Teens about Prescription Drug Abuse—Is It Controversial?

Jordan Dunkin, the Black Sheep of Gripped or Not?

New Teen Series Educates Readers About The Root Causes of Substance Abuse

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.