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.
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: