Mackenzie Wells Reviews “Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors” by Stacy Padula

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA

In the fourth installment of Stacy Padula’s Gripped Book series, the stakes are higher as Taylor Dunkin struggles to save himself and protect the ones he loves. He never knew that a slippery slope could cause him to fall into such a pit of despair. As he tries to pull himself out, however, he begins to realize that he may not be able to escape the mess of his own creation. 

Taylor’s two younger brothers, Jordan and Marc have been at odds for years, but they are drawn together to try to decipher the mysterious clues Taylor is leaving to his whereabouts. As secrets are revealed, the relationships between the Dunkin boys may change forever, and their town of Montgomery Lake along with them.

Stacy Padula’s masterful control of a bifurcated storyline keeps the reader intrigued in two chronologies of events. The characters grow richer with each passing novel, and the depth of relationship between them approaches reality. A five star review for Gripped 4: Smoke and Mirrors.

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie graduated in 2020 from the University of Georgia, majoring in English and public relations. She is a leader at the Wesley Foundation at UGA, the community outreach coordinator for UGA’s Undergraduate English Association, and a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Mackenzie has always had a passionate love for books and their ability to open doors to new worlds. She is excited to assist Stacy Padula in making a change in the young adult community.

Articles by Mackenzie

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.