Written by Charlie Hallal – Hingham, Massachusetts
The drug use and sexual content in Gripped 2: Blindsided by Stacy Padula will likely get it banned from schools, but the topics are too relevant in teenage culture to be ignored. This book should be read by kids in middle school and high school to teach them the severity of drug use and show them how badly it can mess up peoples’ lives and relationships, even at such a young age. Kids can learn to be careful around drugs and be careful in “peer-pressured” situations, as caving to the pressure of those around you can lead to serious consequences when it comes to drugs or alcohol. Kids also see the worst of what irresponsible drug use can do to a successful person’s life and accomplishments.
After reading book 2 in the Gripped series, I’ve realized how much Chris is struggling mentally and how difficult it must be for him to try and straighten his life out, especially due to the fact that his parents don’t seem to be very worried about him at all. I think that Chris needs Lisa a lot more than he lets on, but he is too scared of hurting her and feels as if they need to be distanced from one another. I enjoyed watching it progress as the book went on.
My two favorite characters in the series so far are Chris and Jason. I am so attached to Chris because he is getting through his life with such a bad support system due to the fact that his parents seem selfish and uncaring and he still tries to do his best to figure out what is right for his peers, despite his struggles. I like Jason because he just seems like an honest and fun person to be around. I also have more sympathy for Taylor now that I know more about his past. It seems as if he poured his life into football just to have it taken away from him in a matter of seconds when he injured his leg.
“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”
Fourteen-year-old Chris Dunkin is known for being the life of the party and everyone’s favorite friend. Despite his amicable nature, he carries around deep-seated pain from his childhood that he frequently numbs with alcohol and drugs.
After hosting a party, Chris awakes with a strange vibe running through his body and no recollection of the previous night. When he learns the horrifying truth of what his night entailed, the trajectory of his life is changed forever.
About Charlie Hallal
Charlie is a rising senior at Hingham High School. Some of his hobbies include wrestling, exercise, spending time with his friends and family, writing, and watching sports. He is looking forward to his senior year as he continues to prepare for college.