William & Mary Freshman Reviews “Gripped 5: Taylor’s Story”

By Emily Han, College of William & Mary

Gripped 5: Taylor’s Story by Stacy Padula is a fantastic continuation of the Gripped Series. We see Taylor Dunkin continue to struggle with trying to get out of the Drug Dealing ring, while still being fearful for his life and the repercussions of leaving. The ripples of him trying to turn from the ring affect many students from MLH, to the point where others feel threatened. This is a great read, as it shows kids the unexpected dangers of drug dealing. 

As well as Taylor’s story, we also see a continuation of the rest of the students battling their addictions and issues that arose from it. This results in many tough discussions happening which show kids the way families and friends fall apart from substance abuse. 

Overall the Gripped Series is fantastic for anyone looking to learn about the dangers of substance abuse. This is an essential read for those looking to protect themselves against peer pressure and drugs.


Taylor Dunkin is missing.
The last message Jordan Dunkin receives from Taylor leads him to Taylor’s abandoned Jeep. Each of Taylor’s family members holds a piece of the puzzle, and as the Dunkins begin putting the details together, they are awakened to the possibility they may never see Taylor again.

No one can find Missy Kent.
Missy’s boyfriend Luke Davids last saw her dancing with their friends at a nightclub, but she hasn’t responded to anyone’s texts or calls for hours.

Everything is connected.
Taylor and Missy’s friends are dangerously close to learning the truth, but their ignorance might be the only thing keeping them safe. Every clue is leading them closer to peril.

The fifth book in the Gripped series moves through details at a thrilling pace. Secrets are revealed and lives are at stake. Taylor, Missy, their friends, and their families must figure out who they can trust before it’s too late.

About Emily Han

Emily Han graduated in 2021 from Oliver Ames High School in Easton, Massachusetts. She was the captain of her varsity field hockey team and a leader on her club team, Lead The Way. She was a member of National Honor Society and a founder of the PAWS Club and an active member of the Jimmy Fund Club. Emily now attends the College of William & Mary. She has a passion for environmental science and marine science. Her hobbies include scuba diving, exercising, and volunteering at local field hockey clinics and with Save The Bay.

More Articles by Emily:

Teens Relate to New Y.A. Book Series

Refreshing Y.A. Book Prepares Teens to Make Difficult Decisions

Emily Han on the “Gripped” Characters

Easton Teen Says Y.A. Novel Is Too Relevant To Be Ignored

Teen Fiction Novel Exposes Consequences 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.