Y.A. Novel “Blindsided” Shows How Even The Most Unlikely Teens Can Fall Victim to Substance Abuse

Written by Maya Daly, Duxbury, Massachusetts

Gripped Part 2: Blindsided by Stacy Padula continues on with the journeys of various teenagers wrapped up into dangerous relationships with drugs and alcohol. This book proves to be a compelling read, taking the reader through the troublesome lives of the young teens of Montgomery Lake High School. As these teens are exposed to a partying scene from a young age, they find themselves wrapped up in drugs, alcohol, and other mature situations before they have even entered high school.

One of the main families involved in this is the Dunkin family, a family of many talented athletes who have bright futures ahead of them. However, this book proves the fact that drugs can impact anyone, no matter what outside factors they may have in their lives as shown through the stories of Chris and Taylor Dunkin. Chris, the younger cousin of the three older Dunkin brothers, who gets exposed to drugs and alcohol in middle school and then finds himself addicted before even entering highschool. And Taylor, the oldest of the Dunkin siblings, develops a serious opioid addiction after a serious knee injury, which turns into a dangerous situation involving the law and crime. Along with the many other characters, Chris and Taylor show the audience that drugs can take over the lives of the most unlikely people and just how easy it can be to become “gripped” by drugs. 

Stacy Padula’s story, Gripped Part 2: Blindsided is a 5/5 star read, as it is a captivating and revealing story on the dangers of drugs. An important read for people of all ages, this book shows how drugs can become a prominent factor in anyone’s life, even those who it would be least suspected of. The novel is able to keep the reader curious and engaged with each chapter, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series!

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 Maya Daly

Maya is a junior at Duxbury High School, where she is a member of the Varsity Rowing Team. In school, she is a part of the yearbook club, Best Buddies club, and Habitat for Humanity. She enjoys studying English and history, and plans to major in one of those subjects in college. 

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.