“Taylor’s Story” Sets the Tone for an Exciting 6th Novel in Stacy Padula’s “Gripped” Series

Written by Kyle Banker, University of Miami

“Gripped Part 5: Taylor’s Story” by Stacy Padula is a book that displays the heavy consequences of substances to young adults in Montgomery. Part 5 of the Gripped series smoothly picks up the storylines from the previous novel, including the situations of Taylor and Cathy. In this novel, Taylor once again is at the center point as he attempts to bring his life back together by exiting the drug dealing business. However, many in the Bilotti gang are making that task difficult to achieve. Taylor’s storyline quickly picks up throughout the novel, leaving the reader on edge and wondering what will happen to him next. Across Montgomery, Chantal and Cathy speak for the first time in two years since Chantal’s breakup with Jon. After a lengthy conversation, both characters exchange information that they never expected to hear. As a result, both Chantal and Cathy need to analyze their next moves, both as a duo and involving others in Montgomery. By the end of the novel, many characters are in difficult situations that are yet to be solved, which sets up for an action-oriented sixth part of the Gripped series. 

This novel is an important and quick read targeted at high school seniors and college underclassmen. Additionally, I would recommend the book to adults who seek how drug problems can specifically affect teenagers and young adults. “Gripped Part 5” showcases the many consequences of taking drugs, including as far as your own life being taken from you. With “Gripped 5,” Padula hopes to influence all teenagers and young adults to avoid using drugs to prevent dangerous situations. The book serves not only as a form of education about where one can be exposed and offered drugs, but the drawbacks that result from accepting the offer and taking the pill.

In all, I rate Gripped 5 a 5/5 and would highly recommend reading it. I loved this book because although two main storylines were happening simultaneously, it was relatively easy to follow and see each scenario progress.

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.


Kyle is a junior at University of Miami. He graduated in 2019 from Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. He has been an intern for us since 2018. His favorite subjects include Biology, English, and Entrepreneurship. Some of his hobbies are playing soccer and hockey, volunteering, and being with friends and family. Kyle is studying Biological Sciences, while also pursuing his passions for writing and business.

Other Articles by Kyle:

Fiction Book Helps Teens Prepare for High School

Teen Novel about Addiction Provides Hope for Redemption and Recovery

Teen Novel Educates Kids About the Perils of Substance Abuse

Why Teens Want to Read The Right Person

A Must-Read Novel For All High School Students

Teen Book Series Educates Readers about Drug Abuse in a New Way

Why You Should Read the #1 New Release “Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told”

Kyle Banker on The “Gripped” Characters

A Teen’s Review of Gripped Part 1

Looking Ahead to Gripped Part 2 with Kyle Banker

What Should Readers Expect from Gripped Part 2 (To Be Released Later This Year)

May’s Q&A with Kyle Banker of Beaver Country Day School

Kyle Banker Reviews “The Right Person” by Stacy A. Padula – A Young Adult Novel