An Interview with Rising Tide Senior Nasin Groshek on ‘Gripped 2: Blindsided’

Written by Nasin Groshek, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Nasin is a senior at Rising Tide Charter Public School, a college preparatory regional high school located in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  He enjoys travel, boating, photography, nature, volunteer work, and spending time with family and friends.  Nasin is a member of both the Community Action and Eco Clubs at Rising Tide.  He is also the founder of the Business Club at Rising Tide and looks forward to studying business in college.

  1. The drug use and sexual content in Gripped Part 2: Blindsided may get it banned from some schools, but the topics are too relevant in teenage culture to be ignored. Why do you think this book should be read by kids in middle school and high school?

I recommend this book to middle and high school students since it addresses many situations that these students may encounter during their middle and high school years. Students will relate to the various storylines weaved throughout the book and can learn the possible negative outcomes of drug and alcohol abuse. Young adults who read this book might think about how they would react to the situations and encounters described through the various storylines.

  1. What can kids learn from reading this book?

Kids can learn that substance abuse can negatively affect their futures and relationships. This book, for example, describes how the relationship between Chris Dunkin and Lisa as boyfriend and girlfriend was destroyed due to substance abuse. Chris Dunkin broke up with Lisa so that he could fix himself and partly due to the guilt of introducing Lisa and others to drugs.

  1. How has your opinion of protagonist Taylor Dunkin changed from the beginning of the series until the end of book 2?

My opinion of Taylor has not changed. I am still rooting for Taylor to put his life back together. Taylor’s storyline in this book of the series was barely discussed.

  1. How has your opinion of Chris Dunkin changed since the beginning of the series?

My opinion of Chris has changed since the beginning of the series since we now understand why Chris started partying and experimenting with drugs at a very young age. Chris believes that his parents do not love him since they never tell him that they love him and since they spend half the time in Europe. He thinks they value expensive things over time spent with him and his sister. A nanny raised him and his sister, and the nanny was fired once Taylor Dunkin became old enough to housesit since they did not want to pay the nanny.

  1. After reading books 1 & 2, are you rooting for Cathy to end up with Jason or Marc?

I am rooting for Cathy to end up with Marc since Cathy needs a positive influence in her life. Since discovering that Taylor and Luke were involved in the distribution of drugs to kids in their hometown, Marc has set off to reverse the damage caused by his brother Taylor and his best friend, Luke. The question is whether Marc really thinks of Cathy as a potential girlfriend or whether he is just trying to fix the damage caused by both Taylor and Luke to Cathy.

  1. What are your honest thoughts on Chris and Lisa’s relationship?

My opinion is that the relationship between Chris and Lisa is toxic. Lisa regrets having dated Chris again since she knew he was an unstable mess and that she needed someone dependable. Chris acknowledges that being with him is dangerous since he will again mess up and hurt Lisa.

  1. Who are your two favorite characters so far in the series and why?

My two favorite characters so far are both Marc Dunkin and Chantel Kagelli. Marc is a favorite due to his willingness to not cave in to peer pressure to participate in drugs and alcohol and to help those who


Now being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman!

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.


“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 (Ms. P) from Netflix’s Emmy Winning Docuseries “Last Chance U”

“Gripped is perfect for Middle School and High School students, as well as their parents. It is an educational, yet entertaining narrative that highlights the growing problem of addiction in the U.S and just how easy it is for harmless fun to take a dark turn, regardless of who you are or where you come from.” – Elizabeth Harvey, Emerson College

“I recommend Gripped to young adults in middle school and high school because this book addresses topics such as relationships, drugs, and alcohol that most books recommended for this age group don’t go into enough detail about. With the opioid epidemic at an all time high, it is important that teens educate themselves on the dangers that drugs bring, and this book does a great job at providing an in depth look on the consequences of getting involved in dangerous, illegal substances. I would also recommend this book to parents of teens so they can get a better understanding of how to deal with issues regarding addiction, or simply just issues regarding their children’s relationships. By reading about this story of young adults who got caught up in drugs, parents and teens will be better informed and will hopefully be more comfortable to have open conversations about the topic.” – Sophia Coggeshall, University of Notre Dame

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.