St. Sebastian’s Senior Calls Stacy Padula’s Gripped Part 2: Blindsided a “Must Read”

Written by Timmy Weiss, Weston, MA

Timmy Weiss is a senior at St. Sebastian’s high school.  He is a varsity tennis and varsity soccer player, as well as a part of MPA (men with positive attitudes), the newspaper named The Walrus, and the peer mentoring club. He enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, volunteering, and going to sports games. Soon he hopes to study communications in college. 

The book, Gripped Part 2: Blindsided, by Stacy Padula is a must read for all middle schoolers, teens and adults.  In this book of the series we see the start of many characters’ drug addictions.  Some turn from alcohol to drugs and some from nothing to drugs, causing serious problems for many of the characters. Relationships are ruined, people change, and friend circles continuously differ.  Cathy and Jason lean on each other for help, but the deeper they get into drugs, the harder it gets.  Chris Dunkin wakes up one morning after a party, forgetting everything that happened and Taylor sustains a serious football injury, changing his habits severely.

The constant talk of drug use among the characters is sure to teach kids how to say no when offered substances.  They will learn how kids can easily pressure them into trying things, but through strong, mature characters, like Marc and Courtney, they will see the stupidity of it.  This book is perfect for readers who enjoy lots of drama as each page offers a new dilemma.  Overall, this book is a fantastic read and I rate it a 5/5.  I loved this book so much because I related to the characters and was shocked how people so similar to me could make such bad decisions.


Now being adapted for TV!

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.

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.