Written by Maya Daly, Duxbury, Massachusetts
Maya is a senior 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.
The latest addition to Stacy Padula’s Gripped series, “Gripped Part 5: Taylor’s Story” brings suspense and drama to the ongoing story of the many teens and young adults in Montgomery Lake.
Filled with action, the storyline centers around Taylor Dunkin, a former football star who found himself entangled with serious drugs and an even more dangerous gang, on his journey to try to find his way again. Despite Taylor’s efforts, his journey is not as easy as he had hoped, as he now has to deal with the mess that has been created. Along with Taylor, this story brings us a long awaited reunion between sisters, Cathy and Chantal Kagelli, after nearly two years of barely speaking. With unraveling drama going on around the two, they have a lot to discuss. Now, with the two of them back in each other’s lives, they both try to plan and move forward to a better and healthier future in high school.
This book combines both the drama of high school with danger of organized crime and drug dealing, making for a thrilling story. Not only does this book prove to be an engaging page-turner, it also provides an important message on the very real dangers of drug abuse, making this a must read for all audiences. Overall, the Gripped Series shows how drug and substance abuse can impact anyone, and it shows how far this impact stretches, even after someone may be done with drugs. After reading this book, I would rate it 5/5 stars due to the exciting nature of the story in combination with the important message it portrays throughout.
Now being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman!
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.
Taylor’s Story won the Silver Award in the 2022 Readers’ Choice Book Awards for Best Teen Book.
“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