Not Just for Young Adults: ‘The Fallout’ Will Hit Home with People of All Ages

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.

The third book in Stacy Padula’s “Gripped” series is filled with entertaining plot lines and life lessons for people of all ages. Tweens and teens can learn from reading Gripped Part 3: The Fallout that surrounding yourself with positive influences in your life as opposed to bad influences can help you achieve your goals and dreams. Bad influences can result in tweens and teens getting deeper and deeper into substance abuse, which can adversely affect relationships, goals, and dreams. If a teen or tween is, unfortunately, engaging in substance abuse, the teen or tween may have to break away from those friends who are a bad influence in an effort to sober up. Adul​​ts can benefit from reading Gripped Part 3 since they will become aware that substance abuse can start at an early age. Many adults may be misinformed in thinking that substance abuse or experimentation with drugs and alcohol is not an issue until high school. Adults may also learn that drugs and alcohol are readily available to teens and tweens who want to experiment or self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

This book and the series teaches readers that people can begin using drugs for various reasons. For example, Chris began using drugs since he believes that his parents do not love him and Cathy began using drugs to self-medicate due to the anxiety she was experiencing from her fractured relationship with her twin sister Chantal. Taylor became addicted to drugs due to a sports injury and depression. Other characters in the book series also use drugs due to peer pressure. Readers can benefit from reading about Chris’s journey since they can understand the reasons for Chris’s partying and experimenting with drugs, the consequences of such substance abuse on his relationships, and his efforts now to sober up. We learn early in the book that Chris started partying and experimenting with drugs since he believes his parents do not love him. In Gripped Part 2, the relationship between Chris and Lisa was destroyed due to substance abuse. Now in Gripped Part 3 Chris attempts to separate from bad influences such as Jason to sober up. I am most intrigued by Chris Dunkin at this point in the series. I am interested to learn whether Chris is successful in his efforts toward living a clean lifestyle by surrounding himself with positive influences. I am also interested in learning how Chris’s relationship with Jason, Lisa, and other friends will evolve. The most intriguing storyline in Gripped Part 3 is the separation of Chris from his best friend, Jason. Chris realizes that Jason is a bad influence when Jason convinces Chris to take acid during the party the night before his first year of high school. Chris realizes he is weak and that bad influences like Jason can jeopardize his efforts toward living a clean lifestyle and avoiding drugs and alcohol.


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

After a near-death experience, Chris Dunkin begins surrounding himself with positive influences and putting his efforts towards living a clean lifestyle. However, the night before school starts, his best friend Jason convinces him to host a party that shows Chris more about himself than he actually wants to know.

Meanwhile, Marc Dunkin has received word from a detective that his oldest brother Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential case headed by the Boston Police Department. They know Taylor’s clean; they know he wants out of the game; and they want to help make that happen. However, their “help” will come at a cost-one that may put Taylor and his entire family in grave danger. Taylor is trying to get his life back in order after an opiate addiction wreaked havoc on his once promising athletic future. Getting clean was a difficult feat, but breaking free from the Bilotti crime ring will present an even greater challenge.


“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.