Bella Gill Reviews ‘Gripped Part 2: Blindsided’ by Stacy Padula

Written by Bella Gill, Pembroke, Massachusetts

Bella is a junior at Pembroke High School in Pembroke, Massachusetts.  She is a midfielder for the South Shore Select 2006 Girls Academy Soccer Team and is headed to the National Finals in St. Louis this summer.  She is also a midfielder for the Pembroke High School Girls Varsity soccer team.  Additionally, Bella is the vice-president of her class, a member of the Pembroke High School Yearbook staff and assistant coaches a U10 girls soccer team. Bella enjoys traveling with her family and friends, skiing, reading, babysitting, and working in the local office of a gastroenterologist. Bella’s favorite subjects include English, History, and Model UN.  She hopes to study abroad in Europe in college. 

The book Gripped Part 2: Blindsided, written by Stacy Padula, is a fascinating novel that describes the harmful effect of substance abuse and peer pressure to teenagers. The story explains how each character feels in social situations and gives details on how the teens indulge into substances and alcohol at different times and levels.

The main characters are constantly faced with peer pressure situations, where they are forced to make life-changing decisions. Gripped Part 2 also contains multiple relationships and vividly describes conflict between characters due to the harm that drugs bring to the friend group. For example, the book deeply touches on why Chris and Lisa’s relationship is strained due to Chris’ overuse of drugs and pills. 

As the story goes on, each teenager seems to decide whether or not they are going to continue down a dark path with drugs or if they are going to attempt soberness at all costs. The novel provides readers with perfectly realistic scenarios and allows for them to truly understand the struggles of peer pressure and substance abuse that teens face.

I think Gripped Part 2: Blindsided is a perfect read for teenagers and young adults, and I would rate it with 5 out of 5 stars. I would definitely recommend reading this novel because of the continuous tension between characters and the intriguing way the story is written. 


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.

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.