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 fourth book in Stacy Padula’s Gripped series, Smoke & Mirrors, is a compelling story about a former NFL prospect, trying to break free from a criminal organization, and substance abuse, destroying teenagers’ relationships. This book also dives into the relationship between Jason and Cathy and the grip of drugs on both of them.
I recommend that tweens, teenagers, young adults, and parents read Gripped Part 4: Smoke & Mirrors. This book and the series of Gripped books address in a realistic manner drug and alcohol abuse by teenagers and the negative consequences of such abuse. This book and the series effectively educates tweens, teenagers, young adults, and parents about how drug and alcohol abuse may arise and the negative consequences to a young adult’s relationships and future aspirations.
Now being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman!
After spending her first month of high school grounded, Cathy Kagelli is finally allowed to socialize and uncover what her boyfriend, Jason Davids, has been up to without her. When Cathy realizes Jason has been experimenting with a variety of drugs, she devises a plan to save him from himself… but she just may lose herself in the process.
Meanwhile Taylor Dunkin finds himself playing a game with even higher stakes because his life, his reputation, and the safety of everyone he loves are all on the line. Taylor’s two younger brothers, Jordan and Marc, have been at odds for years, but they are brought together to decipher the mysterious clues Taylor is leaving regarding his whereabouts. As secrets are revealed, the Dunkin boys’ relationships will be changed forever. In Taylor’s weakest moment, he made a deal with the devil, and now there is a reckoning. But who will pay the price?
“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