High School Senior Recommends Realistic Y.A. Novel to Parents, Coaches, & Teachers

Written by Sarah Parrish, Dover, Massachusetts

Sarah is a senior at Dover-Sherborn High School where she is captain of the Alpine Ski Team and the Track and Field Team. She is also a member of her school’s Peer Helping Club and Community Service club. Throughout the summer, Sarah works as a counselor at a local summer camp and also as a server at the Chatham Filling station. With a passion for leadership and athletics, she enjoys ski instructing at Burke Mountain and coaching field hockey for Dover-Sherborn Youth Field Hockey. She also enjoys her participation in the Senior High Youth Group at Pilgrim Church where she volunteers around her community. In her freetime, she enjoys boating, skiing, running and traveling. 

Through Gripped Part 3: The Fallout by Stacy Padula, teenagers can learn the harmful and addictive effects of several drugs in an easily understandable way. This book is important for teenagers to read because it is easy to understand how drugs can take over one’s life in a way that is relatable. Many kids nowadays believe nothing bad will ever happen to them and will always happen to someone else, but this book uncovers the dangers in a way that is not far from reality. 

This gripping novel conveys a message that people can begin using drugs to cover up some sort of trauma or pain in their lives. For example, Jason Davids got Cathy Kagelli into drugs when she was struggling with her relationship with her twin sister, Chantal. The book also conveys that people are not immediately aware of their addiction. Taylor Dunkin tells his brother Marc that he did not know he was addicted until he felt the withdrawals and that it never occurred to him that he was becoming dependent until his pills were not accessible anymore.

Adults could also benefit from reading Gripped Part 3 by becoming more aware of what some adolescents are exposed to. Whether these adults are teachers, parents, or coaches, they can all benefit by educating themselves and helping prevent teenagers from getting involved with drugs. For example, Jason’s doctor prescribed him Adderall, and his parents are clueless that he has been taking double his prescribed dose everyday. When Jason realizes he has a problem and goes to his mother for help, it is obvious she is clueless that the drug has been detrimental to her son’s mental health. Instead, she brings up the importance of earning straight A’s and seems resistant to the idea of lowering his dose. Not wanting to admit to his pattern of abuse, Jason ultimately decides to try to wean himself off the drug on his own, but parental support would have been helpful. This demonstrates that even caring parents like Jason’s can be unaware when their children are abusing prescribed meds—just as Taylor Dunkin’s parents had no idea. The Davids and the Dunkins assumed their “good kids” with straight A’s, Jason and Taylor, were smart enough to abstain from drug abuse. If adults want to learn the signs of prescription drugs abuse, they should read the entire Gripped series by Stacy Padula. The best kids from the best families can be ensnared.

Addiction does not discriminate.


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.

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.