Here’s Why ‘Gripped’ Should be Read in High Schools Across America

| Written by Julia Trenholm, Plymouth, Massachusetts |

Julia Trenholm is from Plymouth, Massachusetts where she attends Plymouth North High School. Her favorite subjects include marketing and science. Some of her hobbies include cheerleading and singing in the Northern Lights A cappella group. Julia would like to study communications in college.

As a senior in high school, I believe that Gripped Part 2: Blindsided by Stacy Padula is a great way to educate young adults to make thoughtful decisions through common teenage social situations. This includes drug and alcohol abuse, a topic that many school systems seem to want to avoid addressing.

Often school administrators and parents are worried about these scenarios happening to their own kids and will try to shelter them from being exposed to these situations in books. Instead of just telling them “drugs are bad for you,” educators and parents need to encourage students to properly educate themselves on the topic by allowing them to read this great book series. Through Gripped, kids will gain an understanding of how drugs are more powerful than they may think.

The truth is, kids will learn so many significant lessons from characters such as Chris Dunkin, Cathy Kagelli, Jason Davids, and Taylor Dunkin. Some examples include how drugs and substances affect your relationships with others, the lead up to an addiction, and how it can completely take over your personality. Mental health, honesty in relationships, and the importance of surrounding yourself with good friends who truly care about you are all themes in Blindsided. This book, and the entire Gripped series, will help kids navigate through society today and not be afraid to reach out for help or have honest conversations with the ones they trust and love. After reading this book, kids will understand the many causes and decisions that lead up to an addiction. It is a cautionary and engaging tale that teens will relate to and enjoy from cover to cover. It is my hope schools will implement this series in some way so more kids will learn the valuable lessons shown through the compelling characters and suspenseful plot line.


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.