Accurate Representation Matters: why the Gripped book series belongs in schools

| Written by Olivia Halle, Hingham, Massachusetts |

Olivia Halle is a senior at Hingham High School, where she is the president of National Honor Society. She is a member of the Varsity Tennis Team and also enjoys sailing, reading, and hiking. Olivia is involved in Hingham’s Mentor Program, Green Team, and Medical Sciences Club. 

The young adult novel, Gripped Part 3: The Fallout by Stacy Padula touches upon the use of Adderall, acid, marijuana, alcohol, and Xanax. For that reason, schools may hesitate to have their students read this novel. However, reading Gripped Part 3 would benefit all adolescents as they confront the world around them and learn how to navigate their exposure to substances and abuse. Gripped Part 3 exposes the brutal consequences of party culture and substance abuse, warning both teens and tweens of the negative implications that can arise. Even more so, the novel humanizes the indescribable challenges of going through addiction and how it can impact relationships, portraying substance abuse in a way that will make young adults thoroughly contemplate their values.

Adults would also benefit from reading Gripped Part 3, as they will be better equipped to prepare their children to handle a world in which their peers may pressure them to partake in substances.

The Gripped series depicts the harsh realities of substance abuse through both the denial of addiction and the attempts to recover from addiction, which will provide adults with information on the cyclical and paralyzing nature of addiction. After reading, adults will surely be able to take a staunch opposition to substance abuse and will consequently instill the same tenet into their children.

Through Gripped Part 3, readers will see that drugs are often used as a coping mechanism, a form of escapism. All of the characters in the series that partake in and abuse substances attempt to find relief from the burdens and struggles of their daily lives, rather than confronting and resolving their issues. Part 3 warns readers that drugs do not solve problems nor do they provide substantive comfort, which encourages readers to face their challenges rather than temporarily numb the discomfort by abusing substances. For all of these reasons, Gripped Part 3 and the entire series should be embraced by high schools as an educational tool teenagers will gladly read because of its relatable content, compelling characters, and suspenseful storyline.


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.