Written by Deirdre Mitchell, Villanova, PA
Deirdre Mitchell is a junior in high school and attends the Academy of Notre Dame in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Deirdre enjoys dancing, traveling, and being with friends and family. One of Deirdre’s favorite places to travel was London. At school, Deirdre is a part of the dance company, environmental club, and campus ministry. Deirdre also runs her own non-profit organization, called Community Dress Shop, where she collects prom dresses and gives them to girls who would normally not be able to afford one.
Gripped Part 3: The Fallout by Stacy A. Padula addresses rough topics that some parents might be hesitant to have their kids read about. However, the book exposes teens to real life circumstances while providing valuable lessons and alternative, healthy choices.
For example, the female lead character, Cathy Kagelli is addicted to Xanax, a prescription drug. Cathy’s misuse of the substance causes a change in her personality, which ruins her relationships with her friends and her boyfriend. Cathy’s story gives the readers insight into drugs and the importance of not misusing any drug even if it is medicine. Cathy took Xanax one night before a party and made the bad decision to drink alcohol. As a result, she became drunk very quickly and had sex with her boyfriend Jason for the first time. Cathy did not remember anything the following morning.
Gripped Part 3 teaches readers that people start using drugs for various reasons. Some experiment because of peer pressure while others believe it will help them in some way. There is also a perception that using drugs is “cool,” fun, and that it helps to gain popularity. For others, it is an escape from deeper issues with family, friends, academics, or athletics.
The benefit of reading about Chris Dunkin’s journey to sobriety is that it can serve as inspiration to others that find themselves addicted to a substance. Chris is very popular and known as “the life of the party”. He is always throwing parties and getting drunk/high. However his desire and determination to get sober sends a positive message to teens that you don’t need to drink or smoke to be “cool.” I respect Chris’s desire and commitment to getting sober. I also find Chris very mysterious. After he broke up with Courtney, he began to hang out with Chantal and some of her friends. I found this interesting because he had not been friendly with Chantal since she and Cathy stopped talking.
Adults will benefit from reading Gripped Part 3 by exposing them to the reality of teenage substance abuse. I believe many parents are unaware of the high use of drugs in high schools today. Gripped Part 3 will not only inform parents but also it will encourage them to speak to their kids about this important topic. Lastly, the book does an excellent job in showing forgiveness to teens that have experimented and struggled with substance abuse. Taylor Dunkin’s parents encourage him to rejoin the family for Easter following his drug addiction. His parents showed him unconditional love and they never gave up on him.
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.