A Review of “Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors” by Hingham High School’s Olivia Halle

| Written by Olivia Halle, Hingham, Massachusetts |

Meet Olivia Halle

Olivia 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. 

Gripped Part 4: Smoke & Mirrors is the perfect followup to the third installment of the series, as this novel perfectly articulates the complications of substance abuse. As Taylor Dunkin attempts to pull himself out of the world of drugs, Cathy and Jason descend deeper and deeper into the cycle of substance abuse. This bifurcation exemplifies how easy it is to turn towards substances as a way to cope, yet displays how incredibly hard it is for someone to get out of this cycle.

The Bilotti crime ring intensifies as Jordan and Marc are left to decipher clues concerning where Taylor is. This quest brings Jordan and Marc together, despite their past relationship troubles, for the sake of the family and Taylor.

Gripped Part 4: Smoke & Mirrors is the perfect balance between being meaningful yet still remaining an entertaining and engrossing read. — Olivia Halle


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?

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.