Why “Taylor’s Story” Belongs on High School & College Reading Lists – by Bella Gill

| Written by Bella Gill, Pembroke, Massachusetts |

Meet Bella Gill

Bella is a junior at Pembroke High School in Pembroke, Massachusetts.  She is a midfielder for the South Shore Select 2006 Girls Academy Soccer Team and is headed to the National Finals in St. Louis this summer.  She is also a midfielder for the Pembroke High School Girls Varsity soccer team.  Additionally, Bella is the vice-president of her class, a member of the Pembroke High School Yearbook staff and assistant coaches a U10 girls soccer team. Bella enjoys traveling with her family and friends, skiing, reading, babysitting, and working in the local office of a gastroenterologist. Bella’s favorite subjects include English, History, and Model UN.  She hopes to study abroad in Europe in college. 

During high school and college, teens are most likely going to be offered substances or be put in a position where they are surrounded by these substances. Throughout Gripped Part 5: Taylor’s Story by Stacy Padula, this same thing happens to a variety of the characters, who go through the same feelings and actions as real life teenagers do today. I would recommend this book to high school and college students because the plotline revolves around substance and alcohol abuse. This age group relates to the story the most because the majority of teenagers are most likely to be faced with exposure to drugs throughout parties, events, etc. Secondly, if teenagers read this novel, they will be able to learn very valuable lessons and understand the true consequences that can follow drug abuse. They are made well-aware of how drugs can corrupt your life and why you should overall distance yourself from them all. 

One of the most important messages that Gripped 5: Taylor’s Story sends out to readers is even if you are not the one consuming the drugs, selling drugs, or giving them to others, they can still cause massive amounts of harm to your life. Secondly, drugs should not be used in social scenes to make yourself seem cool or allow yourself to have fun. Substances do not bring positives to someone’s lifestyle. A final message that this book sends out to readers is you can still turn your life around if you struggle with addiction or have bad relationships with selling or consuming drugs.

My favorite part of this book is the neverending suspense and mystery that is presented. I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns and all of the new plotlines and conflicts kept me wanting to read. I also liked how some characters knew specific information, while others did not.

At this point in the series Jordan is my favorite character. He has changed so much since high school and I appreciate his good and strong morals and character. In Gripped 6, I am most curious to find out how Taylor remains safe and alive even with all of the people chasing after him. I am very excited to read about what happens to him and how much he will work with the FBI to shut down Bilotti’s crime. I am looking forward to finding out if Paul’s men hunt down Taylor and his family or allow them to continue on peacefully with their lives. 


Now being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman!

Taylor Dunkin is missing.
The last message Jordan Dunkin receives from Taylor leads him to Taylor’s abandoned Jeep. Each of Taylor’s family members holds a piece of the puzzle, and as the Dunkins begin putting the details together, they are awakened to the possibility they may never see Taylor again.No one can find Missy Kent.
Missy’s boyfriend Luke Davids last saw her dancing with their friends at a nightclub, but she hasn’t responded to anyone’s texts or calls for hours.

Everything is connected.
Taylor and Missy’s friends are dangerously close to learning the truth, but their ignorance might be the only thing keeping them safe. Every clue is leading them closer to peril.

The fifth book in the Gripped series moves through details at a thrilling pace. Secrets are revealed and lives are at stake. Taylor, Missy, their friends, and their families must figure out who they can trust before it’s too late.

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.