“Gripped 1” by Stacy Padula: A Captivating & Suspenseful Read for Teens – by Maeve Shortt

About Maeve Shortt

Maeve is a junior at St. John Paul II High School, where she is a member of the National Honor Society and a school retreat leader. She is a captain of her school’s varsity field hockey team, plays on the varsity lacrosse team, and is a player on the Cape Cod Field Hockey club team. Additionally, she was elected as a Cape-Cod All Star this past season. She is also a Climate Change Ambassador for the Cape Cod Commission. In the spring, Maeve will be attending the Mountain School of Milton Academy in Vershire, VT as a one-semester program. She hopes to study business and finance in the future.

The novel “Gripped Part 1 – The Truth We Never Told” by Stacy Padula has a truly captivating plot that leaves readers in suspense while awaiting their read of Part 2. It gives the reader a firsthand glance into the life of an addict, as well as the long-term effect that it holds on the friends and family of that individual. What is unique about Gripped Part 1, is it allows you to see the “beforehand” of addiction, as well as the aftermath. When it all seemed like it was harmless fun, and the worst that could happen was the loss of a football scholarship. Although playing at Notre Dame is certainly a privilege that many would not take for granted, losing that is nothing compared to the mess Taylor Dunkin has tangled himself up in. 

Gripped Part 1 is not only moving for those who know somebody who has struggled with addiction or struggled themselves, it also contains many relatable aspects for any curious reader. Middle and high school students have all dealt with crushes, drama, gossip, and more. This book has real-life experiences that will not only enthrall teenagers and young adults, but make this an enjoyable read they will not forget. The storyline concerning the love lives of these kids is heartwarming and genuine, but only for the moment. Stacy A Padula’s novel truly shows us that no relationship is “black and white”, and there is always more than what appears at the surface. Gripped Part 1 offers authentic insight and important life-lessons for any age, while also managing to be a pleasant read.

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

In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a season-ending injury sent him spiraling into a dark world of pain, depression, and addiction.

One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing drugs on local college campuses. Montgomery’s hometown hero has fallen hard, and he’s taking a lot of people down with him.

Luke Davids has become the middleman between Taylor and teens in Montgomery who want to buy drugs. Freshmen Cathy Kagelli, Chris Dunkin, and Jason Davids are just a few of the students at Montgomery Lake High who have fallen victim to the benzos and opiates supplied by Taylor and Luke. 

When Taylor’s youngest brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious amount of pills circulating around his high school, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.

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.