Mackenzie Wells on Stacy Padula’s “Gripped” Characters

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA After reading Gripped Part 5: Taylor’s Story, Mackenzie was asked to share her honest opinions of the characters and how they have changed since the beginning of the series. Taylor After reading Gripped 5, I think that Taylor is a really good kid who was dealt a bad hand andContinue reading “Mackenzie Wells on Stacy Padula’s “Gripped” Characters”

Mackenzie Wells Analyzes Key Relationships in Stacy Padula’s Gripped Book Series

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA In “Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors” by Stacy Padula, I loved seeing the dynamic between the three Dunkin brothers (Taylor, Jordan, and Marc), especially now as they are changing for the better. I think there have always been redeeming qualities in Marc’s relationship with Taylor. Even when Taylor was atContinue reading “Mackenzie Wells Analyzes Key Relationships in Stacy Padula’s Gripped Book Series”

Mackenzie Wells Reviews “Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors” by Stacy Padula

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA In the fourth installment of Stacy Padula’s Gripped Book series, the stakes are higher as Taylor Dunkin struggles to save himself and protect the ones he loves. He never knew that a slippery slope could cause him to fall into such a pit of despair. As he tries to pullContinue reading “Mackenzie Wells Reviews “Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors” by Stacy Padula”

Mackenzie Wells Reviews “Gripped 3: The Fallout” by Stacy Padula

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA Gripped Part 3: The Fallout by Stacy Padula is a story about the search for redemption. Chris Dunkin has had his eyes opened to the impact his choices are making on his friends and his own life. Despite his desire to turn his life around, Chris realizes that he isContinue reading “Mackenzie Wells Reviews “Gripped 3: The Fallout” by Stacy Padula”

Mackenzie Wells Reviews “Gripped 2: Blindsided” by Stacy Padula

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA Gripped Part 2: Blindsided by Stacy Padula is a cautionary tale for young adults, but it is also a humanizing story of those who have fallen into bad habits. Eighth graders Chris Dunkin, Cathy Kagelli, and Jason Davids are an integral part of their clique in their community, and areContinue reading “Mackenzie Wells Reviews “Gripped 2: Blindsided” by Stacy Padula”

An Interview with UGA’s Mackenzie Wells on Gripped 1: The Truth We Never Told

Who would you recommend Gripped Part 1 to and why? “Gripped Part 1” by Stacy Padula deals with the stories of young adults navigating the transitions between middle school, high school, and college. I would recommend this book to readers in middle or high school. These books give them a glimpse into how one person’sContinue reading “An Interview with UGA’s Mackenzie Wells on Gripped 1: The Truth We Never Told”

Mackenzie Wells of UGA Reviews Stacy Padula’s Montgomery Lake High Book Series

Series Review by Mackenzie Wells, University of Georgia Mackenzie Wells is a senior at the University of Georgia, majoring in English and public relations. She is a leader at the Wesley Foundation at UGA, the community outreach coordinator for UGA’s Undergraduate English Association, and a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. MackenzieContinue reading “Mackenzie Wells of UGA Reviews Stacy Padula’s Montgomery Lake High Book Series”

The Screwtape Letters Meets Nancy Drew in this Spiritual Warfare Must-Read Novel for Young Adults

Written by Mackenzie Wells, University of Georgia—A mixture between “The Screwtape Letters” and a Nancy Drew novel, “The Forces Within” by Stacy A. Padula takes a poignantly authentic look at spiritual warfare – albeit disguised as a metaphor. A group of high school freshmen find themselves taking refuge in an old abandoned mansion deep in the woods. As mysterious occurrences begin to take place, the teenagers realize that the battle is for their lives – and their hearts. A shocking reminder of a too-often overlooked battle, this book is desperately needed to educate today’s generation. Although this book deals with a heavy topic which can take some guidance to understand, it is specifically aimed at young adults and approaches the issue in a way relevant to our lives. 

Newton Country Day Senior Reviews ‘Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors’ by Stacy Padula

“The author’s ability to seamlessly connect several plot lines is unlike anything I have read. Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors is the best one yet, and I cannot wait to read Taylor’s Story next.” – Megan Farinacci

The Y.A. Page Tuner Parents Should Be Reading

“As a senior in high school, I highly recommend the book Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors, along with any of the books in the Gripped series by Stacy Padula, to parents and teens. Gripped 4 touches on heavy topics like drug and alcohol abuse, which are rarely talked about in schools across the country. It is important for teens to be knowledgeable on these topics and be able to share their knowledge with their peers for the good of their community.” – Megan Farinacci, Newton Country Day School

The Most Thrilling Gripped Novel Yet: Taylor’s Story

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA After reading “Gripped Part 5: Taylor’s Story,” I can say this book is my favorite in the series yet! I love the mystery of it and the high-profile suspense. The characters seem more relatable than ever before, and I love seeing how the story continues to unfold. It is crazyContinue reading “The Most Thrilling Gripped Novel Yet: Taylor’s Story”

UGA Grad Recommends Thrilling Crime Novel to Young Adults

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA Anyone who likes true crime or detective novels will enjoy the mysterious intrigue of Taylor’s Story (Gripped 5) by Stacy Padula. I would recommend this book to many young adults who like thrilling stories that are more than just action packed. This book is still perfect for anyone who enjoysContinue reading “UGA Grad Recommends Thrilling Crime Novel to Young Adults”

The Thrilling Search for Answers in Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA The fourth book in Stacy Padula’s Gripped series will be captivating to anyone who likes mysteries or a thrilling search for answers. I believe “Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors” will still appeal to the same audience as the first three books while also drawing new readers to the series withContinue reading “The Thrilling Search for Answers in Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors”

The Highly Intriguing Book Teens Won’t Want to Put Down

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA Intrigued. That’s the best word to describe how I felt as I read Stacy Padula’s “Gripped 3: The Fallout.” Honestly, I was intrigued by the increasing police interventions, both at the teenagers’ parties and in Taylor Dunkin’s case as it progresses. The very real likelihood of the law catching upContinue reading “The Highly Intriguing Book Teens Won’t Want to Put Down”

Here’s Why Parents of Teens Need to Read The Gripped Book Series

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA “Gripped 3: The Fallout” by Stacy Padula touches upon the use of Adderall, acid, marijuana, alcohol, and Xanax. For that reason, parents may not want their children to read the novel. However, the author feels there is much to be learned.  Even more than the past two books, “Gripped Part 3” demonstratesContinue reading “Here’s Why Parents of Teens Need to Read The Gripped Book Series”

Dynamic Characters Take Y.A. Readers by Surprise in Stacy Padula’s “Gripped 2: Blindsided”

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA At the very beginning of the first book in Stacy Padula’s best-selling young adult series, Gripped, the reader gains a glimpse of where Taylor Dunkin ends up. Without any understanding of who he was before or how he wound up in his current predicament, it was easy to make assumptionsContinue reading “Dynamic Characters Take Y.A. Readers by Surprise in Stacy Padula’s “Gripped 2: Blindsided””

The Benefits of Reading Uncensored Y.A. Novels like “Gripped 2: Blindsided”

By Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA Most books or T.V. series with a target audience of young teenagers pull back from showing the complete picture of teenage drug use and sexual activity. However, living life without knowing the complete picture and without an understanding of the repercussions can lead to very dangerous decisions. Life does notContinue reading “The Benefits of Reading Uncensored Y.A. Novels like “Gripped 2: Blindsided””

Y.A. Novel Kept Me “Gripped”

Written by Mackenzie Wells, Athens, Georgia Brothers Taylor, Jordan, and Marc Dunkin seem to have it all. They are each incredible athletes and prolific football stars. Both Jordan and Taylor are playing college football, and Marc, a senior in high school, is about to sign with Boston College. However, there is a dark side toContinue reading “Y.A. Novel Kept Me “Gripped””

Y.A. Novel Recommended for Teens Who Have Faced Tragedy

Written by Mackenzie Wells, Athens, Georgia Any teenagers or young adults would benefit from reading “When Darkness Tries to Hide” by Stacy A. Padula. Although the book centers on freshmen in high school, the story is bigger than just their drama. I believe that anyone who has faced a tragic experience will relate to thisContinue reading “Y.A. Novel Recommended for Teens Who Have Faced Tragedy”