Posts Tagged ‘Michael Farinacci’

Michael Farinacci, a junior at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham, Massachusetts, read and reviewed Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told—the first book in a young adult series that examines the perils of prescription drug abuse amongst teenagers. After reading the novel, he was asked a series of questions about its main characters. His responses are below.

Who do you most relate to?

Jason Davids

Until the last few pages of the book, I felt as if I could relate the most to Jason. Jason, like myself, does not go to the same school as all the other kids, and on the weekends, he’s away skiing, which causes him to miss out on a lot of things. Although I don’t go away skiing every weekend, I understand how it feels to be gone for a while and then return to a group of friends and be a little bit confused. People can change very quickly, and if you are not with them every day, it is very easy to miss out on these changes.

Who do you like the most?

Marc Dunkin

I like Marc the most out of all the characters. Marc, like Taylor, has it all, but he doesn’t show it, and he doesn’t mess up. Marc never brags about his football commitment to Boston College, and he is never seen drinking or doing anything irresponsible. Marc knows he has a promising future, so he is responsible about it, which is why I like and respect Marc the most out of all the characters.

Who do you feel bad for?

Chantal Kagelli

I feel bad for Chantal. At the beginning of the book, Chantal has a steady boyfriend and more importantly a best friend as a sister. Although I am not blaming Cathy for their breakup, Chantal’s twin broke up her and her boyfriend, which devastated her. In addition, Chantal is beginning to “lose” her sister to Jason, and, as foreshadowed by the end of the book, to drugs.

Who frustrates you?

Taylor Dunkin

Taylor frustrates me the most by far. Taylor seemingly had it all and has the ability to play high-level Division I football. He was a hero for the town and a role model for the younger kids, but he threw it all away for drugs. I do applaud him for trying to get back on the right path, but the fact that he threw away his future frustrates me.

Who do you hate?

Jordan Dunkin

I hate Jordan the most out of all the characters. Jordan, like Marc and Taylor, has incredible football potential, including a Division I offer. Despite his bright future, he still goes out, parties, does drugs, and makes terrible decisions in general. What infuriates me more is that his older brother, Taylor, made these same sort of decisions and lost everything, yet Jordan still doesn’t see how his decisions can come back to haunt him.

Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told
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 knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.
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 opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.
When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake 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.
$3.99 Kindle | $13.50 Paperback

Michael Farinacci
St. Sebastian’s Class of 2020

The book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told investigates the complicated social lives of young adults ranging from middle-school to college. The story follows numerous people throughout their lives outside of school and demonstrates how difficult decision can be for young adults, and the consequences that these decisions have. The book deals with drug abuse, relationships, and the effects of miscommunication as it follows the lives of the children from Montgomery Lake, while brilliantly setting up the rest of the series.

This story is perfect for Middle School and High School students, as it is a quick read and deals with many of the issues that they may face. The book offers not only a warning against drug abuse, but also has the ability to teach many life lessons and guide young adults through the tumultuous times that are Middle School and High School. This book is a must read for all Young Adults, and I would easily rate it a 5/5!

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 knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.

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 opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.

When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake 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.

$3.99 Kindle | $13.50 Paperback

Article by Michael Farinacci of Medfield, MA—Saint Sebastian’s Class of 2020

Although this book should be read by everybody, I would highly recommend Gripped Part 1 to anybody who is either in middle school or high school. The conflicts that occur in the story are almost identical to what happens in a real high school or middle school, which allows somebody in either middle school or high school to more closely relate to the story. Additionally, the fact that the book is set in a very realistic town and follows high school and middle school-aged kids further enhances the ability to relate to and envision yourself in the story.

While reading the novel, I liked the fact that there were many different storylines going on at one time. The multiple storylines in the book always kept me on my toes and only heightened my interest in the book. I also loved it when two or more of the storylines intersected with each other. It was always interesting to see how the different storylines worked with, as well as against, each other throughout the novel.

Gripped Part 1 sends two very important messages to its readers. The first message is a warning against drugs, because, although they might start out as “fun”, they have the ability to destroy lives, and the second message is that one situation can be interpreted in many different ways by different people.

The first message is clearly portrayed through Taylor. Taylor had it all; he was the starting varsity quarterback with a Division I scholarship with a legitimate chance at the NFL, but because he did some drugs “for fun” with his friend when they went to clubs, he threw away his entire career and talent due to addiction. The second message is displayed through the breakup of Chantal and Jon. In this breakup, Chantal thinks that Jon broke up with her and Jon thinks that Chantal broke up with him. Now, this situation does create chaos, but in the long run, it is not that serious. However, if applied to a more serious situation, the ability of different people to see the same situation two different ways could potentially be dangerous.

As a young adult who is currently in high school, it was easy to relate to the story, because many of the characters are similar to many of my friends in real life. Now, there were obvious differences between the two; however, being able to picture the character as a real-life person only enhances the relatability. Furthermore, many of the situations and conflicts throughout the story are either things that have happened to one of my friends or me, or situations that have happened at nearby high schools. The ability to picture my friends as the characters and picture the situation only heightened my interest.

Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told
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 knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.
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 opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.
When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake 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.

In its release week, Gripped was ranked by Amazon as the #1 New Release for Children’s books about drug use on Kindle.