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  • Local Author Stacy Padula Holds Book Signing at Barnes & Noble at Derby Street in Hingham

    Published on September 26, 2019

    HINGHAM AND PLYMOUTH, MA : Local Author and Publisher Stacy Padula recently met readers at a book signing event at Barnes & Noble at Derby Street to introduce her latest book Gripped Part 2: Blindsided.

    This latest novel for young adult readers follows the success of   Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told.

    “Gripped Part 2: Blindsided guides the reader through a thrilling narrative, expertly utilizing flashbacks to demonstrate a complete picture of just how devastating and far-reaching substance abuse can be, as it impacts not just individuals, but entire families and communities. It is an essential young adult book for kids and parents alike.” – E. Harvey, Syracuse University

    “One of the main benefits of reading Gripped Part 2: Blindsided, as well as the entire Gripped series, is that it not only shows the horrors of substance abuse, but also reveals the buildup to it. Blindsided depicts not just the worst days, but the first days. Through the story, teens are able to learn about decisions and behaviors that can lead to drug abuse. Throughout the story, the social lives of the different characters intertwine with each other, creating drama, conflict, and new friendships, which makes Blindsided a fascinating read.” – M. Farinacci, St. Sebastian’s School

    Fourteen-year-old Chris Dunkin is known for being the life of the party and everyone’s favorite friend. Despite his amicable nature, he carries around deep-seated pain from his childhood that he frequently numbs with alcohol and drugs. After hosting a party, Chris wakes up with a strange vibe running through his body and no recollection of the previous night. When he learns the horrifying truth of what his night entailed, the trajectory of his life is changed forever.

    Padula is an educator who works mainly with high school students and was moved to write a book series for teenagers that shares how it happens—how good kids become drug addicts, how downward spirals start, how harmless fun can quickly turn into a life-threatening addiction.

    The story told in the series is raw and realistic. Padula did not censor much of the content, for she believes the truth is important and powerful. She believes that in a world in which twelve-year-olds overdose in middle school bathrooms, it is time for authors to stop sugarcoating their content to appease school boards.

    The first book in the series portrays the story of Taylor Dunkin who was an acclaimed college athlete, seemingly destined for the NFL but sidelined by injury. His depression leads him to begin abusing his pain medication and eventually become a drug dealer to support his habit. He supplies drugs to high school students from his hometown, which leads to other characters becoming ensnared. The story shows how drug abuse can skew individuals’ values and change their perspectives. It follows other characters such as Luke Davids, Cathy Kagelli, Chris Dunkin, and Jason Davids (also featured in the Montgomery Lake High book series) whose lives have been affected by Taylor’s decisions. It shows the psychological, biological, and environmental reasons behind why people often begin experimenting with drugs and how slippery the slope can be. Most importantly, this book series educates readers on how people can pick up the pieces of their lives and recover from such a horrific epidemic.

    “I am excited to meet with my local readers who also follow my characters on social media,” said Padula. “The response from young adults, parents and educators to the first book in the series has been overwhelmingly positive. I am writing this series to educate teens and parents about the sharp rise in prescription drug overdoses and opiate abuse. Knowledge can lead to prevention and the characters in this series offer a realistic portrayal of the young people in every high school across the country.”


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