May’s Q&A with Jenna Finnerty of Norwell High School

There are a few different storylines running through Gripped Part 1 because it is setting up the rest of the series. What storyline do you find the most interesting and why?

I thought the police storyline was the most interesting. It lets the readers see what is at stake for Taylor and what could be happening in the future. I also thought Cathy and Jason’s story was interesting because the readers are aware they break up, so I am interested to see what happens to their relationship.

Gripped Part 1 sets up the rest of the series but leaves a lot of things “hanging.” What are you most curious to uncover by reading Gripped Part 2?

I am interested to see how Taylor’s future pans out and hope to see him straighten up. I think it will be intriguing because it seems as though he wants to improve his life but does not know how to get out of his situation. I also want to see Cathy and Chantal rekindle their relationship.

What character do you feel bad for and why?

I feel bad for Chantal. I feel bad for her because years have gone by and she has not spoken to her twin sister, Cathy, over a misunderstanding. I hope that when she learns the truth, their relationship can be fixed.

Who frustrates you and why?

Taylor frustrates me the most. He frustrates me because he was given so many great opportunities and threw them away for his addiction. I hope to see him change and get back on track in the future.

Who do you most relate to and why?

I think I can relate to Jason, as most young adults probably can as well. I can relate to him because he is aware of his mistakes and how they have affected his relationships. Most young adults make mistakes because they want to fit in, but when they take a step back as Jason did, they realize what is at stake.

Who do you like and why?

I like Jason the most. I think he has made poor decisions in the past, but I believe he is beginning to see his mistakes and is changing for the better. I also like how he is still looking out for Cathy and is trying to help her even after they broke up.

Who do you hate and why?

I do not really hate any of the characters. I think some of them, like Taylor and Jon, need to get back on track and try to fix some of their mistakes, but I believe they will all be given the chance to redeem themselves.

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

About Jenna Finnerty

Jenna Finnerty is a senior at Norwell High School in Norwell, Massachusetts. She is planning to major in nursing next year. Jenna has accrued years of experience as a cheerleader and gymnast. She also has a passion for traveling and looks forward to studying abroad in college.

Other Articles by Jenna:

Q&A on MLH #1 with Jenna Finnerty

The Right Person by Stacy Padula Accurately Depicts High School Social Challenges

Hope Found in Darkness: A Young Adult Book Review by Jenna Finnerty

Q&A with Jenna Finnerty on Young Adult Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

Jenna Finnerty’s Take on New YA Novel “Gripped” by Stacy Padula

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.