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?
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?
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?
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 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?
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.