A Look at Cathy, Jon, and Chantal in Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told

Article by Jennifer O’Sullivan, Dover, Massachusetts

In Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told, the characters are compelling and easy to relate to. In Stacy A. Padula’s other book series, Montgomery Lake High, Cathy Kagelli is portrayed as a toxic girl who is rude, coldhearted and manipulative. Gripped Part 1 flashes back to Cathy’s earlier days and shows that she is actually an honest, smart and caring girl. Cathy begins to form a crush on her grade’s “bad guy,” who is into the party scene. Cathy loves his tactical mind and his kind heart, but not his partying. Unfortunately, Cathy gets pulled into the party scene by this innocent crush, and it ends up ruining her. Additionally, she is trying to protect her twin sister Chantal from a toxic relationship, but because of a complicated situation, Chantal ends up hating Cathy. Cathy has now lost her best friend/sister, so she turns to substances to cope, quickly sliding down a slippery slope. The person who Cathy is protecting Chantal from, Jon, is my least favorite character and the person who frustrates me the most. I find Jon to be extremely manipulative and self-centered, and his explosive temper is frustrating in my eyes. Additionally, Jon’s maltreatment of Chantal is why Cathy had to protect her in the first place, so inadvertently, Jon is the reason that Cathy and Chantal parted ways and the reason that Cathy’s life took a sharp downward spiral. Additionally, Jon never made attempts to mend things with Chantal, because he was always had a victim mentality. I like Chantal the most because of how honest and true-to-self she is. I admire Chantal for not being scared to stand out of the crowd for sticking up for what she believes in, and this reminds me of myself. Chantal tries her hardest to be kind to everyone, even when that person is in the wrong. Although it might not always work out that way for me, I definitely try to treat everyone with respect and to be a peacemaker among my friends. 

About Jennifer O’Sullivan

Jennifer O’Sullivan, a rising senior at Dover Sherborn High School, enjoys reading, playing the piano, spending time with friends and doing volunteer work. Jennifer leads her school’s community service club, runs on her school’s cross country and track teams and loves to travel, especially to Ireland where she spends time with friends and family.

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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.