An Interview with Marshfield’s Sophia Coggeshall on the “Gripped” Series

Sophia is a senior at Marshfield High School in Marshfield, Massachusetts. She is a competitive Irish Step dancer who has competed several times at the Regional, National, and World Championships, and she also plays on the Varsity Field Hockey team for her high school. With a great passion for math and science in the classroom, she looks forward to studying engineering in college.

As drug use abounds in the series, some characters are trying their best to sober up, while others are getting deeper and deeper into substance abuse. How do you think readers can benefit from reading about Chris’s journey from the beginning of the series until now?

Chris’s journey from the beginning of the series until now is one that teens could greatly benefit from reading for it proves that people can change for the better simply by making the right decisions and by surrounding themselves with the right group of people. In the beginning of the series, it seems as though Chris is headed down the wrong path as he falls victim to peer pressure, engaging in dangerous activity with various substances, for all of his close friends and peers were doing the same. But, as the series progresses, so does Chris’s maturity as he learns what is best for his future. It is clear through Chris’s decisions to surround himself with a new group of friends and divert away from risky behaviors that he is on the right track to a better, healthier life, further revealing that it is possible to overcome temptations in order to benefit the outcome of one’s life.

At this point in the series, what character intrigues you the most and why?

At this point in the series, although his storyline is not one of the most featured, Taylor Dunkin is one of the characters who greatly intrigues me for I am so curious to see whether he is going to be able to successfully stay sober and out of trouble. In the beginning of Gripped Part 3, it was nice to read about how Taylor was doing all of the right things in order to turn his life around for the better: staying sober, refraining from dealing drugs, and even getting in touch again with Northeastern to hopefully be able to attend the university again. Taylor had so much potential to do great things coming out of high school that it would be horrible to see all of it thrown away due to his involvement in drugs. Also, the dynamic between him and his two brothers, Jordan and Marc, is one that continues to interest me as it seems that there are still many issues that the three brothers must address once they all meet together.

What storylines were most intriguing in Gripped Part 3? What kept you wanting to turn the page?

The storyline of Cathy and Jason’s relationship was most intriguing for me to read throughout Gripped Part 3. It was clear from the start that the two characters have an undeniable connection to each other; however, it was very interesting to see how Jason’s decisions to experiment more with dangerous substances, such as acid, greatly affected the trust between him and Cathy. The challenges that Cathy and Jason are faced within this third book of the series exemplifies how drugs can not only get in the way of someone’s mental and physical health, but also get in the way of his or her personal relationships.

Chris loves Jordan, but Marc hates Jordan. He has slowly been introduced to the reader in the first three books and will play a more significant role later in the series. At this point in the series what are your honest thoughts on Jordan?

In my opinion, Jordan is a genuinely good person whose positive attributes are often overlooked due to his reputation of being a partier. There is no denying that Jordan is a smart, athletic, driven young man, for he has a high GPA, a starting position on the football team at the University of Notre Dame, and is also a member of a Catholic organization on campus at college. However, his character is sometimes put into question due to the image of him as a partier and due to the rumors that Marc has accused him with of date-raping a girl. Whether true or not, I think Jordan still serves as a good role model for others due to his commitment to his studies, his sports, and his faith.

What does this book teach readers about why people begin using drugs?

This book teaches readers how dangerous drugs are for it reveals to them how often a deadly addiction stems from one seemingly “harmless” decision to experiment with a new substance due to peer pressure or personal curiosity. So many of the characters in the series end up spiraling out of control simply because the true effects of alcohol and drug use are downplayed to make it seem as though there is nothing to be concerned about. Gripped specifically demonstrates the dangers of peer pressure and urges readers to be cautious of their actions, for one seemingly harmless decision can quickly turn into a downfall of destruction.

More Articles by Sophia:

Sophia Coggeshall Reviews “Gripped Part 1” By Stacy A. Padula

Gripped on Gripped: Why Teens Will Love This New Book Series

Sophia Coggeshall Breaks Down the Gripped Characters

Marshfield Senior Recommends Teens Read New Novel About Addiction

New Teen Book Series’ Dynamic Characters Will Leave You Gripped

Blindsided Takes an Uncensored Look at Teen Substance Abuse & Its Effects on Relationships

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.