Brad Campbell on The Gripped Book Series Characters

Written by Bradford Campbell, Duxbury, MA

Bradford Campbell is currently a senior at Thayer Academy. He is captain of their Varsity Soccer and Track and Field teams. In school, Bradford is a 2020 Student Government Representative and Peer Advisor for freshman students. He also enjoys volunteering for Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity. Bradford participates in Thayer’s theatre program and his favorite subjects include science and history in addition to English. 

Bradford Campbell shares his thoughts on the Gripped Book Series characters after reading Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told.

  1. 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?

Personally, I was most interested in the storyline between Cathy and Jason. I feel more drawn to them because they are nice people who do not abuse drugs and alcohol through Gripped Part 1. Furthermore, Jason was known as the “player” in his group of friends, where Cathy was the very pretty “good girl”, and it was very interesting to watch their relationship develop as they uncover many similarities, even though they are very different people. Their relationship is part of the reason why I read straight into Gripped Part 2: Blindsided; I wanted to figure out what exactly went wrong between the two of them.

  1. Who do you most relate to and why?

My favorite character in the story so far is Marc. I can easily relate to him because I feel like he is very similar to me. Marc is responsible, doesn’t do drugs or alcohol, and strives to be the best version of himself. In addition, he is a leader and role-model who cares about other people. He truly has a good heart, looks out for others, and is a positive influence on those around him. 

  1. Who frustrates you and why? 

I strongly dislike Luke (Jason’s older brother) because he is the key link to all of the drugs and alcohol for Montgomery High. Yes, the drugs come through Taylor, but it seems that Luke is the one who is supplying the drugs and encouraging people to participate at every party. Luke’s connection to Jason corrupts both Jason and Cathy as they have easy access, but he also contributes to Chris’ horrible scare at a party in Gripped Part 2

  1. Who do you feel bad for and why?

I feel bad for Alyssa because she innocently got caught up in Jon and Chantal’s relationship drama. She was trying to be a good friend to Jon but because of a misunderstanding and miscommunication she is on the receiving end of the blame and gets kicked out of the group for no real reason. 

  1. 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 was actually so “gripped” by the plot-line of Gripped Part 1 that I ultimately was drawn to immediately start the next book of the series.

Sneak peak: the second book’s plot and flashbacks just get even more interesting as you are completely immersed in the life of Chris, Jason, Cathy, Lisa, Chantal and the rest of their friend group. At the end of Gripped Part 1, you are left wondering 1. What happened at the end of Jason and Cathy’s relationship? and 2. What is going to happen to Taylor? These are two huge questions which leave you ready to dive into the next book to find out.


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.

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.