An Interview with Oliver Ames Senior Emily Han on Gripped 3: The Fallout

Emily Han is a junior at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, Massachusetts. She is the captain of her varsity field hockey team and a leader on her club team, Lead The Way. She is a member of National Honor Society and a founder of the PAWS Club and an active member of the Jimmy Fund Club. Her hobbies include scuba diving, exercising, and volunteering at local field hockey clinics and with Save The Bay.  She hopes to major in Environmental Science and play field hockey in college. 

Written by Emily Han, Easton, MA

  1. This book touches upon the use of Adderall, acid, marijuana, alcohol, and Xanax. For that reason, parents may not want their children to read the novel. However, the author feels there is much to be learned. What do you think tweens and teens could learn from reading Gripped Part 3 that would be beneficial for them?

How their relationships will change, as well as their morals. We see Chris realize how much he has changed and cut off Jason because of this reason, as well as how Jason and Cathy’s relationship changed. We also see how Jason and Cathy both dislike the way the other becomes when under the influence. Cathy no longer values the morals that she once took extremely seriously to both her and her parents disapproval. 

  1. Why could adults benefit from reading Gripped Part 3?

To learn how kids see drugs and alcohol. Many parents no longer understand the younger generation for many reasons including drug use,but Gripped will help parents understand the conflict in teens about popularity, relationships and drugs. As authority figures, many kids will not tell parents about their real feelings, like with Cathy and Jason self medicating. Gripped can make them realize how many emotions teens go through on a daily basis. 

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

Chris’ storyline was the most interesting for me. We saw him go through lots of different emotions and stages of growth. True growth isn’t a straight line, there are ups and downs as seen by his minor relapse, which also had to do with peer pressure from Jason. He then realized that his friends are bad for him and made the good decision to cut contact until he was better and in more control. 

  1. 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?

They can see that no matter how far gone before, anyone can charge for the better. If they want to help themselves, then they can change. They can also see how one person with influence, like Chris, can change a bunch of people to lose their morals and try damaging drugs. 

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

Jordan, because it was revealed that he is actually the “good sibling” as opposed to Taylor who everyone thought was good, but actually isn’t. It will be interesting to see how Marc reacts to Jordan being the role model and golden child as opposed to Taylor. And how that family acts in general when all reunited. 

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

It highlights how people can use them for socializing, anxiety, depression, and peer pressure. Many people use them to feel normal or better about a situation. Cathy started using because of the anxiety from losing Chantal. Jason started using because Chris told him it was fun and cool. Courtney is hanging with the bad crowd because she wants to be popular and fit in. 

  1. 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?

So far Jordan has been portrayed as the party kid in the family, but since he came home it has been revealed that he had overcome that to succeed in football and school. I am curious about Jordan and what dynamic he will bring into the family when they are all reunited. I am more impressed with his characters than in the previous books, but this is the first one book we have gotten to get to know him more than rumors.

Eighteen-year-old Marc Dunkin has received word from a detective that his oldest brother Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential case headed by the Boston Police Department. They know Taylor’s clean; they know he wants out of the game; and they want to help make that happen. However, their “help” will come at a cost–one that may put Taylor and his entire family in grave danger.

Twenty-three-year-old Taylor Dunkin is trying to get his life back in order after an opiate addiction wreaked havoc on his once promising athletic future. Getting clean was a difficult feat, but breaking free from the Bilotti crime ring will present an even greater challenge.

Other Articles by Emily

Teens Relate to New Y.A. Book Series

Refreshing Y.A. Book Prepares Teens to Make Difficult Decisions

Emily Han on the “Gripped” Characters

Easton Teen Says Y.A. Novel Is Too Relevant To Be Ignored

Teen Fiction Novel Exposes Consequences of Substance Abuse

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.