Isabelle Semas on The “Gripped” Characters

Isabelle Semas is in her senior year of high school, and has been homeschooled most of her life.  She looks forward to graduating this year and hopes to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education.  In her spare time, she sings in a christian band named NHB with her friends, is very involved in her church’s children’s ministry, and enjoys art.  She hopes to someday publish a book of her own.

Who do you feel bad for and why?

I pity Chantal.  Lisa and Cathy know the truth about her and Jon’s breakup, but decide to take matters into their own hands by not coming out with the truth.  This causes Chantal so much pain.  They should have been honest with her.

Who frustrates you and why? 

Jon frustrates me in Gripped Part 1.  He tries to solve his problems with alcohol and marijuana, and keeps secrets from Chantal.  He should have faced his obstacles instead of avoiding them. 

Who do you like and why? 

Marc Dunkin is an interesting character.  In Gripped Part 1 we learn more of the struggles he has undergone in his life, which he hides under a cool facade.  This book gave me a new perspective on Marc’s character.

Who do you dislike and why? 

Luke Davids annoys me.  He goes to visit Taylor without telling Marc, even though he knows it would upset Marc if he knew.  His selfishness and careless view of life causes pain to those around him.

Who do you most relate to and why? 

Of all of the Gripped Part 1 characters, I relate to Chantal the most.  She tries to live in a way that would please God.  Even when it is hard, she sticks to her morals.

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.

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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.