“Gripped” Relationships: Lisa Ankerman & Cathy Kagelli

Our character relationship series continues today with best friends Lisa Ankerman and Cathy Kagelli, who have stayed tried and true by each other’s side throughout the Gripped and the Montgomery Lake High book series.

Lisa is fiercely loyal to the people she loves and Cathy is no exception. During Cathy’s lowest points in her tumultuous relationship with Jason, Lisa serves as a confidante and defender for Cathy, being one of the only people with an accurate understanding of the situation. She doesn’t allow rumors or other people’s opinions to sway her away from being Cathy’s friend. Although the majority of their group of friends sides with Jason after the breakup, Lisa doesn’t waiver in her loyalty.

Throughout the books, Cathy lets very few people into her life, which is a result of her introverted nature and insecurities that arose from being in Chantal’s shadow, socially, throughout childhood. Many people mistake Cathy’s shyness as snobbery or arrogance, leading Cathy to become the most misunderstood character of all. When Jason downward spirals after his fallout with his own best friend Chris, Cathy’s concern for him and empathetic nature drive her to a very dark place. She feels responsible for helping Jason and loses a huge part of herself in an attempt to do so. Lisa is a strong advocate for Cathy’s relationship with Marc Dunkin because he is a stable, loyal, healthy, smart, and driven individual who, despite some family troubles, keeps everything together. Lisa also has a soft spot for the Dunkin family after dating Chris for the better part of 2 years. While there are many relationships that come and go in the Gripped book series, Lisa and Cathy’s bond never waivers.

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.