An Interview with Weymouth’s John Savage about Stacy Padula’s “Gripped” Characters


After reading Gripped 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy Padula, John Savage, a senior at Weymouth High School, was interviewed about the different characters.


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?

I find the storyline of Taylor and the police to be the most interesting because it’s the most suspenseful and nerve wracking. Taylor either has to do some time in prison or risk the chance of being murdered by his supplier’s people. He’s also really trying to get back onto the football field at the same time, so I believe there’s going to be a lot more exciting developments in Taylor’s story.

Who do you most relate to?

I relate closest to Jason because I am very good at reading and understanding people and what they think.

Who do you like? 

I like Chris the most because he’s a fun character who has the right intentions and makes mistakes like all of us do.

Who frustrates you? 

Jon frustrates me the most because he is the one who started the stream of problems for their friend group.

Who do you hate and why?

I hate Marc because he’s very stuck up and doesn’t know how to relax and live in the moment. I also hate Marc’s father for not taking even more steps to prevent Taylor from continuing to sell drugs.

Who do you feel bad for?

I feel bad for Taylor because he was an extraordinary athlete who just went down the wrong path.

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’m most curious to see what happens to Taylor? Will he play college football again? Will he become a government affiliate? Will he be murdered? I am also very curious to see what happens to Jason and Cathy’s future relationship. WIll they get back together? If so, what will Marc do about it?

“Invigorating, engaging and a must read. The characters in The Gripped Series diligently tackle the essence of forces that can limit greatness within.” – LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix’s Emmy-winning series Last Chance U

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.


About John Savage


John is a senior at Weymouth High School. He plays Unified Basketball, Basketball, and Volleyball, and he is a leader on all teams. His favorite subjects are World History, English Literature, and Sports Management. His hobbies include playing basketball at local parks with his friends, being around his Unified Basketball teammates, and volunteering. He would like to major in Sports Management in college.