April Q&A with Notre Dame Academy’s Kate Peterson

Written by Kate Peterson, Hingham, MA

Kate Peterson is a senior at Notre Dame Academy. She is the captain of her school’s varsity ski team and a member of the tennis team. She is in NDA’s National Honor Society and is involved in her school’s Growing Greener, Spanish, and Model UN clubs. Kate traveled to the Dominican republic this past summer to build houses for a community in need. With a great passion for psychology and science, she plans to major in neuroscience or health science in college.

After reading the young adult novel Gripped Part 3: The Fallout by Stacy Padula, Kate was asked by the author to answer the following questions and provide honest teenage feedback.

  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?

I think that it is really important for teens to read this because it helps prepare them for things that they could see in their future. Although parents want to shelter their kids as much as possible from these things, it can help them to stay away from them if they read about the situations and problems that come with these drugs. 

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

Adults could benefit from reading Gripped 3 because it gives insight on the ways that tweens/ teens minds’ work and the ways that they think. It could help parents see where their children are coming from from someone near their ages’ point-of-view. 

  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?

It is really interesting to watch Chris’s journey. We experience him learning about drugs at such a young age from his older cousins. He then becomes addicted and goes through a really hard time. We watch him from being a “drug addict” to becoming clean with many hard times through the journey.

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

I think that Chris is one of the characters that intrigues me the most. He has gone through so much character development throughout the first 3 books. He started experimenting with drugs at a VERY young age and watching him grow and change has been really interesting.  

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

This book teaches readers about the GRIP drugs can really get on you. It also shows how sometimes addiction can start involuntarily. For example, Taylor had to take oxy for his injury but then became addicted to it and spread from that drug to other drugs to chase that same high. It also teaches about how what age you start using drugs at can affect the person and cause them to go down the wrong path. 

  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?

Right now, although Jordan isn’t loved by Marc, I still somewhat like him. I think that their relationship is strained, and they need to have a deep conversation on all the times they have had miscommunications in their relationship (aka. Marc thinks that Jordan drugged his “friend” in the beginning of the book). That is one example of something they could have gotten over quickly if they could have communicated better to understand what really happened.

Fourteen-year-old Chris Dunkin is known for being the life of the party and everyone’s favorite friend. Despite his amicable nature, he carries around deep-seated pain from his childhood that he frequently numbs with alcohol and drugs.

After hosting a party, Chris awakes with a strange vibe running through his body and no recollection of the previous night. When he learns the horrifying truth of what his night entailed, the trajectory of his life is changed forever.

Other articles by Kate Peterson

Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman Developing TV Adaptation Of Stacy Padula’s YA Drama Series ‘Gripped’