Alternating Storylines Maintain Suspense in “Gripped Part 5: Taylor’s Story”

Written by Kyle Banker, University of Miami

In Gripped Part 5: Taylor’s Story by Stacy Padula, I enjoyed the alternation between the storylines of Taylor and the Boston Police with Cathy and Chantal. I believe that this style worked best in Gripped 5 as Taylor’s situation kept its intensity as the reader was separated from it. Particularly, I believe although Cathy and Chantal’s storyline was meaningful, it was significantly less impactful than Taylor’s. Furthermore, it served as a cool down from the action-packed scenes in the club and Taylor’s trip to the remote location. I also appreciate that this writing style has been synonymous throughout the Gripped series, and both storylines progressed effectively to where each can take a massive step forward in Gripped 6. For Taylor, this would involve possibly being questioned by the BPD while being hunted by some in Bilotti’s gang. For Cathy, her next step may be to talk to Jason and see where their relationship stands. Either way, I have and continue to enjoy this writing style, which made Gripped 5 (and the entire series) fun and manageable to keep track of storylines. 

Looking Ahead…

I hope that Taylor finds his way out of trouble and works with the BPD to take down the Bilotti gang. Although I do like Donny as a character, I believe his family has caused unnecessary trouble in locations such as Elevate nightclub and around Montgomery. To do so, I believe that Taylor has to remain strong, work with Jimmy to ensure his safety, and continually watch his back.

After their conversation throughout Gripped 5, I hope that Cathy and Chantal become close friends like they were at the beginning of the series. The two stopped talking over a misunderstanding, and now that it is resolved, the two will hopefully become closer. This may take some significant time considering they did not speak consistently for about two years, so hopefully, they will build back their original bond.

I believe that Cathy and Jason need to meet face-to-face in Gripped 6 to discuss their relationship and where they stand. After this occurs, I hope that this communication will positively impact both of them and get their lives back on track. Cathy seems to be in a much darker place than Jason, so hopefully, he can influence her to follow a cleaner and more positive life. 

I hope that Luke will be able to help Taylor in any way possible in the future. He seems to be keeping the secret about Taylor’s drug dealing and has remained quiet to Missy, Pat, and Laurelle. Additionally, I hope that he figures out his relationship with Missy and does what truly makes him happy heading into college.

In Gripped 6, I am most curious to see Taylor’s situation with the BPD and the Bilotti’s. In my opinion, this intense sequence of events between these three parties is the center point of the Gripped series at this time. Taylor’s troubles also affect many more in Montgomery, such as his family (Marc, Jordan, parents), friends (Luke, Pat, Missy), and gang allies (Donny, Jimmy). As a result, I expect this storyline to continue ramping up in Gripped 6 and for more characters, old and new, to become involved in the situation. In the end, will Taylor be able to get himself out of trouble? That remains to be unknown, but readers may get that answer in Gripped 6.  

Taylor Dunkin is missing.
The last message Jordan Dunkin receives from Taylor leads him to Taylor’s abandoned Jeep. Each of Taylor’s family members holds a piece of the puzzle, and as the Dunkins begin putting the details together, they are awakened to the possibility they may never see Taylor again.

No one can find Missy Kent.
Missy’s boyfriend Luke Davids last saw her dancing with their friends at a nightclub, but she hasn’t responded to anyone’s texts or calls for hours.

Everything is connected.
Taylor and Missy’s friends are dangerously close to learning the truth, but their ignorance might be the only thing keeping them safe. Every clue is leading them closer to peril.

The fifth book in the Gripped series moves through details at a thrilling pace. Secrets are revealed and lives are at stake. Taylor, Missy, their friends, and their families must figure out who they can trust before it’s too late.


Kyle is a junior at University of Miami. He graduated in 2019 from Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. He has been an intern for us since 2018. His favorite subjects include Biology, English, and Entrepreneurship. Some of his hobbies are playing soccer and hockey, volunteering, and being with friends and family. Kyle is studying Biological Sciences, while also pursuing his passions for writing and business.

Other Articles by Kyle:

Fiction Book Helps Teens Prepare for High School

Teen Novel about Addiction Provides Hope for Redemption and Recovery

Teen Novel Educates Kids About the Perils of Substance Abuse

Why Teens Want to Read The Right Person

A Must-Read Novel For All High School Students

Teen Book Series Educates Readers about Drug Abuse in a New Way

Why You Should Read the #1 New Release “Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told”

Kyle Banker on The “Gripped” Characters

A Teen’s Review of Gripped Part 1

Looking Ahead to Gripped Part 2 with Kyle Banker

What Should Readers Expect from Gripped Part 2 (To Be Released Later This Year)

May’s Q&A with Kyle Banker of Beaver Country Day School

Kyle Banker Reviews “The Right Person” by Stacy A. Padula – A Young Adult Novel

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.