The Gripped Characters: Q&A with Olivia Halle on ‘The Truth We Never Told’

Written by Olivia Halle, Hingham, Massachusetts

Olivia Halle is a senior at Hingham High School. She is a member of the Varsity Tennis Team and also enjoys sailing, reading, and hiking. Olivia is involved in Hingham’s Mentor Program, Green Team, and Medical Sciences Club along with being president of her school’s National Honor Society. 

After reading Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy Padula Olivia was interviewed about her opinion of some of the main characters.

  1. Who do you feel bad for and why?

I feel bad for Chantal because not only was she in a toxic relationship, but she lost the relationship with her sister because of it. I understand why she thought that Cathy broke up her and Jon’s relationship, but it hurts even more that it is not true. She has lost over two years of friendship and sisterhood with her sister because of a messy breakup, and her sister was only trying to support her. I feel bad because I can feel the regret and contemplations of what ifs that Chantal will now have to confront.

  1. Who frustrates you and why? 

I think that Taylor frustrates me the most because he was all about discouraging Chris and his friends using drugs and alcohol, yet he doesn’t follow his own advice. I am annoyed that he is a hypocrite, and especially that Chris saw Taylor do a line of coke. I just feel that by being a hypocrite, it’s almost reassuring Chris and his friends that it’s fine to do drugs, just as long as nobody knows about it.

  1. Who do you most relate to and why?

I relate most to Lisa because I am always perceived by my peers as cold when I meet someone new, but that just isn’t the case. I think that we both have a hard time expressing our emotions and not just using logic to guide our opinions and actions. I could tell I related to her strongly when she wanted to talk to Cathy, but Cathy thought Lisa hated her; this has happened to me so many times.

  1. Who do you like and why?

I like Jason because I think that he is a very supportive person concerning Cathy. I like that he matches Cathy’s energy and never put pressure on her to form a relationship. I just like Jason’s approach to letting things happen organically with Cathy, and I think that, at least thus far, has been a good influence on Cathy.

  1. Who do you hate and why?

Jordan—I don’t know if I hate him, but I just hate what he’s done. I think that by allowing Chris and his friends to smoke and drink, he has definitely instigated their dependence on substances. He does seem like a nice guy though by offering to drive Cathy home, but he certainly shouldn’t be encouraging middle schoolers to drink and do drugs.


Now being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman!

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 season-ending injury sent him spiraling into a dark world of pain, depression, and addiction.

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 drugs on local college campuses. Montgomery’s hometown hero has fallen hard, and he’s taking a lot of people down with him.

Luke Davids has become the middleman between Taylor and teens in Montgomery who want to buy drugs. Freshmen Cathy Kagelli, Chris Dunkin, and Jason Davids are just a few of the students at Montgomery Lake High who have fallen victim to the benzos and opiates supplied by Taylor and Luke.  

When Taylor’s youngest brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious amount of pills circulating around his 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.

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.