Q&A with Plymouth North’s Julia Trenholm on “Gripped Part 2: Blindsided”

| Written by Julia Trenholm, Plymouth, Massachusetts |

Julia Trenholm is from Plymouth, Massachusetts where she attends Plymouth North High School. Her favorite subjects include marketing and science. Some of her hobbies include cheerleading and singing in the Northern Lights A cappella group. Julia would like to study communications in college.

After reading Stacy Padula’s Y.A. novel, Gripped Part 2: Blindsided, Julia was asked a series of questions about her opinion on certain characters, the plot line, and the messages in the book.

  1. How has your opinion of Taylor changed from the beginning of the series until the end of book 2?

My opinion of Taylor has changed from the beginning of the series until the end of book 2. I went from feeling hopeful that Taylor would escape and get out of his bad habits using drugs and alcohol, because in the ending of Book 1 we saw him starting to regret his poor choices and wanting to get his life back on track. Now towards the end of Book 2, I feel upset about Taylor because he still has involvement with drugs; even if he isn’t using them personally, he is trapped in a drug ring that deals substances to high school and college kids. We can tell Taylor is truly trying to get on a better path, but it’s been a struggle for him to break the pattern completely. I do still believe there is hope for him to break the habit and get better.

  1. How has your opinion of Chris changed since the beginning of the series?

Chris seemed to not really care about his friends’ involvement with drugs and the choices they made in Book 1. I wasn’t the biggest fan of him because he was the one who mainly got his friends hooked on drugs and substances. Now after reading Part 2, I realized my opinion has remained the same as Chris just kept digging himself into a bigger hole as he continues to be hooked. 

  1. After reading books 1 & 2, are you rooting for Cathy to end up with Jason or Marc?

After reading books 1 and 2, I was back and forth between Jason and Marc for who I think is a better fit for Cathy. I feel that in the first book Jason and Cathy had such natural chemistry between each other, making them connect on a deeper level. They may have had a few problems in the last book but they worked their ways out in the end. I think Cathy and Jason just needed a break from each other as they both were going through their own personal issues, which resulted in conflict with each other. At the beginning of book 2, I liked the idea of Marc and Cathy being with each other because Marc is a very caring and loving person who might help balance Cathy out. Now as I finished reading book 2, I think Cathy and Jason understand each other like no other, and I am definitely rooting for them. I just hope the drugs don’t get in the way of their love for each other.

  1. What are your honest thoughts on Chris and Lisa’s relationship?

I believe that the relationship between the two was a bit toxic at the beginning and towards the middle of the book. This was until Chris had a near death experience with the involvement of drugs, which seemed to be a wake up call for him. He wasn’t treating Lisa the way she wanted to be treated and the drugs were a large part of this, taking over his body and mind. After going through this we can see he is making a conscious effort going forward to change his habits and to turn his life around. Lisa and him may not exactly be together, but when Chris is ready after working on himself, they may even reunite.


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

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.

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.