The ‘Gripped’ Characters: Q&A with Timmy Weiss on ‘Taylor’s Story’

Written by Timmy Weiss, Weston, MA

Timmy Weiss is a senior at St. Sebastian’s high school.  He is a varsity tennis and varsity soccer player, as well as a part of MPA (men with positive attitudes), the newspaper named The Walrus, and the peer mentoring club. He enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, volunteering, and going to sports games. Soon he hopes to study communications in college. 

After reading Gripped Part 5: Taylor’s Story, Timmy was asked to share his opinion on some of the characters. His responses are below.

In Gripped Part 6 what do you hope happens to…

I hope Taylor finds a way to be safe and that he can still live a normal life after this whole situation.  

Cathy & Chantal 
I hope that Cathy and Chantal’s relationship builds back up so it becomes what they used to have together.  I think Cathy would finally regain herself if she had Chantal back in her life and her anxiety problems could go away.

Cathy & Jason 
I hope that Cathy and Jason get on friendly terms but I do not want them to get back together, since I think their relationship could easily be toxic for the both of them.

Luke & Missy 
I hope Luke and Missy stay together because I think Luke is overthinking the fact that Missy is using him.  At the end of part 5 Missy was asking genuine questions about Luke and acted with a lot of care towards him.

How has your opinion of the characters evolved overtime?

I always thought Taylor was naturally gifted in football and partied to have fun as well, but I was wrong as he was extremely hard working and mature in high school.  I really like Taylor.

I used to think Jordan was only a partier and didn’t really care about much, since everything came easy to him, but in fact it’s the opposite.  Jordan has been working tirelessly at Notre Dame and his faith, life, and morals have improved significantly.

I have always respected Marc for his constant maturity and commitment to things.  However, I have lost a little bit of respect for the fact that he isn’t close to forgiving Jordan, even though he admits that Jordan seems different and more mature.

I’ve always thought of Missy as super popular and kind of just messes around at parties all the time.  However, my opinion has changed as I’ve realized she loves to talk to people and she is very accepting.

I’ve started to like Luke more and more after the last couple of books and that continued when I learned he doesn’t enjoy doing drugs or using alcohol and that he only does it to fit in.  Luke matured in this book as he now is taking a firm stance against drugs.

I didn’t really know Laurelle before this book other than she likes to party and is very pretty.  However, I have learned Laurelle is a very nice person and a very fun person to be around.  She seems to always cheer people up and solve problems quickly, turning them into some lighthearted.


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.

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.