Laurie O’Sullivan on the “Gripped 2” Characters

| Written by Laurie O’Sullivan—Dover, Massachusetts |

Meet Laurie O’Sullivan

Laurie is a 17 year old senior at Dover Sherborn High School where she likes to be involved with sports and extracurriculars. She is part of the National Honor Society and tutors high schoolers who want extra help in biology. She runs on the track team, leads a service club, is part of a women’s group, and is involved with an environmental club. In her free time, she likes to read, listen to music, and play the piano. Her love for spending time with kids is shown through her summer job as a camp counselor and her regular babysitting hours. She hopes to study communications in college and travel a lot in the future!

After reading Gripped Part 2: Blindsided by Stacy Padula, Laurie was asked to share her honest opinion on some of the key characters and relationships.

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

I believe that Chris is, in his heart, a really good person. When he calls his cousin Taylor at the beginning of the book, it shows how he stays involved in his life, even when everyone else seems to block him out. He encourages him to come home for the holidays and tries to make him feel better about his past. Although Chris is definitely wrapped up in some bad habits, I truly believe he is a good person, and an even better cousin. 

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

I hope that Cathy ends up with Marc. In my opinion, Marc is the most wholesome character in the book and wants nothing to do with drama, drugs, or destructive behavior. I think Marc would provide Cathy with much needed stability and that he truly would have her best interests at heart. Jason does seem to really want to try his best for Cathy, but I just see Marc as a more stable option. 

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

Chris and Lisa’s relationship seems to take a toll on Lisa. Chris tends to be unpredictable even when he’s trying to keep his life on track. He still gets caught up in bad situations and Lisa seems better off without him. It becomes a toxic cycle that needs to be stopped and Chris needs to fully work on himself before being with anyone else. Chris will drag Lisa down with him, put stress on her, and put her in situations that will ruin things in her own life. 

Who are your two favorite characters so far in the series and why?

Taylor has always been a favorite character of mine since the beginning of the series, but we definitely see a different side of him in the second book. His character is complex, but he shows his improvement and how he’s overcoming his issues, which makes me have so much sympathy towards him. He is trying to get better and succeeding, which makes me proud of him, and I’ve grown to like him even more. Taylor continues to be ever-changing, which is why he is still one of my favorite characters.

Taylor’s brother Marc has become a favorite character of mine. I started off by thinking he was a little bit more of a boring character and that he was just sad all of the time, but I’ve grown to be very fond of his stableness. He truly wants the best for everyone in his life and tries his hardest to stay out of trouble. When the police asked him to give the phone to Taylor, he didn’t hesitate even though they weren’t speaking. He knew it was the right thing to do and was willing to do it to protect his brother.


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.

“Invigorating, engaging and a must read. The characters in The Gripped Series diligently tackle the essence of forces that can limit greatness within.” – LaTonya Pinkard, Netflix’s Emmy award-winning series ‘Last Chance U’

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.