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Review: Vicious Cycle by Terri Blackstock

Thursday, August 11, 2011
4 Stars: A Great Read
Series: Intervention #2
Paperback: 324 Pages
Publication: February 12, 2011 by Zondervan

When fifteen-year-old Lance Covington finds an abandoned baby in the backseat of a car, he knows she's the newborn daughter of a meth addict he's been trying to help. But when police arrest him for kidnapping, Lance is thrust into a criminal world of baby trafficking and drug abuse. His mother, Barbara, looks for help from Kent Harlan---the man whom she secretly, reluctantly loves and who once helped rescue her daughter from a mess of her own. Kent flies to her aid and begins the impossible work of getting Lance out of trouble, protecting a baby who has no home, and finding help for a teenage mother hiding behind her lies. In this latest novel of suspense and family loyalty, bestselling author Terri Blackstock offers a harrowing look at drug addiction, human trafficking, and the devastating choices that can change lives forever.

Vicious Cycle is book two of the Intervention series by Terri Blackstock, centered on the lives of the members of the Covington family and how drugs impact their lives. While there are recurring characters from Intervention (book 1), it is possible to read Vicious Cycle without having read Intervention beforehand. References to past events are made in context and easy to understand. Honestly, I hadn’t known there was a first book until I looked up Vicious Cycle.

Jordan is a fifteen-year-old meth addict who has given birth to a baby girl while under the influence of drugs. Seeking to give her baby a better life, Jordan leaves her in Lance Covington’s car. Coerced by her mom, who wants to sell the baby to dealers, Jordan accuses Lance of kidnapping, and he is thrown into jail. The events of Vicious Cycle unfold from the alternating perspectives of Barbara Covington (Lance’s mother), Kent Harlan (a detective with an interest in Barbara), Lance Covington, Jordan, and Emily Covington as necessary to further the plot as the Covingtons search for Jordan and try to get her to speak up for Lance, accept treatment, and put her baby up for adoption. It may seem overwhelming from the list; however, Terri Blackstone knows how to thread the multiple points of view together into a suspenseful novel.

You can see the clear-cut differences between two families with drug-addicted daughters. Jordan turns to drugs because her family does drugs and goes so far as to abuse her, making her think that she’s worthless. On the other hand, Emily, who has gotten into the wrong crowd, has family members supporting her. They get her treatment and stay beside her to keep her out of temptation’s reach once she completes treatment.

Lance is an amiable, very likable, guy. As Jordan later confesses, he's the kind of guy that girls want in their life. His kindness to Jordan is often thwarted by her inability to accept that she has the potential to chance. However, he continuously reaches out to her and talks to her about God, and he’ll breach the barriers she’s placed around her heart. He’ll teach her about faith and forgiveness. I also like Jordan. While she tries to reject help, you can see how mistreated she’s been, how insecure she is, and you can’t help reaching your heart to her. She's stubborn and independent--and despite all she's been through, she still yearns for love and acceptance.

The central characters of the novel are religious; however, the religion is skillfully woven into the novel so that it doesn’t come off too strong for readers who aren’t Christians. More than a Christian novel, Vicious Cycle is about choices. It is about trusting our friends, those who care about us. It is about learning from the consequences of our actions. Even if we take a wrong turn, there is someone there willing to support us and show us the right path. It is about forgiveness, learning how to forgive ourselves and give ourselves a chance.


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An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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