Terri Blackstock pens a compelling novel depicting the epidemic young people are faced with today. I was thankful to receive a review copy of this dramatic, suspenseful story that could be taken from headlines today.
Crystal meth devastates more than the addicts' body it also destroys everything the addict touches. Edith appreciated her mom and her brother Lance's support this year as she tried to get off a drug that controlled everything about her and learn how to make it in the world clean and sober. Her demons had laid low at New Hope regeneration center. She could be fooled to think they were gone for good; she knew better. Biggest thing she learned was that she needed God's help more than ever. Graduation day was near and returning to familiar stomping grounds terrified her.
Edith prayed for a girl she met at New Hope named Jill. She was pregnant, 15 years old, and addicted to Crystal Meth. She left the center one day and never came back. Edith liked Jill and could see how she was distracted by her addict brother and mom who didn't want her to get well.
Jill got high the day she got home. Her mom gave her some drugs to relieve the pain. She was in so much pain and there were blood on her sheets. What was happening to her? She focuses on the bed and sees a little baby. Her baby! She wraps it up on a town and calls for her mom who used to be a nurse. She begs to be brought to the hospital! Her mom refuses and tells her not to worry!
As soon as Jill looks into the eyes of this beautiful baby her heart wells up with love and she desires to do more for her than her own mother. She thought of New Hope and the help she would need to break the vicious cycle her family has been on. She hoped for a way to save her baby from the horrific life she's lived.
Terri Blackstock reveals the realistic side of being an addict, and what it takes to break free of the addicted life. Shattering the cycle of addiction takes a supporting family, support group and most of all a personal relationship with Jesus. Terri Blackstock does a brilliant job of getting into the heart and mind of a user and how the drug controls them in every way. I like how this author doesn't leave the reader there in despair but shows there is hope in the middle of what seems an impossible situation. The addict and their family can celebrate recovery one day at a time with God's help. This is a powerful book. I highly recommend reading this series! I'm looking forward to reading Terri's next book.
Nora St.Laurent The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org
Finding Hope Through Fiction www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Whew! I've just finished reading this terrific book, and now I can breathe! (I found that as I flipped the pages, I was actually holding my breath.) The author had me at the first sentence and kept my attention all the way through until the satisfying end.
Written in third person by each of the characters helps make this an easy-to-read thriller. Each character has a voice, and the reader is able to understand his/her thinking process. I feel as if I got inside the minds of meth addicts--not a good place. I certainly learned a good deal about the addiction.
I enjoyed watching the solutions to the various crimes, as well as the romance blooming. Some of the characters realistically struggle with the questions: "Why does God allow this?" and "Does He even know I exist?" Sound biblical answers are given.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Zondervan for my copy.
Unfortunately, these days it's hard to find someone who has not been directly affected in some way by drug addictions. I have a lot of respect and admiration for a Christian author who is willing tackle this difficult topic that affects Christians and non-Christians alike. Books like this can open up conversations and they can even help people minister to those dealing with drug addictions. It also brings awareness of this issue of human trafficking, something I have never really given much thought to before reading this book. I think Terri Blackstock has done a superb job with Vicious Cycle. I didn't read the first book in this series, Intervention, but I can imagine that it must have been excellent as well.
Vicious Cycle was very difficult to read at times. There was a lot of reality that was tough to take, but if Terri had sugar-coated it, the book would not have been as effective. There are characters that I just wanted to see with a better life and the powerful, emotional Christian message made this a book a remarkable read - one I highly recommend.
Vicious Cycle is another great Terri Blackstock story, a follow-up to a previous novel, Intervention. Both of these books deal with the very tough, but very real, issue of drug abuse and its impact on the users and their families. Terri wrote both these books not with just intellectual knowledge of the subject, but from the heart of a mother who has dealt with this very hurtful issue in the life of her own child. That "heart knowledge" comes through in the way Terri brings her characters to life and tells their story in a way that doesn't sugar coat the problems and pain that come with addiction.
Just as her daughter Emily is graduating from a year of rehab from her drug addiction, widowed mother Barbara Covington finds her family caught in the middle of things she never expected. Her teenage son Lance, in a misguided attempt to help a friend, ends up in jail on charges of kidnapping a baby. As Emily also gets involved in helping Jordan, she finds the old cravings tempting her and trying to pull her back into the traps of addiction. Meanwhile, Barbara has turned to Kent Harlan -- the Atlanta policeman who had earlier helped save Emily's life -- for help. Kent flies to Barbara in Missouri to offer his assistance, and they both realize their feelings for each other have grown. The plot becomes more complex and suspenseful as Kent leads an "every minute counts" rush to rescue Lance, Jordan, and Jordan's newborn daughter.
In her masterful writing style, Terri weaves into her story reminders of God's presence and strength and the blessings often taken for granted by families like the Covingtons -- and many others of us. I would definitely recommend this book to any Terri Blackstock fan -- or any soon-to-be Terri Blackstock fan!
In Vicious Cycle, the Covington family is back. It's a year after Intervention and Emily is about to come home from drug rehab. But now her little brother Lance is the one in trouble. He finds an abandoned baby in the backseat of a car -- she's the newborn daughter of a meth addict he's befriended. Before he can take the infant somewhere for help, the police are on his doorstop arresting him for kidnapping. And the story is off.
I loved this story! I cared deeply about the Covingtons from the first book, but the author does a masterful job of writing in such a way that you don't need to read Intervention to get caught in Vicious Cycle's web. This plot went so many directions it was almost impossible to keep up. And I cared so deeply about the baby's mother that as she made wrong choice followed by good choice followed by wrong choice I kept wanting to see if she'd get it right in the end. Ultimately, this is a story of redemption. A story that shows we should never give up hope. In each other or in ourselves. I loved it!