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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Since I first started reading Christian fiction, Terri Blackstock has always been one of my favorite authors. I love the intensity in her novels, which causes me to furiously turn the pages. She has begun a new series about the struggles of drug addiction, and she doesn't tone down that intensity one bit.

Vicious Cycle is a novel about a young girl, Jordan, who is caught up in a web of drug addiction. Not only is she an addict, but her mother and half-brother are as well. In the very first chapter, she is pregnant with a child and forced to have the baby in her own bed because her mother will not take her to the hospital. Jordan does not understand that at first, but as the pieces fall into place throughout the book, Jordan's realizes she has a mother who does not care about anyone but herself.

Lance (featured in book one, Intervention) becomes friends with Jordan through school. Because his sister is a recovering drug addict, he recognizes pretty quickly that Jordan is on the road to a bad life, not only for herself, but for the baby that she's carrying. He convinces her to start treatment at a local rehab center, New Day. Lance visits every weekend to see his sister while she's recovering, and seeing Jordan is an added bonus. When Jordan voluntarily leaves New Day so close to her delivery date, he knows Jordan will return to her drug-infested home. He takes it upon himself to drive over to her house to check on her, not realizing that he's about to be in the biggest trouble of his life.

Leave it to Terri Blackstock to create a novel that sucked me in from page one!! Not only did I get a glimpse of the world of meth, I also got a small glimpse into the world of baby trafficking, and neither one was a pretty picture. This book was so realistic, possibly more so than the book before it, Intervention. I can't wait to see what's in store for Barbara, Kent, Emily, and Lance with the remainder of the books in this series. Highly Recommended!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
To say that I was Anxious to receive this book would be a HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT! I read the 1st book, Intervention and could NOT put it down! Knowing how very personal this storyline is to Terri Blackstock only made it that much more meaningful to me. This 2nd book, A Vicious Cycle, isn't just a novel, to me, it is a story that needs to be told! There are so many who struggle with addictions of many kinds, and in A Vicious Cycle we also learn more about baby trafficking. It is beyond heartbreaking and so very unbelievable. In this story, I am so amazed at the strength in which Barbara Covington, who is Lance and Emily's Mom, shares as she deals with all that life throws at her. She will inspire you and so will this book! Her Son Lance, a young man who wants nothing more than to help his friend come clean, not only for herself, but for her unborn baby too. He tries to help and becomes caught up in a family who thinks of nothing else, but how and where they can get their next high. The Covington's continually find themselves intertwined with this family and just when they think they can walk away, their paths connect once more and this time, it just might prove to be fatal for all of those involved.

Just one WARNING though:
When you sit down to read this book you may not be able to put it down until the VERY LAST PAGE HAS BEEN TURNED!
Seriously, IT IS THAT GOOD!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon February 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
While nineteen years old teenager Emily Covington completes her year long stay in rehab thanks to the Intervention of her mother Barbara and her fifteen year old brother Lance, another teenage meth user Jordan gives birth to a daughter in her home. Jordan hates herself as she was too high to go to a hospital and has spent nine months buying meth instead of vitamins. To her chagrin her mom sold "it" for forty thousand dollars. Although afraid of her mom and her brother Zeke, Jordan leaves her newborn in the car belonging to Lance who has been trying to help her kick her meth habit.

When confronted by her dangerous family, Jordan accuses Lance of kidnapping her daughter. The cops arrest Lance. A desperate Barbara, preoccupied with Emily coming home, asks Atlanta police detective Kent Harlan who she met during her daughter's Intervention, what she should do. He says he is coming to Jefferson City to help her and her son. Kent drops everything even a case he is working on to fly immediately to the woman he loves.

The second Intervention Christian thriller is an action-packed tale that looks deeply at the impact of drug abuse on the user and their families as well as what happens after an extended rehab; to a lesser degree there is also a glimpse into illegal human trafficking. Some of the action is over the top of Kennesaw Mountain especially how easily Kent leaves Atlanta and gets to Jefferson City (without beam me up technology). Still, fans will enjoy Terri Blackstock's Covington family drama as the widow must think she is a modern day Job because of all that has happened since her husband died yet she keeps the faith. This author has written writes some of the best inspirational thriller books of the last decade.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
Vicious Cycle is a book that leaves you heaving a HUGE sigh of relief when you reach the end! Terri Blackstock amps up the drama and heartache as she once again ventures into the life of drug addiction...and also human trafficking. This series that focus on the emotional and physical pain of substance abuse is sure to snag people's attention from the get-go!

While the first book focused on the missing drug addict (and prime suspect to a murder) Emily Covington, Vicious Cycle turns to her 15 year old brother, Lance. As I mentioned in my review for the first book, Lance's character grabbed my attention early on. And in this second installment my admiration for this aspiring young man grew.

While Jordan is a hard-core addict, my heart couldn't help breaking for her and all the hardships she had to endure. I just kept thinking, "Fifteen year olds shouldn't be exposed to this...they should be goofing off with friends and going to the mall." But all Jordan's known in her few short years is drugs, drugs, and more drugs. What wakes her up is when she delivers a premature baby at home while she's high.

The struggles--both inwardly and outwardly--that Jordan, and even Emily (once she gets out of drug rehab) face is sure to touch the reader. As Emily faces drugs for the first time in a whole year, I was cheering for her to overcome her weakness and succeed. And for poor Jordan, who always strayed back to getting "one more fix", my heart bled for her to find the strength to resist the drugs and do the right thing for both herself and her baby.

Vicious Cycle lives up to its name! Drugs throw people into vicious cycles that seem to never stop...until God gives that person the strength to stand against the devil and drugs. Blackstock brings this issue so vividly to live, I can't see how anyone can read this series and not have their eyes opened to this very real--and very present--danger that is breeding in the midst of teens today.

I reviewed this book for Zondervan. Many thanks to Shelby for sending me a copy to review. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have read all of Terri Blackstock's books and have never been disappointed. She is such an amazing author! I read Vicious Cycle the day it came. I just couldn't put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Some books take longer to finish and others don't. This is one of those books I found hard to put down, so it was completed in just a couple of days.
The issue of addiction is a very complex problem in America. People of different ages and backgrounds fall victim to the temptations, seeking refuge from many different illnesses and/or problems.
This book riveted me from the beginning because there is always hope...as long a a person lives and breathes, there is hope in this world.
Vicious cycle is written so that the reader hopes right along with Emily, Lance and Barbara for the life of a baby and her 15-year-old mother. I wanted the mother to find her life worth living and I prayed beside the family that showed she is valuable.
Vicious Cycle also provides insight into a world many of us cannot even fathom. A world filled with danger around every corner. A world where predators lurk, seeking to ravage the victims of despair.
Terri Blackstock never fails to deliver...writing about the issues many of us often would like to turn a blind eye to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Terri Blackstock has done it again!! I picked up one of her books a few years ago and have since read everything she has written. This book was not a let down for sure. The characters are real and believable and have issues!!! Terri always gets us to God and his plan for every single individual no matter where they are in life - offering hope to all who read her books along the way! Can not wait till the next book!!!
And selfishly so thankful she has her books on KINDLE!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This was a wonderful story that showed people can overcome hardships and challenges with help from our Lord! I enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. I love Terri Blackstock and enjoy all her books that I have read. Thank you Ms. Blackstock for writing Christian books that reflect real life events and people.
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on June 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
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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on January 4, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Jordan's mother has talked her into leaving the New Day rehabilitation center. Fifteen-year-old Jordan is an addict and about to be a mother. When Lance Covington decides to go try and talk her into coming back to New Day he gets into more trouble than he bargained for.

When he arrives at Jordan's home he finds that she has already had her baby(at home), she is high on drugs, and her mother and brother are getting ready to give Jordan's baby to a questionable looking couple. Jordan doesn't want to give her baby to them. She has already made plans to give her baby up for adoption to a Christian agency. Jordan locks herself in her room and climbs out the window. She stows her baby in Lance's car. When Lance drives away he is surprised to find the baby there.

Not knowing what to do and hoping that Jordan will come get her baby, he takes the baby to his home. In the meantime Jordan's mother and brother are furious with her and make her call the police and tell them that Lance has kidnapped her baby.

Not knowing what else to do Barbara Covington calls Kent from Atlanta to help her try and get Lance out of jail. Will they be able to talk Jordan into dropping the charges against Lance? Will Jordan be able to break the Vicious Cycle that has become her life and finally be able to do something for someone besides herself?

Vicious Cycle had me biting my nails! I seriously had to keep putting the book(my kindle) down to take a break from the intense suspense that permeates every page of the story. The second book in the Intervention series once again delves into drug addiction, but this time add human trafficking into the mix and it all adds up to one heart-pounding, intense read! I have to say that a couple of times I got frustrated with the characters. Just like in Intervention the characters seem to not want to do what they are told. Lance is told to stay home, he goes out. Barbara is told not to go looking for Jordan, she goes looking for Jordan. Emily is told to stay home away from her old drug stomping grounds, she goes right into the worst house of them all. As the reader I sat there wanting to yell at them "YOU WERE TOLD TO STAY HOME!" I know that those all add up to what makes the book a great read, but it sure gives me heart palpitations!
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