Vicious Cycle by Terri Blackstock

Terri Blackstock is a New York Times bestselling author, and she has tackled one of the leading problems our teenagers face today, actually two of the leading problems. Teen pregnancy and teen drug addiction. Not to mention the baby selling racket we hear about but don't see much about in the daily news.

A teenage boy (Lance) finds an abandoned baby in the back seat of his car, and he's not even supposed to be driving. He just had to go try to help a girl he's going to school with, but finds himself in big trouble and charged with kidnapping. The story doesn't unfold exactly chronologically which is not something I'm fond of, however it is so compelling it will keep you turning the pages.

Her sensitivity and love for those caught in this vicious cycle makes this story shine. I found myself praying for the young girl even though I knew this was “just a story”. However, I know that so many girls fall into this trap and the web tightens until they strangle. Blackstock also brings home the point that anyone caught in addiction must actually want to be free from it before they can do anything about it; and that it is not just possible but doable when the outstretched hands of hope and help are grasped.

Blackstock also delves into the realm of environment shaping the behavior. I'm not convinced it is solely environment, although I strongly resist the thought environment never influences behavior. I've seen too often the results the smoking parent, the alcoholic parent, and the abusive parent create in their children. Not that it cannot be overcome or the lifestyle is not rejected by the child who decides that lifestyle is not for him, that happens very often as well. The psychology of it is extremely interesting to me, although Blackstock only subtly touches on it, so never fear that it interferes with the storyline because it only enhances it greatly. She makes an excellent point that parents are a child's safe haven and those responsible parents can expect their children to come to them in times of trouble and fear.

What makes this so heart breaking for Lance is his sister is a recovering addict, and he sees all the signs in this young girl he's trying to help. Finally, Lance finds himself way over his head. His mom, Barbara, recognizes the danger to her son and wades in like a moma bear, so with the help of the man she loves the web is finally untangled. (That isn't a spoiler, all Blackstock's novels have happy endings.)

Excellent read. I give it  five out of five stars.

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