Book Review | Vicious Cycle
Author: Terri Blackstock
Vicious Cycle is definitely a compelling read. It deals with very serious issues — ones that are, unfortunately, very real and “gritty,” if you will. And it tells its story through characters that are well-developed and interesting. Woven throughout this story is a Christianity theme, which is a nice touch…it doesn’t overpower the story or seem gratuitous; it’s truly a part of the fabric of the novel.
At first, I was a little taken back by the remarkably quick pace of the book, but it didn’t take me long to get in the groove. (It also doesn’t hurt that the chapters are very short, with each only being a few pages long.) However, I did find that, as a reader, I had to suspend disbelief somewhat in order to really get into it. Vicious Cycle tackles abuse, exploitation, drug addiction, teenage pregnancy, and so on…and it seemed to make events fall into place just too conveniently.
For instance, all the girls in the recovery program knew precisely the same drug dealer, as though every drug addict somehow uses the same source. And, when one of the characters is seeking out a 15-year-old meth addict, she approaches her friend’s son, a mentally ill, homeless drug addict to ask if he knows the girl…of course he does! And he knows exactly where she is, too…and, as luck would have it, the woman arrived at the motel where the girl was staying in the nick of time, as the girl was near death, bleeding and beaten and having overdosed. There are a lot of situations like these, that make you question how all these coincidences and consequences are possible.
And, I found myself questioning the odds that the family around whom the story revolves has a daughter in a recovery program…and the son helped get his 15-year-old classmate (a pregnant meth addict) into the program…and she comes from a home with a meth-addicted brother and mother (who does things like dangle a syringe full of meth in front of her daughter in order to gain her compliance)…and that a close friend of the family has a son who is a drug addict with mental health issues who is living on the streets. That’s a lot of drug addicts within that circle.
Now, don’t let me discourage you, because in spite of these issues, Vicious Cycle was quite honestly hard to put down. I found it interesting and I wanted to find out what was going to happen next, and I felt that way from page one.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*