Monday, April 7, 2014

Toxic - Review

Toxic (Ruin #2)

By: Rachel Van Dyken

Published: March 4, 2014

340 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Everyone has a secret... 

Gabe Hyde is on borrowed time. He's been hiding his identity for over four years-hidden from the world that used to adore him--obsess over him--driven to the edge of insanity by one poor choice. 
But that one choice, altered the course of his life forever. 
Pretending isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when pretending means hiding your real self from the people that care about you the most. But if anyone ever discovered the truth it wouldn't just be his life at risk--but hers. 

Saylor doesn't hate men. 
Just Gabe. 
Only Gabe. 
He's a reckless, happy-go-lucky, silver spoon fed pain in her ass. Everything about him makes her more and more confused. Unfortunately they both donate time at the same Group Home. If she wasn't afraid of flunking, she'd be long gone. She hates that she's attracted to him almost as much as he hates that he's attracted to her--and she can tell, especially since their first encounter ended up making her knees so weak she couldn't form coherent sentences for weeks afterwards. But the closer she gets to him, the more confused she becomes. He isn't who he says he is, and he's hiding something big. 

What happen when two worlds collide? Two worlds that never should have met in the first place? Some secrets are too big to be hidden forever--the only question? Will his destroy everyone he loves? Or finally bring about the redemption he's been craving for the past four years? 

Everyone has a secret...What's yours?
Gabe is a twenty-two year old man who is wearing many masks. Depending on who knows him, he would answer to 2 or 3 different names. 2 very different lives. 2 very different personalities. One of which he is trying his best to keep hidden. But after four years, he is exhausted of pretending, of pasting on a smile when he feels anything but smiling, and of not letting anyone in. Even his best friend Wes. He's carrying a load of grief and responsibility someone his age shouldn't have to carry.

Saylor is a college freshman who is a music major. She is a pianist but she is missing a huge part of what it means to make music - emotion and passion, telling a story through her playing. She has all the mechanics down quite perfectly. But playing in front of an audience and actually putting feeling in her music is not something she can do. But she's gone to college to succeed so she can help support her Mom who is a single parent, and her 15 year old brother who has Downs.

Gabe and Saylor meet before one of Saylor's two hour practice sessions and immediately have a sizzling encounter. He is cocky and arrogant and she is nervous and way less experienced. Who is this tattooed pierced bad-boy and how is it that his music is so deep and meaningful? His exterior clearly doesn't match what she hears coming from the piano he is abusing. Their meeting is brief yet hot. It's not until a couple of weeks later that she runs into him again when she goes to meet a classmate for a project. And an immediate love/hate relationship ensues.

As with Ruin #1 I felt some great emotion coming from Gabe. He is a broken person and is carrying guilt from one very bad decision which has affected his life for the last four years. When he finally starts to open up and start the healing process, it's beautiful and sad and heart breaking. And Saylor - she is one secure, strong woman. How refreshing to have a lead character not be insecure of her feelings for someone else - but to the extent to which she shows her love is admirable.

Favorite Quotes: (choosing my top 5 favorites was incredibly tough!!)
"And you, little girl, better be careful. You're dangerously close to getting me to fall for you, and I don't do relationships, I do girls."

"Odd means I stand out. It's an unintelligent way of saying I'm unique, different, special, one of a kind. Odd means in a lineup of twenty guys, your eyes would still find mine."

"Love has no time table, no rules. It is what it is..."

"How often do you think we write our own ending before the story is even finished? How often do we give up on ourselves when our lives are just starting? Things get hard and we immediately back away and assume that means we're going in the wrong direction, doing the wrong thing. If anything, when the waters get thick, that's our sign to keep going."

...when I said love - I meant I bled for you. When the word love actually leaves my lips - I'm speaking it into existence. I'm empowering my soul - I'm joining with yours.

Final Rating - 4 stars


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