Saturday, April 26, 2014

Toxic by Rachel Van Dyken

Summary via Goodreads:
"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?"

This was definitely not the book I was expecting to read featuring the flirty Gabe we met in the first book. There was so, so much more to his character than I could have ever guessed. I assumed, or perhaps it was hoped, that this book was going to be more about taming Gabe's 'man-whoreish' ways.

Boy was I wrong.

Saylor is a freshman who is just trying to pass her classes, as a Music Major she knows music. How to play, how to read music, but she doesn't feel music. And if she doesn't pass her class she loses her scholarship. And that means to her, that everyone was right and she wasn't good enough.

Gabe's world is falling apart. His secrets are unraveling. The fake world he built for his 'cousin' Lisa and himself is about to shatter around him. With his father getting close to where he has been hiding for the past four years, and the girl that once loved him slowly losing the battle with her health. He is a complete mess. So he does the thing he avoided doing in four years, he returns to a piano.

That's where he meets Saylor.

Their first meetings leave Saylor believing that he has a personality disorder, hiding behind masks. But has he starts to fall for her, he slowly removes the masks and tries to reveal his true self to her without her finding his real name.

     This book is full of shenanigans, Gabe is terrible at making rational decisions when it comes to girls. Having spent the last four years hiding who he really was between the legs of faceless girls, it's no wonder when he finally meets a girl he actually likes all the tricks he played before to seduce women don't work.

The first couple chapters had some lighthearted moments. But those shenanigans were pretty much non-stop. Around the same page count/chapter of the first book in this series that I cried, was when the tearducts opened for this book. The ending was sad and sweet, and while at first I thought that Saylor was not a very nice person for making snap judgements about Gabe I also figured that I'd make that same assumptions about him if he were real.

This book is a great companion to the first book, though in a few ways Gabe will make more sense if you read the first book.

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