Saturday, March 8, 2014

TOXIC (Ruin #2) by Rachel van Dyken

(Ruin #2)
by Rachel van Dyken
ARC Review
Published: March 4, 2014

My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️

If first impressions were anything to go by, Gabe knows for a fact he hasn't made a favorable one on the girl with the knowing eyes, who invaded his private meltdown. But years of holding in a guilt and grief so deep it has already taken all the life out of you, even though you are still going through your daily motions, wears on a person. The playful and careless mask he shows the world along with the tattoos, piercings and bad boy exterior, serves to hide what once was a very public identity and a devastating secret. 

The last thing Saylor expected when she was drawn to the hauntingly beautiful music, was to find the source a painfully rude and abbrassive, dark and dangerous looking man. Without knowing anything about her, he tore strips off her and then walked away. Which is why she doesn't get how she still manages to feel attracted to him. He is an enigma to her, especially after she finds they have some friends in common and they vow he is a nice guy.

When Saylor starts an internship at a group home as part of her studies, she is surprised to bump into Gabe once again. And he was no less enthusiastic as she was. But the different setting did provide her with a closer look at a different side of the man she thought she had pegged and also a bit of insight in what may be driving his outrageously erratic behaviour. Problem was, it only made him more appealling to her.

Gabe can't believe that the one girl who seems to be able to look right through him and make him feel something, anything, suddenly turns up everywhere in his life. It only seems to speed up the downward spiral his carefully compartmentalized life has taken lately. And yet he wants her there, in his life, she brings him some semblance of peace when everything else is in turmoil. Even though he knows when the truth finally comes out - and he is convinced there is no holding it back at this point - she will turn her back, just like the rest of the world...


Heavy angst and tender love.......

Rachel van Dyken writes a gut-wrenching story of a fantasy-like love story, within a harsh reality-based love story. The writing is gifted and shows a great insight in the human psyche. The impact is highly dramatic and almost painful to observe.

The character of Gabe is damaged. Not just damaged from events in more recent years, but damaged by a lifetime of unrealistic and inappropriate expectations. He does a good job hiding behind an upbeat and jovial persona, but by the time he meets Saylor, that shield has already started to crumble to reveal the shell of the man behind.

Perhaps it is the fact that Saylor is not completely unfamiliar with hardship, or that she seems to connect with Gabe through music, but she displays a strength of character that appears to be beyond her years. Her non-judgemental attitude and selfless heart draw Gabe in. Her steadfast presence and support keeps him there.

The secondary characters who were also part of book one in the series, RUIN, are playing an important role in the transformation of Gabe. His was the biggest by far. I would almost venture to say that Saylor's role was an almost supportive one, even though the POV's in this story were dual.

The storyline is rich in suggestion and innuendo before actual facts start becoming clear. It takes almost the entire book to piece together the last of the puzzle that is Gabe. A character study for sure, but most definitely a love story.......or two.

✨Gripping, edgy and hauntingly tender....✨

**ARC provided in return for an honest review.**


No comments:

Post a Comment