Posted in Rachel Van Dyken

Toxic (#2) – Rachel Van Dyken


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?

My review of RUIN

5 out of 5 stars




My Review

When I read RUIN, I knew that Gabe would steal my heart, so TOXIC was not going to be left for months on time, hell no. It was going to be read the second I finished RUIN. I definitely gobbled this book down and it caused me numerous tears, heartache, different theories (one which I actually got right!) but I also got my laughs, my smiles, the banter and the amazing friendship from Kiersten, Weston, Gabe and Lisa too. God I love these characters.

Toxic is much more deeper (if it can be because Ruin ruined me) than Ruin. From the synopsis, we know that Gabe is hiding his identity, so in a way we know that probably isn’t his name. So what is? What is he hiding? Throughout the book, until it is revealed, you are sat trying to work out who Gabe is, what his secret is, why he is hiding. I unlocked one name, one secret and when that was revealed, it still came as a surprise because I hardly ever guess right.

Gabe, as we know, is the happy guy. The guy who sleeps around because he doesn’t drink anymore. The guy who can banter like hell, can be a sarcastic idiot but the guy who is protective of his friends, who will do anything to make sure they are okay, and would die for them – much like he told Wes in Ruin, but underneath he is broken, and depressed and feeling guilty for his past.

It’s hard not fall for Gabe (maybe more than Wes) because you feel for him, you go through the motions with him and dear god, his life is just one torment after the other. You have Gabe with the secret, Gabe with different identities, Gabe with his friends and Gabe with Saylor. But who is he truly?

You watch conflictions, you watch love and hurt and pain and it all rolls into one massive fuckball when the identity comes to life. You get frustrated with him but in the back of you mind you know why he is doing it and you understand it so much throughout the book. But despite the lies and secrets, Gabe is completely loyal to his friends and your heart will break for him but then be put back together in the form of Saylor and the gang.

Enter Saylor. She comes flying, literally, into Gabe’s life when his past is lying on his shoulders, when his past is moments away from unravelling. They don’t get off to the best of starts, but they seem to be integrating into each others lives more and its hard to keep their feelings from each other. I definitely thought Saylor was going to be weak, that she wouldn’t stand up to Gabe and his mean words in the beginning but I was wrong. She did and I love that about a heroine who doesnt shy away from biting back.

The more time Gabe and Saylor spend together, the more feelings are transpiring. They connect firstly through music and that is the one constant between them. The one constant that could express what they were both feeling, especially Gabe with his guilt and sorrow. Saylor was strong, she was there for Gabe when shit went down and she was completely selfless – which I admired from her. Not many people could do what she did, not many people would stay but she did and she helped him with everything, with the pain and the guilt, especially through the goodbyes.

She taught him to love again, to be okay with being your true self after so many years and to accept yourself for who you are. She really is inspirational.

Toxic is raw, its tear worthy, its heartbreaking but it also comes with pages full of love. Love for Gabe, love for Saylor, love for the gang and the little secret hiding. Rachel draws you completely in with her writing, you feel everything, you connect on a personal level and you just have to keep turning pages; turning pages to find out more about Gabe, about his secrets. Such a beautiful and emotional book and you all should get reading this series ASAP.

Delve into the lives of such amazing characters and get your heart broken and then fixed up once again. Rachel, I cannot wait to meet you at the Edinburgh signing. Be aware of The Book Lovers 😉

Posted in New Adult, Rachel Van Dyken

Ruin (#1) – Rachel Van Dyken


I’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michals offered to be my light.

I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.

5 out of 5 stars!!




My Review

I’ve had Ruin on my kindle for months now. When I did my Top 13 Books of 2013, my Twinnie had it down as one book and seeing so many people talk about how amazing this book was that when Fearless and Toxic came out, I knew it was time to get to know Weston and Keirsten like many others have.

Can I just say I LOVE THIS BOOK! It is most definitely a 5 star book from me. The banter between all the characters had me in stitches. The emotional scenes had me crying (I wasnt that far in and I was on a train with tears streaming down my face) and my chest hurting and I was messaging Karli Perrin asking her if something drastic happens – i’m not going to say what because its a part of the storyline, but I was worrying, and frightened and needed to know, but alas she wouldnt tell me.

I cant tell you how much I was on tenterhooks just waiting for the inevitable to happen, for the life-changing (okay, many not life-changing, but for the full on shock and sobbing to occur) scene to happen. For me to break down, find out what the hell has been happening and try to remain calm and hope for the best. And when it did happen, yupp you can guarantee I was sobbing. Such a The Edge of Never moment for me!

Ruin shows the journey of Kiersten and Weston. Both have painful pasts. Kiersten has nightmares about death and losing the ones she loves, Weston is harbouring a pretty massive secret, from virtually everyone apart from his family.

But when they meet, Weston helps Kiersten out, making her overcome her fears and in itself, they are both falling for each other yet Weston is on borrowed time. It’s a story about overcoming fears, battling for yourself and finding love, even in the darkest of times. They both ruin each other.

I adored Kiersten. She was so innocent and sweet and I suppose (stereotyping now) that if you are from a really small town, where everyone knows everyone, it would be hard to do anything when all eyes would be on you. I loved how she trusted so easily, how she was naïve to an extent but also how she was a scared eighteen year old who had yet to experience what most teenagers had. But I suppose what she was harbouring is enough to make someone think negativity about life and about themselves.

I loved the fact that although she didnt really understand, she knew love. She knew that any time she had with Weston she would savour it. She didnt have a clue that something was wrong with him but she treasured the little things. She wrote a list down of things to accomplish and that, in itself, shows how brave she is. Some are trivial, some are huge but each other proved she was overcoming her fears. She had such strength in her and especially when everything went down, of course she faltered but I was so proud of the way she handled it all, handled herself, handled Wes. She is one awesome heroine.

Oh Weston. I LOVE this guy!! He is flirty and funny and has so much banter, but you know he is also harbouring a secret. You kind of unravel bits and pieces about what is wrong throughout the book and your heart starts racing. One part involving Wes is the part I started crying on the train. I had to remotely wipe away my tears before getting off at my stop. He is the most loveliest guy and despite being an RA (not quite sure what that is) and with all the ladies loving him, there is something about Kiersten that he is drawn to – although he doesnt date Freshmen, but he cant stay away.

I really liked his strength in front of Kiersten, despite the fact he didn’t feel strong in himself. He helped her get out of her shell, and in return it felt like he was killing himself with wanting her but knowing his really couldn’t. I admired his bravery, I admired everything about him.
He was a cheeky chappy and with everything happening to him you cant help but command him. You feel sick at points, you cry for him, beg for him but through it all, he’s caring and protective and still thinking about Kiersten, and not really himself. (You will understand when you read Ruin) I loved his love for his redheaded girlfriend, and his inspirational quotes about life and fear. It’s no wonder Kiersten fell for him, I would be head over heels for him.

The two of them together? Sweetest couple ever. The banter they have together, the nickname they have for each other. Cutest nicknames ever and very suiting! The way they are together, they way they protect and care and love for each other is something else. And the way they help each other, consciously and unconsciously makes them both stronger as people.

I loved the ‘supporting’ characters – Gabe and Lisa – who were brilliant. They are cousins and Lisa is Kiersten’s room-mate but they become so close and the banter between the whole group will have you in stitches and laughing through tears. Gabe has his own book – Toxic – which I cannot wait to get started with. I adored him in Ruin, the way he protected and cared for Kiersten and I would love to know more of his background and get his own happy ending.

Havent read Ruin yet? I have no idea why it took me so bloody long! But if you are umming and ahhing on your next read, then PICK THIS BOOK UP 🙂