A VVivacious Review: Toxic (Treacherous Chemistry #2) by Avylinn Winter

Rating: 2 Stars out of 5
Adam has been best friends with Gabriel since they were children but all of that changes when Adam tells Gabriel about his true feelings for him. In a second the loving friendship he shared with Gabriel is shattered and he finds himself thrown out of the room they shared.
Adam finds himself unable to let go of his first love and he tries to reconcile with Gabriel for the sake of their friendship but things turn out different than what Adam expected for better or for worse
As Adam and Gabriel try to build a new relationship, Adam discovers a whole new side to Gabriel, the side that leaves him battered and bruised. Unable to see a way out of his relationship with Gabriel, Adam pushes everyone away but one person fights harder than the rest. Will Cameron be able to rescue Adam from this toxic relationship or will Adam burn all bridges in his despair?
I didn’t like this at all. I was expecting good things from this book especially given the introduction to Adam we got in Volatile and also given how much I loved Volatile. I was ready to be crushed and thrown about by a flurry of emotions given the subject matter instead I got a book that had me totally indifferent towards it.
The first chapter gave me goose bumps.  It is pretty well written and gives a nice introduction to the premise of this book but from the moment the second chapter began the interest I had accrued after reading the first chapter was quickly lost. Overall this book didn’t leave an impression on me for various reasons.
Firstly we know Adam gets beaten around by Gabriel but the author fails to explicitly mention it. A lot of the times the scenes of the actual violence are written as if you are meant to see the scene through an indecipherable haze which in one way was good because this book would probably have been hard to read if it was a bit too explicit but on the other hand I found myself cut off from Adam because I couldn’t fully understand what he was going through.
Secondly, Gabriel is just not a strong enough character to be able to carry this story forward. I feel like this is where the book truly fails because no matter the writing if you trying to write a two dimensional, the-world-is-black-and-white kind of a character you are going to fail. And yes just because he is good sometimes and viciously violent at others doesn’t make him a well-fleshed out character or even a three dimensional character. Gabriel really reminds me of a cartoon goon. I mean I wanted to know what was going on his mind, how did he think, did he have a thing for power or was he lost himself. It feels like the author deliberately skips out on giving any background to Gabriel lest he appear even a little bit human. I mean what did his parents think of Adam given they had been friends for so long, did he have siblings and was he in denial about his sexuality, anything. If I had to tell you the truth the first book does a better characterization of Gabriel then the entirety of this book.
Thirdly, Cameron is a creep. I don’t know how anyone can find Cameron’s actions towards Adam endearing. I found myself uncomfortable at a lot of times when it came to Cameron. In fact at some times during the book Gabriel seemed like a better option if it was an either or contest. I only liked Cameron a little bit towards the end but the ending is quite well written, it managed to alleviate a little bit of the frustration that this book caused but not enough to redeem his character or this book. Cameron tops the list of reasons why this book didn’t work for me.
Fourthly, Chris. Chris is someone I loved in Volatile but he was just so irritating when it came to Adam in this book. The relationship that Adam and Chris shared which is one of the many highlights of Volatile and the reason I was so excited about reading this book is pretty much destroyed in this book. I felt like there was so much judgement in their relationship now given how it started out with both of them giving the other unconditional support.
Fifthly, Gabriel and Adam make no sense. I didn’t understand how Adam could continue in this relationship. He didn’t love Gabriel. He knew their relationship was all wrong. He actually likes another guy. He lies to Gabriel about spending time with said guy. I mean their relationship was all wrong from the beginning. Even if you take out the DV, I didn’t get what was in their relationship that made Adam stay and that is the reason this book utterly fails it was unable to rationalise as victims are prone to do, the relationship the victim shares with the assailant. Adam seems to be fully aware Gabriel is in the wrong and he doesn’t love Gabriel and he isn’t dependent on Gabriel in any way and most importantly he knows he needs help which begs the question why does he stay in this relationship. There is a bit of rationalisation that Adam tries to do on Gabriel’s behalf but that is much later in the story and most importantly it is fuelled by the desire to save a friend not a lover. Also the worst part is that the author had much to pull from, given Adam and Gabriel’s long history of being friends and Gabriel being Adam’s saviour but there is no effort to incorporate this part of their lives in the book but it would have made sense to use this as Adam’s tether but it isn’t. As far as this book is concerned nothing tethers Adam to Gabriel making their relationship a farce and given the wooden quality of Gabriel it is very hard to draw emotions for this story.
This book quite literally ruined the Bahamas for me because that is the worst part of this book. The ending kind of salvages the disaster this book was turning out to be but not by much.
Cover Art by Posh Gosh. I liked the cover.

Buy Links: Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:
ebook, 1st Edition, 233 pages
Expected publication: May 2nd 2017 by Pride Publishing
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesTreacherous Chemistry #2

One thought on “A VVivacious Review: Toxic (Treacherous Chemistry #2) by Avylinn Winter

  1. I love your review very much. Above all – you could much better put into words what was wrong with this book than me. I was so sad that I did wrong to the author. That it was my mood that I didn’t like the book at all. Volatile was an exceptionally great book for me. I was very curious about Toxic. My disappointment was infinitely great. For me Volatile is a one-day fly. Adam was left behind. Left over from Volatile. Rub hands – we’ll make something out of it. But … Toxic lacked any depth. I just found it unbelievable. Literally. And choosing the teacher as a new lover made it just criminal in my eyes. In our country, such a thing is punishable. I didn’t like Toxic. I wondered just about all the excellent reviews. I thought it was up to me. I was the only game spoiler among all the fangirls 😉
    Thank you,


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