Title: Toxic (Denazen #2)
Author: Jus Accardo
Published: October, 2012 by Entangled Teen
Pages: 317
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

When a Six saved Kale’s life the night of Sumrun, she warned there would be consequences. A trade-off. Something taken for the life they gained. But Dez never imagined she’d lose the one thing she’d give anything to keep… And as if it’s not enough Dez finds her immunity to Kale fading, the Six brought in to help Kale learn to control his killer touch starts drooling on him the moment they meet. Worse than that? Jade can touch Kale. But bimbo Barbie is the least of Dez’s problems.

After Dez and Kale got away at Sumrun, her father lost not only his most powerful weapon but an important piece of the Supremacy project. Forced by Denazen to remedy the situation, he poisons Dez and offers her a choice–surrender to Denazen for the cure…or die. Determined to find a solution that doesn’t involve being bagged and tagged–or losing someone she loves–Dez keeps the poison a secret. But when a rash of Denazen attacks hit a little too close to home, Dez is convinced there’s a traitor among them. Jade.

Sacrifices, broken promises, and secrets. Dez will have to lay it all on the line if there’s any hope of proving Jade’s guilt before they all end up Residents of Denazen. Or worse, dead…

Final Thoughts:
Second-Book-Syndrome strikes again. I really wanted to love this one as much as I did Touch, but just couldn’t get over the decline in Kale’s character. Once loveable, and cute in his blank-canvas of a guy ways, that trait seemed to bring him down here. With so much angst holding up Dez and Kale’s relationship—a lot of it due to Kale’s inability to see what was going on around him, or how to treat someone’s feelings with respect—I found it quite to enjoy the romance, or lack of it. And with the rest of the plot revolving around Dez keeping secrets from everyone, as a reader, it just wasn’t a fun ride to be on.

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Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Published: March, 2012 by Simon Pulse
Thanks: Simon & Schuster, AU
Pages: 452
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own.

But Mara’s new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people’s deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she’s going crazy! And if dealing with all this wasn’t enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can’t seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can’t help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…

Final Thoughts:
I went into this book with an open mind. I really tried to like it, but there were just so many obstacles that kept getting in my way. With clichés all over the place, it became increasingly clear what kind of book I was in store for. Mara is another one of those characters that thinks she’s pretty smart, but isn’t. Her internal dialogue grated on me early on. Listening to her rationalise her choices to herself, all I could think was, ‘this guy is a douche, you know he’s a douche, you’ve said so yourself. Oh, Mara, why?’

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