Toxic by Nicci Cloke ARC Review

Release date – 26th July 2018

Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Toxic is, as the name suggests, centred around a friendship group that becomes toxic. It touches upon incredibly relevant issues; alcohol abuse, male mental health, toxic masculinity, sexuality and sexual assault.

What it’s About

What was meant to be a fun-filled, boozy lads’ holiday (plus Hope, who tags along after the girls’ holiday was cancelled) begins to turn into a bit of a disaster. The boys keep secrets from each other; one still has feelings for his ex girlfriend, but still feels the need to brag about his conquests; two of them are involved in a fight with a man in an alley; and Hope is left, after having far too much to drink, passed out on the beach, only to wake up with her dress bunched up around her waist.

What I Thought

This book started out strong, and I thought I was gonna love it, but it sort of fell short towards the end. It was told in three different POVs; first Hope, then Logan, then Daisy (Logan’s new girlfriend). I think I probably would have preferred it if we’d just alternated between Hope and Logan because while I did like Daisy, I wasn’t really as invested in her as I was the others. Her story, however, is an important one, but I just wish we got more closure for Hope and Logan.

I loved the male mental health storyline; Logan struggles with depression, and despite struggling to get out of bed on a daily basis, he feels like he can’t tell his lifelong friends because “that’s just how it is with blokes”. In a world where struggling men are constantly told to “man up”, this was SUCH an important storyline.


This was a very easy book to read; it was dark and thought provoking and the writing was brill, but I can’t give it more than three stars because I would have liked more closure with Hope and Logan’s stories.

*Thank you to the publisher for sending me an e-arc*

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