Toxic Heart

Toxic Heart

by Theo Lawrence


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The second MYSTIC CITY novel . . . it's Romeo & Juliet in a dystopic Manhattan.

A city in flames. A trust betrayed. A perfect love destroyed. Has Aria lost Hunter, her one true love?

Ever since rebellion broke out in Mystic City, pitting the ruling elite against the magic-wielding mystics, Aria has barely seen her boyfriend. Not surprising, since Hunter is the leader of the mystic uprising, and he'll do whatever it takes to win freedom for his people—even if that means using Aria.

But Aria is no one's pawn. She believes she can bring the two warring sides together, save the city, and win back the Hunter she fell in love with.

Before she can play peacemaker, though, Aria will need to find the missing heart of a dead mystic. The heart gives untold powers to whoever possesses it, but finding it means seeking out a fierce enemy whose deepest desire is for Aria to be gone—forever.

"Recommended for dystopian fans."--School Library Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385741637
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/28/2015
Series: Mystic City Trilogy Series
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Theo Lawrence is a graduate of Columbia University, the Juilliard School, and Fordham University, where he recently completed his master’s degree in English literature. A Presidential Scholar in the Arts, he has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, as well as Off-Broadway and at 54 Below.

Mystic City—which Kirkus Reviews called “a gripping Romeo-and-Juliet exploration of deception, espionage, revolution, the greater good and love conquering all”—has been translated into over ten languages and was an ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee. Theo splits his time between Manhattan and Rhinebeck, New York.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Toxic Heart 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
CNUcrazy09 More than 1 year ago
I was excited to start reading book 2 of Theo Lawrence's series after having waited so long! I loved the first book and really got involved in the story. Lawrence has a great writing style that grabs you from page 1 and has you committed to the story and wondering what happens on the next page. Toxic Heart was suspenseful, intriguing, and even had romance woven in. When I first started reading it I was a little unsure of what to expect given the gap between books 1 and 2 in regards to publication. I was curious as to if I could pick back up with the story without re-reading book 1. I found I had no issue whatsoever.  A few chapters in and I had already had a few "Oh my gosh!" moments. I was swept up in the characters' plight and couldn't wait to see what happened next. I found that Aria was still very relatable and that her action and personality really fit the environment and scenes that she was in. I found Hunter to be somewhat off-putting throughout the story. While I understand how the author was "framing" the character it was sad to see the decline of a favorite (Hunter). On the other hand, I found it very interesting to see Turk become more of a focus. I loved his interactions with Aria at the beginning and his development throughout the tale. I found myself rooting for him.  Lastly, while the ending was not usually what I am accustomed to in the middle of a trilogy I found it very affirming to the story thus far and I felt Aria really made a statement. Since we, as readers, become attached to characters throughout a series the ending was a little bittersweet in spots but I felt the author wrapped it up nicely and left us wanting book 3. I personally hope that the author explores more of the Turk and Aria relationship angle as I think that was a great part to pursue. Overall, 3/5 stars. 
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Francesca and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog When I read the first book, MYSTIC CITY, years ago I was so enthralled with the concept of this series and the post apocalyptic style world set in New York City. All of that was completely new and original and I couldn’t wait to dive in to the next one. But yes, I ended up waiting because I am spoiled and I wanted to read the audiobook, which didn’t release with the actual book. Once I cracked this open, I was very excited to be back in this world and I had no trouble jumping right back into the action. Even after years! What I quickly realized though was that there were things in this one that kept nagging me. And one thing I don’t remember from the first was feeling that the characters were incredibly immature. Yes, I know they are teenagers. But somehow I didn’t remember them acting so much like ones in the first one. That is one main complain I have with this one (especially this one scene where a group is facing off with the bad guy, I won’t spoil it but ….. Ugghhhhhh I wanted to kill everyone!). Another surprise was the main romance in this book. We came to love Hunter and Aria in book one and in this one….not so much. I actually hated Hunter and I have to admit although I’m not a fan of love triangles, I was hoping for some action with Turk because I ended up really liking him! Aria seemed more grounded and level headed than Hunter. And the way this ends, well that’s not enough Hunter! Overall, the storyline was a bit slow and I found myself getting distracted quite a bit. However, the things we learned about the Mystics were really interesting and still show me that this world is just so much fun to be in. I for one need to know what happens next after the ending of this book and to see who Aria will eventually end up with, so I will continue reading!
Falln2books More than 1 year ago
Toxic Heart was a good follow-up to Mystic City, but the book wasn't without its flaws. The most glaring flaw, in my opinion, was no fault of the author's. There were copy-editing mistakes throughout the novel. I really hate when books have shoddy copy editors, especially when they come from major publishing houses. Also, some parts of the story just didn't flow. However, the characters were fantastic and evolved throughout the course of the novel. The plot itself was intriguing, and the writing was well-done. Even though this series and the Black City series are almost identical (I prefer this series), the story and characters stood out enough that I enjoyed the book and will continue the series.  Aria was a really inspiring character in this novel. While she did pine away after Hunter some, she really spent most of her time and energy focusing on what needed to be done. Her thoughts, actions ,and feelings seemed realistic, and she really showed her strength several times in this book, especially in the third section. Aria grew into someone who I could root for. She carved out her own space in this messed up world that Lawrence created. Hunter turned into a giant jerk, and I wasn't his biggest fan. He went a little crazy, and then acted surprised when people didn't support his ridiculous ideas. Kyle, Aria's brother, turned into a worthy and terrible foe by the end of this novel. I feel like he's more of a threat than his parents are. Turk really won me over. I absolutely adored him. I can't wait to see what happens with him next. The new characters were all intriguing in their own way. While Shannon got on my nerves, I really loved Ryah. I can't wait to get to know these new additions better.  The plot itself was pretty strong, though the story didn't flow perfectly. Some parts were choppy and just didn't fit right. Also, Lawrence introduced a love triangle, and I absolutely hate love triangles. However, Aria already made a decision, and her decision was different from what most YA heroines would choose, so I did like that. We'll see what she does next. The pacing was pretty spot on. Nothing really dragged for me. Some things felt rushed, and some of the decisions the characters made were a bit dumb, to say the least. I'll be interested to see the repercussions of those decisions in the next installment. The ending tied things up nicely and finished this novel on a strong note and gave a huge hint as to what the third book would cover. I'm looking forward to seeing what Aria does next.  Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who loves Dystopians. As previously mentioned, this series doesn't really stand out. It's very similar to the Black City series, but I enjoy the characters and writing more in this series. Either way, Aria is a stronger female lead than most YA novels have, and that alone sets this series apart. If you like Dystopian novels, give this series a try. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book i was not bored once!