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Peek Inside Toxic

Hana isn’t supposed to exist. Fenn is supposed to die. Aboard the expiring bioship Cyclo, can they save each other?


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2019 Winner for the YARWA’s Athena Award for Excellence in Young Adult & New Adult Fiction in the YA/NA Speculative Category

Hana isn’t supposed to exist. She’s grown up hidden by her mother in a secret room of the bioship Cyclo until the day her mother is simply gone—along with the entire crew. Cyclo tells her she was abandoned, but she’s certain her mother wouldn't leave her there to die. And Hana isn’t ready to die yet. She’s never really had a chance to live.

Fenn is supposed to die. He and a crew of hired mercenaries are there to monitor Cyclo as she expires, and the payment for the suicide mission will mean Fenn's sister is able to live. But when he meets Hana, he’s not sure how to save them both.

As Cyclo grows sicker by the day, they unearth more secrets about the ship and the crew. But the more time they spend together, the more Hana and Fenn realize that falling for each other is what could ultimately kill them both.


Hauntingly beautiful, completely absorbing, this book will linger with you long after the final page. Toxic asks intricate questions about the identities we inherit and the identities we create, and the sacrifices we're prepared to make for both. Lydia Kang took my breath away.” – New York Times bestselling author, Amie Kaufman

“Lydia Kang is a magnificent writer…You should definitely read this book.” —Anadosen, Goodreads

“TOXIC is my favorite sci-fi of the year and I can't wait to see what's next for Kang in the YA realm. Loved this, will read it again, will pitch it to everyone I know.” —TheBookAvid, Goodreads

“If there's one YA book you're going to read this year, make it Toxic.” –The Literary Invertebrate

“I found this to be a fast-paced and intriguing YA sci-fi that I really enjoyed. I highly recommend for fans of sci-fi and thrillers!” –Olivia Farr, Goodreads   

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781640634237
Release Date: Nov 6, 2018
Page Count: 400
Imprint: teen
Genre: sci-fi, young adult
Tropes: coming of age/family/social issues, enemies to lovers, opposites attract, overcoming odds

Select Featured Reviews

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By Carrie October 17, 2018

Toxic by Lydia Kang is a young adult standalone romantic science fiction fantasy read that has maybe just a touch of horror to it too. When finished with this one it was one of those wow, I didn’t expect THAT moments, but in a good way of course.

Seventeen year old Hana awakens aboard the sentient sh ...more

By Inge January 28, 2019

When you read the blurb for Toxic, you immediately recognise the power and potential of the story. And I think it's safe to say that it delivered on all accounts.

"I slumber next to a boy who first saw me as an impediment, who taught me how to fall in love in low gravity."

I didn't think I could f ...more

By Cindy ✩☽♔ September 03, 2018

A fast-paced action-packed, romantic, sci-fi adventure that grabs hold of you and does not let go.


Fenn & Hanna
Their relationship moved pretty quick, but considering they're in a life or death situation I suppose that's to be expected. And honestly, despite t ...more

By Bex (Beckie Bookworm) November 08, 2018


I found Toxic to be a really unique experience: a mish-mash of multiple genres that when put together for me just flowed.
I would describe this if I had to clarify as a Romantic sci-fi YA with elements of horror.
Set in space on an organic ship it was the original premise put forward here that initial ...more

By Shannon (It Starts At Midnight) November 08, 2018

You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

I have read a few books about sentient spaceships, and my favorite thing about this is that it seemed like a fresh take on sentient ships. Our girl Hana wakes up to find that she's all alone ...more

By The October 28, 2018

In TOXIC, an artificially created girl gets abandoned on a sentient spaceship and falls for the mercenary who has to make sure it gets destroyed if he wants to save his sister.

So, I'm in love.

TOXIC is exactly the kind of light sci-fi I love and cherish. A little bit of aliens, minimal complicated s ...more

By Vicky Again October 28, 2018

4 stars

One of the most notable things about Toxic was how readable and gripping it was. I started it (unwisely) on a school night, hoping to read a few chapters before setting it down and going to bed, but I ended up binging the majority of this book very late at night when I definitely should have ...more

By Robyn November 10, 2018

Hannah has been asleep for an entire week on the Cyclo’s matrix. When she wakes, Hannah realizes her mother is gone and she is all alone on a deserted ship. No one on the ship besides her mother and Cyclo even knew of Hannah’s existence. She was never allowed to leave her room on Cyclo and the only ...more

 photo Toxic_zpsuhb3iaqw.jpg

ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

I didn't think, when I first started this book, it was going to be a 4.5 star read. The cover makes it look like a light YA sci-fi romance; instead, it's a delightfully dark, horror-filled space thriller. Requesting this from NetGalle ...more

By Kati November 14, 2018

*** I received this book for a blog tour on the YA Bound Book Tour in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much to Sara and Entangled: Teen publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review Toxic! ***

When I first started reading this book a few days ago I went into it blindly because ...more

By Shealea September 30, 2020

At its heart, this is a story about redemption and forgiveness. It tackles a number of themes that are rarely discussed within YA.

The middle part drags on a little bit, but the story really picks up towards the end. I have a lot of thoughts. Full review to follow. ...more

By Misty December 29, 2018

Review here. ...more

By Kat (from Minas Morgul) October 04, 2018

*I got this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*

Can we first take a moment and appreciate this beautiful cover? Which was what made me take a closer look at this book because it's so pretty. And also fits the story really well, a detail I just picked up ...more

By Yvonne (It's All About Books) September 08, 2018

Finished reading: September 7th 2018

"Funny how, with everything available to us, we still want to learn how to do things the old ways."

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Entangled: Teen in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler) ...more

By Laurel September 09, 2018

How many time can I say I love Science Fiction? LOL. This book was light fast paced read about a girl who was only starting to live in a dying world. Unlike a lot of heroines in other YA books where it's already book 3 and they are still whining, I loved how fast Hana learned who she was, what her p ...more

By Olivia September 26, 2018

"Toxic" is a creative YA sci-fi that primarily takes place on the ship, Cyclo. Cyclo is actually a living organism which is designed to work like a machine. However, Cyclo is dying, and things are changing. Hana was born on Cyclo and has only known the ship. Her mother, Dr. Um, is the ship's genetic ...more

By Sam March 22, 2019

I swear, this one book had more plot twists than a majority of the book series I've read!! Extremely entertaining and capturing!!! I ADORED this!!! ...more

By Donald November 17, 2018

Wow!!! ...more

By Jenny November 19, 2018

Many thanks to Entangled Teen for providing me with this E-Arc of Toxic in exchange for an honest review.

Life on the ship Cyclo is closely monitored and the population is capped at 1000. Unknown to the rest of the crew, there is a 1001st member. That person is Hana. Hidden by her mother for 16 years ...more

By Jo November 06, 2018

Read my NetGalley eARC. Opinions are my own

Did you love Annihilation and wish it took place on the Nostromo? This book was written specifically for you. Seventeen-year-old Hana has lived on a bioship named Cyclo until a crew of criminals shows up to do some research. Cyclo is dying and it's a race a ...more

By Ayah February 13, 2019

Behold my heart, cause my universe has just shattered apart! Last year I read and loved The November Girl ( read my review here), so I decided to have Toxic on my most anticipated books to read in 2018, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The world building blew my mind. I think Lydia Kang has an eye for pers ...more

By Carol January 18, 2019

Rich with creative sci-fi worldbuilding details, this book was a fascinating read, and the tension kept building as the time grew shorter and shorter for the characters to survive on the ailing bio-ship, Cyclo. For readers who prefer their novels less graphic or violent, this might not be the book f ...more

By Diana January 03, 2020

Read this on a whim, didn't expect much - I was so wrong. The writing style is so gripping and engaging, I was immediately drawn into the story. I stayed up all night to finish it! Original concepts, interesting characters, action, suspense, a bit of terror, and a dash of romance - this book has som ...more

By Kimberly (Book Swoon) November 13, 2018

TOXIC by Lydia Kang is an exciting new standalone, science fiction for young adults readers with a strong dose of romance. This is space thriller filled with plenty of action and danger to keep things moving while a mystery keeps you guessing. It takes place in space on a sentient ship that is slowl ...more

By Lelia November 12, 2018

I couldn’t help thinking of Kass Morgan’s The 100 when I first saw the description of this book. That’s not a bad thing as I’m a big fan of both the book series and the TV adaptation although they bear only a moderate resemblance to each other, as you might expect. At any rate, thinking of that seri ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.72 avg rating
Lydia Kang

About the author

Lydia Kang

Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband and three children.

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