Thursday, November 8, 2018

Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ TOXIC by Lydia Kang


Toxic
by: Lydia Kang
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen
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When you have nothing, you reach for everything.

Cyclo, the first and largest biological ship of its kind, is dying. A small crew of mercenaries have handed over the rights to their life to document the death of the ship, but the abandoned ship is anything but abandoned―one girl has been left behind.

Hana has known nothing but the isolation of a single room and the secret that has kept her there for seventeen years. When she meets Fennec, the boy assigned to watch her, she realizes that there is a world she has yet to experience but she is doomed to never meet.

When crew members begin mysteriously dying, Hana and Fenn realize that they are racing against the death of the ship to find a way to survive―unless someone kills them even before Hana’s truly had a chance to live.


Advice to Teen Lydia, from Adult Lydia (In a list, because I’m good at lists.)

1. You are gorgeous, no matter what you may compare yourself too—magazines, other classmates, what you see in the movies. It may not be cool to be NOT WHITE, but someday you’ll revel in every bit of yourself, and your heritage.

2. You are smart, and you never need to apologize for that or pretend otherwise. Please stop comparing yourself to people you think are smarter. You are so much more kick ass than you realize.

3. You will make many mistakes in your life, and some will feel absolutely insurmountable. I am telling you now—on the other side—you will recover from them and learn from them, and you will be JUST FINE.

4. Keep nurturing that curious spirit of yours, especially the one that wants to write. People will give you the impression you can only do one thing in life, have one career. They’re wrong.

5. Use sunscreen every day. The earlier, the better. The skin damage is so not worth the sun worshipping. You’ll thank me later.

6. There will be a time when someone will offer you their truck bumper to grab onto, while you’re rollerblading going up First Avenue in NYC. Please don’t grab it.

The main bridge of the ship is on the entire other side from my room. It’s where the ship’s logs are. I pass by more empty mess halls—painfully clean. The crew did not leave in a hurry; they left in an orderly, organized fashion. Which means that Mother knew for some time that she would have to leave.

I take a set of carved-out ladder steps upward into the beta ring. The gravity is slightly less here, and every step feels bouncy. Here are some empty crew cabins, a hundred in this quarter section. The doors are all open. I gingerly touch their personal objects, like discarded clothes, music cubes, holo letters, and wonder what they looked like. Were they of Korean descent, as Mother designed me because that was her heritage? Was their skin cream-colored, like faded paper? Or brown, like newborn Earthen acorns? Was their hair shorn short, or curled, or braided as I have seen in the vids? Mother didn’t let me memorize the personnel files; she said that was invasive.

Little did they knew they had me as a parasite on this ship the whole time.

“I missed them,” I say. And I missed the opportunity to be able to talk to anyone besides myself.

Cyclo flashes a mild peach color, reminding me she is here. Of course, I have Cyclo. She flickers back to blue. She liked the idea of just her and me together. She’s right; this is safety, too.

“Just us,” I say. “No one to be afraid of.” Or to disappoint. Because there was always that fear—that they would say to me and my mother, no. She can’t be here. We have rules.

Hana is unacceptable.

But within me, there is lingering dissatisfaction. There is loneliness which makes no sense because I have always been quite alone. But I have lost what I’ve never had, and that is even worse. Cyclo and me, it’s not quite enough this time. The next time I hibernate, Cyclo will know this. I am not looking forward to what is usually a respite, which is also a new feeling.

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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.

Places to find Lydia Kang:

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