Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Posted 3 December, 2013 by Gabbie in Review / 0 Comments

Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve TucholkeBetween the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Series: Between #1
Publisher: Dial on April 15, 2013
Source: Library
Pages: 368
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You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back.

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.


Favorite Quote(s):

“Lots of people have bad stories, and if they wail and sob and tell their story to anyone who’ll listen, it’s crap. Or half crap, at least.The stuff that really hurts people, the stuff that almost breaks them . . . that they won’t talk about. Ever.”

Favorite Character: Neeley.
First Line:

“‘You stop fearing the Devil when you’re holding his hand.'”

My Musings: I have been eyeing this novel ever since it was shown on Epic Read’s Tea Time. Unfortunately, I was denied when I requested it, and I was just recently able to get my hands on it. I had been hearing mixed reactions–some exceedingly good and some exceedingly had. I went into it without knowing what to expect.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was definitely not something I would have expected. It was a mystery. For the first half or so of the novel, we were trying to figure out why weird things were happening in the characters’ town. Then we were trying to figure out who River was. We were always trying to figure out something. There was also something new popping up every other page, which definitely made for an interesting and creeptastic story.

“River had never lost his cool, not since I’d know him. That was the thing about River. He was calm. Calm as a summer’s day. Calm as a gentle nap in the sun. Even when girls were fainting and men were slitting their throats in front of you.”

River was creepy. He was evasive. He just showed up at Violet’s and wanted to rent their guesthouse. He wouldn’t answer questions, and when he did, he would lie. River was a compulsive liar, which was something that irked me as far as his character was concerned. He was also insane. Absolutely, completely psycho. He really had some serious problems. Reading his character gave me goosebumps. Disturbing.

“Freddie once told me that I was the worst kind of stubborn-because I wasn’t stubborn at all. I was patient. Patient, but determined. A stubborn person could be distracted, or tricked. But not me. I just held on and on and on, never giving up until I got my way, long after everyone else stopped caring.”

That brings me to Violet. Boy did I have mixed feelings about her! At first, I was thinking, ‘can she not see how off this guy is?’ I mean, sure River is “special”. But it was one case of super creepy insta-love. So when Violet started standing up to him, I was so proud. I literally happy danced, I was so happy with her character. And then we meet Neeley, River’s brother, and I became obsessed with the thought of them instead of her and River. Much more natural.

Regardless, the ending killed me. Utterly destroyed me. The cliffhanger was horrible, and the last 50 pages or so had me in a cold sweat. Any author who can trigger that is great in my book. It was really a great novel, different from anything that I’ve read thus far.

If you like mystery and you enjoy creepy, then Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is definitely the book for you. However, if you don’t like push over girls and super creepy males, then maybe you should pass over this one.

4 Stars

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About April Genevieve Tucholke

April Genevieve Tucholke Author Photo

April Genevieve Tucholke is the author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and its upcoming sequel, Between the Spark and the Burn. She loves classic horror movies and coffee. She has lived in many places, including Scotland, and currently resides in Oregon with her husband Nate Pedersen.


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