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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

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

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.

**Review copy received from publisher**

There have been loads of people talking about the cover of this novel. And why shouldn’t they, it has an absolutely stunning cover. It has an air of mystery and really it’s a little frightening. I have been wanting to read Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke just from the cover alone and all the initial buzz that it has been getting. It felt like my kind of book. The synopsis makes the story sound so thrilling and a little bit scary. That and the cover…. Hello.

The fist thing I have to say about Tucholke's debut novel is that it was weird. Like really strange. There were times where I had definite WTF moments. This doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy the story, because I did. A lot. There were so many good things about Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. The writing was beautiful and I was absolutely mesmerized by all that was taking place. I could never pin point exactly what was happening and sometimes that bothered me, but for the most part I just went with it. 

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea begins with Violet our protagonist and her brother having been abandoned by their parents to look after and maintain their crumbling estate- Citizen Kane. The pair are left totally broke and are forced to rent out their guest house in order to sustain themselves. This brings them River. What a mysterious boy this River turns out to be. Upon his arrival a number of EXTREMELY strange things begin to happen.

This book is difficult to review because I am still unsure if I thought it was brilliant or not. In some sense the book was all over the place and with all the strange things occurring the individuals involved were very well adjusted. They seemed to take it all in stride. In saying that, I loved the characters in this story. Every single one of them. Violet was wonderful in that she was a pretty simple character except that she never fell flat. She had her complexities and her ways about her. She was SO interesting to read about. Some of her reactions to things would have me baffled, and other times she was be so calm about something and I would think it was out of character for her- but in actuality it was just the way she was.

River, oh River. Jenny at Supernatural Snark says it beautifully in her review, that as readers try and fit River into this little box of perfect love interest when in reality he doesn't belong there. There is a darkness to him and as much as we try to find some good in him there might not be any. But because of how he presents himself we can't help but be drawn to him. He's a provocative character and we can't help but be addicted to his charm.

Overall, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a whirlwind of a story, with a lot going on. And I think it's worth a try. April Genevieve Tucholke's writing is beautiful and her story telling breath taking. I am SO curious about how the rest of the story is going to play out and I am looking forward to it.

Happy Reading Everyone!


  1. YEAH SARA! You know I agree with you completely, this book was weird. But awesomely weird. I felt about it the same way I felt about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - it was dark and a little twisted and sometimes I just had no idea what was going on but it all just worked for me anyway:) And River. Man I'm curious about him. I can't wait for the next book to see what he throws at us!

  2. Violet sounds like a great character, and I def want to try this one out

  3. I agree, Jenny did say it well! I adored this book and yes, the characters were amazing!

  4. This sounds cool. I'm intrigued by the characters. You saying you are not sure if it's brilliant or not is a bit daunting. I've read books like that and I know what you mean!

  5. I know, I know, THAT COVER. That cover is everything. Though it's good to hear you enjoyed the actual story too, I guess, haha. Strange is really hit or miss for me though - I do like WTF moments, but I tend to dislike it when things are all over the place. So I guess I would have to read the book for myself to see how I felt. Anyways - really great review!


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