Sunday, December 15, 2013

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. 

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.

Publisher: Dial 
Number of Pages: 360
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 18
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was the perfect book for me. Great writing, creepy plot, attractive men, a relatable protagonist who likes to read and espresso-drinking characters. Holla! 

This book is set in a small town in Oregon called Echo, where a seventeen-year-old girl and her brother live alone in a huge mansion while their artist parents travel across Europe. They're running out of Old Money and need to pay the bills so they invite someone to live in their guesthouse and pay rent. Well, the person that shows up is River West, and with him he brings chaos to the town. 

I loved this book. I'm not sure if it was the flowing writing or the suspicious plot that kept me going, but I found it really easy to buzz through 75 pages in the blink of an eye. And I'm not a fast reader. 

The first chapter opens up with a strong voice and an intense last sentence. From there, the story spirals out in a mystical, slippery way. You're not sure what to grasp as real or fake. Each character is intriguing, and the setting near the ocean in an old, decrepit mansion is beautiful. 

I loved Violet. Her and I could be best friends. I found her relatable and quirky to read. And kind of funny, too. She's innocent but likes a good scare and says 'damn' a lot. And then there's River, the guest, who is equal parts mysterious, insane and sexy. He loves naps, and I do too. We'd make a great pair. 

Not only is this book beautiful and eerie, but it tastes great too! Hear me out. River likes to make espresso--a lot--and also amazing Italian food that had me drooling throughout the entire book. This book leaves with a good taste in your mouth and a satisfying, yet foreboding ending. You know there is more to come, and I can't tell you how excited I am for book two, Between the Spark and the Burn. 

The only "negative" things I could say about this book were the dialogue and slightly messy ending. Everyone talked the same, despite them all being such different characters. Also, the ending was a little "all over the place" but at the same time really intense, so it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the book all that much. 

If you're looking for a book to sink into on your couch late at night, with a coffee and maybe some pasta and caesar salad, then this is the book for you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

This book is in stores now!
Buy Hardcover | $17.99

Happy reading!
Rachel, age 18


  1. YAY! I'm so glad you loved this one as well, Rachel! This is probably my favorite novel of 2013 - my favorite debut of 2013, definitely. I loved it so so so much! I agree with you though - now that I think about it, the ending was very scattered. But I feel like it made sense with the rest of the book - it wasn't straightforward and perfect. And I suppose it's a good way to lead into book two! I CANNOT WAIT FOR BOOK TWO! If you all get an ARC, I volunteer to take if off your hands, if need be! :D :D :D

    Great review, Rachel! :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


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