Posted in Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Reading

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Book Review

Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Published: August 15th 2013 by Dial

Page Count: 360

Rating: 4 stars

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.

This book sent me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed the first third of the book. The setting was fresh, the characters were interesting, the mystery was alluring, and the plot screamed potential. I loved Violet as a character. I loved the relationship she had with her grandmother and the complications with her parents and I hated her brother right along with her. I loved that for a gothic paranormal romance, this book was extremely unique. I was dying to know what was really happening, and so relieved that it had nothing to do with vampires or werewolves or zombies or demons. It was completely and utterly new.

Then the second third came along and I hated everything. The characters were getting on my nerves, the plot did a complete 180 degree turn, and suddenly I had no idea what was going on anymore.

Then we get to final pages of the book and Tucholke ties everything in a messy, bloody bow and its wonderful and creepy and disturbing and heart pounding but at least it all makes sense now. And as frustrated as I was the 100 pages before this, I loved the ending so much that it made me forget about all that and love the book as a whole. It made sense and I was able to forgive the characters of their insufferable stupidity.

I loved the mystery surrounding River. It was unexpected and different from anything I’ve ever read, and the uniqueness was so refreshing. This book wasn’t predictable or clichéd, and a nice change in the ho-hum YA chain of books that have been published in the past few years.

Another plus was the secondary characters. They were wonderfully well rounded and interesting. From the kids hunting the devil in the graveyard to the town drunk to the woman who worked at the coffee shop, they were all fun to read. They added more to the story and painted a vivid picture of what life was like to make Violet and her twin who they were.

Along with that, I loved the setting. Maybe I just don’t read enough gothic fiction, but I adored the town Echo; I would never live there, mind you, but it was an interesting and fun setting for this story. This was a great read to get me in the mood for Halloween.

I will definitely be picking up the sequel Between the Spark and the Burn when it comes out August 14, 2014, and suggest you hop on the bandwagon as well ;).

Let me know if you’ve read Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea or if you think you’ll give it a shot.

Posted in Book Recommendations, Reading

Read-A-Thon and October Book Haul!

It’s finally time! It’s the end of October, which means I’m about to embark on my own personal reading challenge for the next seven days in which I will read way too much and neglect any sleep needs. Check out the original post to learn about the challenges I’m attempting and any information you could want about the Read-A-Thon. It starts at 12:01 a.m. on October 27th and goes to November 3rd. I’m excited to see what I manage to accomplish. I am having surgery on October 28th, so I may not read that day, but that’s okay! I’ll just have to pick up the slack by reading extra on the remaining days while I’m bedridden 🙂

And for part 2 of this post, I have a mini book haul to share with you. Here are the books I’ve picked up throughout the month of October:

2013-10-26 19.45.13

1. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

I read this at the beginning of the month and enjoyed it. I gave it 4/5 stars, but don’t think I’ll be reviewing it because I don’t have too much to say about it. It was enjoyable, but didn’t particularly spark a reaction in me. *shrug*

You can check it out on Goodreads here.

2. Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

I have not read this yet and I’m not sure if I will. I didn’t enjoy Beautiful Disaster as much as I thought I would, so I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing on with these characters. This might be an unread donation to my favorite used book store.

You can check it out on Goodreads here.

3. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Just finished this one today and loved it! I think I’ll be reviewing this one soon since I have so many feelings and opinions about it 😉

Look into it on Goodreads here.

4. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I am so excited to read this book! I’ve been putting it off since I got it because I wanted to read it during the Read-A-Thon. I’m very nervous because I’ve heard the ending is heartbreaking. I may have to do a little mental preparation before getting into this one, but I’m really excited to finish this series!

Look it up on Goodreads here.

5. Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

I’m SO excited to read this book. I LOVE Alexandra Bracken and can’t wait to see what happens next in this series! This is another Read-A-Thon book.

Look it up on Goodreads here.

6. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

This book looks fantastic and I can’t wait to get into it. I’m not sure when I’ll get the chance, but definitely before the year’s over!

Go check it out on Goodreads here.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books, and if you have, please don’t spoil me! What books did you buy in October? Will you be reading with me this week?

Have a great rest of your weekend!

Posted in Writing Playlists

October 2013 Writing Playlist

I have a checklist of Writing-Must-Haves for NaNoWriMo. And as the eagerly anticipated month of November draws closer, I’ve begun the most important step. Compiling a brand new bunch of songs to inspire and push me through writing those stubborn scenes. Here’s a quick list of what I’ve been listening to lately and plan on jamming out to well into November :). If you’re stuck and need inspiration, look no closer than your iPod (or iTunes to go pick up these awesome songs ;).

1. Kill Your Heroes by Awolnation

2. Happy by The Maine

3. Twice by Little Dragon

4. Still Into You by Paramore

5. Happening by Olivia Broadfield

6. Lullaby by Paradise Fears

7. All You Wanted by Alison Sudol & Sounds Under Radio

8. Someone Like You by The Summer Set

9. Lightning In a Bottle by The Summer Set

10. Simple Life by My Favorite Highway

11. Endlessly by Green River Ordinance

12. Broken Strings by James Morrison & Nelly Furtado

What have you been listening to lately? Let me know if you like any of these songs and if you plan on participating in NaNoWriMo.

Also, don’t forget about the Read-A-Thon which starts this weekend! More information on that here.

Have a great night, and write on!

Posted in NaNoWriMo

It’s That Time of Year Again…

It’s already mid-October, and you know what that means. NaNoWriMo is quickly approaching! If you’re not familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) you can learn all about it here. Basically, it’s a challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days along with thousands of other participants. Sound scary? It is. But it’s also extremely fun and rewarding.

I’m already sifting through the ideas in my head, trying to decide which direction this year will take me.

What about you? Are you planning to participate? If so, how are you prepping? (Or are you more of a pantser?) Tell me all about your November plans below.

And don’t forget about the Read-A-Thon which is also quickly approaching! For more information on that, click here.

Have a great night!

Posted in Book Recommendations, Reading

October Reads

october reads

I don’t know about you, but come October, I’m itching to read some creepy books. I love this time of year, and I love being scared. If you’re looking for some chilling reads to get you in the mood for Halloween, I’ve got just the list for you.

1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I loved this book. It’s fast paced and the voice sucks you in right away. Add to the fact that it’s extremely creepy and kind of makes you want to hide under your covers, and it’s perfect for October 🙂 Who doesn’t want to read from the perspective of someone who may or may not be going insane?

2. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I haven’t had a chance to read this book, yet, but it’s on the top of my TBR pile and I’m looking forward to reading it later this month during the Page by Page Read-A-Thon. For more information on the Read-A-Thon, check out the post here.

3. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Is the devil the handsome boy you just rented a room in your house out to? I certainly plan to read this book and find out 🙂

4. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished. She doesn’t know who she is, where she is, or what happened to her. All she knows is she isn’t the real Annaliese Rose Gordon. Why haven’t I read this yet?

5. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

A forbidden love story between a bloody dead girl and a ghost hunter? Yes, please!

6. Carrie by Stephen King

You’ve got to love these classic horror reads.

7. Asylum by Madeleine Roux

A bunch of teens in an abandoned asylum? Sign me up!

Do you like creepy books? How do you plan to get your fill this October? And don’t forget about the upcoming Read-A-Thon on October 27th. Remember, you don’t have to participate in any of the optional challenges. You can still participate in the Read-A-Thon and just read whatever you can/want. I hope you’re as excited as I am! Keep reading!

Posted in Reading

Join Me For a Reading Challenge!

The past few months have been abnormally busy for me, so I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like. I went from reading 9-10 books a month to 3-4 if I’m lucky. With that said, I have a proposition.

Join me for a read-a-thon.

If you’ve never participated in (or heard of) a read-a-thon, it’s basically a week where you read as much as you possibly can, with optional challenges to make it more fun 🙂

This Page by Page read-a-thon will take place the week of October 27th, from the 27th to November 3rd.

The thing about read-a-thons is, you set your own pace. There’s no pressure to read a certain number of pages or books—this week is all about YOU and getting back to your love of books. This week is supposed to be fun.

With that said, I do have a few optional challenges that I’m going to be trying out, and it’d be awesome if you joined me!

Challenge 1: Read at least 1,400 pages by the end of the week. That’s an average of 200 pages a day. With my average reading pace, that’ll be just under 3 hours of reading a day, and if I space it out, I think it’s quite doable!

Challenge 2: Read a book that’s been sitting on my shelf—unread—the longest. It’s time to finish that thing already!

Challenge 3: Read a genre out of your comfort zone. It’s no secret I adore Young Adult fiction. I do dabble here and there in other genres, but I want to reach out and read something I never would have considered otherwise!

Challenge 4: Reread a book you love. There are so many books on my shelves that brought me immeasurable joy the first time around, and I’m ashamed that I don’t reread more often. (I’m really excited for this one.)

Challenge 5: Read a book over 500 pages.

Challenge 6: Post updates every day, and check in with everyone who is participating.

I’m super excited about this read-a-thon, and I hope you’ll join in on the fun, even if you can only read a book or two. Leave me comments to let me know how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and if you’re attempting any of my challenges throughout the week. I think the more people who participate, the more fun it will be. We can all read through this week together.

I’ll post a few reminders as we get closer to the read-a-thon.

Mark your calendars! October 27th—November 3rd. You and I have a reading date!

Let me know if you think you’ll participate 🙂