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.



Hello! My name is Katie and I like to write. If I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, running, playing with my dogs, or eating peanut butter ;)

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