Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between #1) by April Genevieve Tucholke
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.
Look at the cover! Isn't gorgeous and creepy? Fits the book perfectly.
This book was one of my highest anticipated books of the summer. Something about the cover, the synopsis, and just the general creepiness drew me in.
And now that I finally have a copy and finished reading, it was nothing like I was expecting. Honestly, I was excepting something along the lines of Existence or Predestined by Abbi Glines. It was nothing like that. But still a great read.
This was dark, very gory, creepy, and had scenes that I thought were just plain weird.
The Horror of it?
I'm a wimp. Especially when it comes to watching scary movies. I'll sleep with the light on for days after I've seen a creepy movie. This book didn't have the same effect on me. Yes, there were some creepy, maybe even scary parts, but it was nothing that caused me real cannot-sleep-at-night-fear.
Not to say this book isn't extremely creepy at times or that it won't scare you -- it just didn't have that effect on me. I was more disturbed by the different gory scenes that showed up or that were referenced. Lots of death and blood -- which I guess that's what makes a good horror book tick.
I haven't read a lot in this genre so I cannot really compare it to another book. However, it did reminded me of a Tim Burton movie in book form. Deranged characters, spooky moments, bizarre events, and a lot of imagination.
This is the type of book that you'll either hate or love.
Violet and her twin brother live in an ancient house by the sea (which come on, you have to admit that a huge, old house is the perfect setting for a horror book). Her parents are away and they need money, so they rent the guesthouse out to the handsome, crooked-smiling, River.
Then weird, eerie, and even deadly things start happening around town. And Violet begins to catch River in lies, and wonders if any of the weird events are related.
Some review have said that this plot is dried out and used up, but that didn't come across to me at all. It wasn't really similar to anything that I've already read. Yes, there is a hint at forbidden love -- but mostly I thought it was a new, creative plot.
There is something very alluring about the author's style that drew me in quickly. And because that author was so unique and creative, I had absolutely no clue where the plot was leading. Which was different for me (cause I usually can guess), and a lot of fun to read because literally anything could happen. Very suspenseful!
This was my least favorite part of the book. River was adventurous and dangerous, but I was't overly connected to him. At times, I did see the draw that Violet was falling for, but mostly I just wasn't sure about him. And felt that he had a lot of growing up to do. However, other people loved the relationship blooming between River and Violet. It is more of your own personal taste, I just came looking for a more Dank-ish romance.
All the suspense and the creepiness was more enough to get the four stars from me. The budding romance was just a bonus.
The Other Characters.
I loved, loved the other characters. Jack, Sunshine, Luke, and Neely were all great characters that will find their way into your heart. They did mine.
Jack may be my favorite. He was so wise and brave for his young age, and I loved scenes that included him. Neely was another favorite, because he seemed level headed, but he still had to throw a couple punches when the time called.
And the town is a character in itself. It is a small sea-side town with ancient houses, locals, and an eerie cemetery. It has lots of character.