Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between #1) 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.


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.

The Plot

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!

The Romance

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.

Four Stars

This was a different read for me, and it wasn't what I was expecting at all. It is suspenseful and kept me curious threw the whole book. It ends on a cliff hanger, but I felt satisfied at the end. I'll definitely be picking up the second book.

Disclaimer: There are some scenes that I feel are just plain disturbing and overly gory. If this not your things, I would NOT recommend this book. I.E. (spoiler here: stop reading if you don't want any spoilers) There is a scene were a man slices his own neck in the middle of the street with a razor. And some of the characters aren't even disturbed by this.


  1. I've been meaning to read this, since I love horror. Glad that you enjoyed it!

    I'm also a wimp with horror movies. Can't watch them without getting nightmares and thinking that my house is haunted...well, my house is haunted, but it's extra haunted after I watch a horror movie. :P

    1. Haha...scary movies always creep me out. Even the ones that are low key. Thanks for stopping by

  2. I really want to read this. I love scary stuff especially with Halloween right around the corner :)
    Awesome review

    Because Reading is better than real life

    1. It is a good Halloween read for sure! And thank you, me dear.

  3. Hmm, this one had caught my eye but I wasn't sure about it. I'm not huge on horror (as in I never ever watch scary movies, they freak me out) but this one sounded interesting to me! I guess I'll just have to read it and find out if I like it. =)

    1. Give it a try. Loved to bear what you thought acter you read it.

  4. I'm really looking forward to reading this book, so I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's on my bookshelf, waiting for me to read it. :)

  5. I love the cover of this book and it sounds nice and creepy. I was nominated for a Liebster award and you get to nominate other people, so I nominated you. If you are interested here is the link: http://floodbooks.blogspot.com/2013/09/liebster-award.html. No big deal if you don't want to do it.

    1. Perfect fall read. And thanks for the nomination, I don't usually do awards, but. I am honored that you thought of me. So kind. Thanks for the thought.

  6. Hmmm. Sounds creepy! The other characters sound really interesting, and I like when a town feels like a character, too! I don't think the gore would bother me, and I like scary things, maybe sometime I will pick it up!