October 20, 2013

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

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between #1)
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Genre: YA Gothic/Paranormal
Release Date: August 15, 2013
Publisher: Dial 


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.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a young adult gothic/paranormal novel that follows our main character, Violet White, as she prepares for another boring summer in her small town alongside her brother and best friend. All of her plans change when a mysterious and gorgeous guy from out of town, River, rents Violet's guest house - and strange and unexplainable things start to happen. Violet's grown up listening to the old stories and adages about the Devil - but she never put much belief in them. Could River be more than just a regular guy? Before Violet has a chance to even question herself, she finds that she's already head over heels for River. Things get even stranger and questions begin to pile up - who or what - exactly is River?

This was a beautifully told modern day Gothic novel blended with mystery and romance. Gothic fiction is one of my favorite genres, so I immediately took to the book and the story it told. The novel took a while to get going - the beginning part being kind of slow with not much happening except introducing the author to the characters, setting, and history - but once River enters the picture, all of that changes. The twists and turns begin along with the strange happenings all over town and the unanswered questions had me eagerly reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next and to attempt to get some answers. The setting was perfect for a Gothic novel - a small coastal town with the huge crumbling estate of Violet's family overlooking the ocean. The characters were very well written - especially the main characters of Violet and River. Violet makes a great leading lady - she's smart, interesting, kind, and down to earth. River is the enigmatic gorgeous guy who suddenly appears and makes everyone - including the reader - ask more questions than they get answers. He was definitely a mystery to attempt to figure out. His character was witty, cunning, mysterious, romantic yet dangerous at the same time. I loved learning the history of Violet's family along with their estate and the town it overlooks, and I definitely loved learning what I could about River, his back story and the little we get to know about him in the book. I'm hoping that we get to see much more behind his character and his history in the next book, along with (hopefully) getting more answers to the ones left open in this one. The writing was beautifully done with vivid imagery and detailed descriptions that had me easily immersing myself into the setting and story alongside Violet. Like I mentioned, the beginning of the book was rather slow to start and there wasn't much going on. Some readers might find this a bad quality, but I liked learning about the characters, the setting, and the back story before all the action started. I'll definitely be eagerly waiting for the next book to come out! Recommended for fans of Gothic novels and paranormal romance fiction.



  1. Weell, I liked this book, but not as much as you did
    I have written my review, and I will post it soon enough
    Your reader,

  2. So glad you enjoyed this novel, I'm also a fan of gothic novels and really enjoyed this one to. I feel like this is the perfect time of year to read this one, it had some awesomely spooky parts.

    Emily @ Falling For YA