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Monday, July 29, 2013

Deidra "Finally" Reviews Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Release Date: August 15, 2013
Publisher: Dial
Pages: 368
Series: Between #1
Source: NetGalley

Summary:  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 guesthouse 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.
Why I Loved It:  I have to say that this book and I have had some mixed feelings.  I knew this was one book I had to read.  I love Gothic atmospheres set in modern time.  It's such a nice spin on the spooky when it's set in our time.  For me, the spooky was mastered well in this book.  I do not enjoy serious creepiness that makes it hard for me to sleep though.  *Not a Stephen King fan here*  However, I like enough to make the reading enjoyable and to get a sense of some serious strange stuff beginning to happen.  For me, this book had all of that.  It's got the creepy edge, but I could still read it right before bed without wanting to turn on a light.  *Man, I really am a baby!*  

The book centers around two siblings that are living in a huge house that is left over from past family wealth.  The money's not present anymore, but the family still deals with the separation of class that comes from money in a small town.  Violet and Luke's parents are off somewhere in Europe doing whatever it is artists do in Europe, and they are not exactly siblings that get along.  I will say that this trend in YA with completely absent parents really bugs me.  It drives me battty and bonkers.  WHERE ARE THE PARENTS??

Anyways, Violet is a bit obsessed with her dead grandmother, Frankie, to the point of wearing her clothes and using her old room.  Her grandmother Frankie was someone who heavily believed in God and therefore the existence of the Devil.  She had some interesting ideas on that, and Violet has picked up a few of them.  Enter River.  He shows up in town, and Violet knows she shouldn't trust him.  Somehow though, he wins her trust and many other peoples'.  There is so much more to him though than meets the eye.  Or heart.  With him ushers in all kinds of interesting events.  

Whether or not I loved Violet, I will say that Ms. Tucholke can write like nobody's business.  The story was full of beautiful imagery and fabulously eery atmospheres.  Tension and weird events were mastered on a level that many have not succeeded in for me.  Beautiful and eery writing is just a huge part of this story and what really sold me on the story.  

Low Points:  
  • Violet is so much like an old soul to the point of not being believable at times.
  • River and Violet's relationship bothered me on multiple levels.  The unhealthy "I don't trust you but here let me make-out with you" really drives me crazy.  
  • Absent parents.  *Will now move on before starting the same-ol' rant*
High Points:
  • Beautiful and rich atmosphere full of creepy Gothic-y things
  • Gorgeous writing
  • Small town atmosphere mixed with a huge old house full of history
Who Should Read It: If any of you have read The Dark Companion by Marta Acosta and loved it, I will suggest this book.  Otherwise, if you love Gothic stories and creepy things, pick this one up!
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