Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Series: Between #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Horror
Release Date: August 15, 2013
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.
First Sentence: “You stop fearing the Devil when you’re holding his hand.”
I was excited for Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ever since I saw it on goodreads and heard about it from the ever-growing hype. I was so very excited for Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea that I bothered a Strandbooks employee to put the book into the system so I can buy it. She got very annoyed, but hey, it was worth it, just to get the lovely in my hands one week early before its release date. However, I honestly didn’t know what to expect from Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea since I saw some mixed reviews for it – I only hoped that it would be good or even better than I expected. In the end, I guess it depends on which part of the book you look at: the boring beginning or the fast paced oh my goodness is this really happening ending.
“There’s truths and then there’s truths, Violet. And some damn truths should be spoken out loud, or the Devil will hear, and then he’ll come for you. Amen.” (4)
The beginning of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea started off pretty good, until after a while, when everything just fell flat for me. I could care less about Violet and River visiting town and going shopping, I could less about Violet’s brother Luke and her “best friend” Sunshine flirting with each other non-stop, I just wanted to see some major creepiness happening. Sure, some creepy events did happen in the first half of the bok, but they were not so creepy that it left me spooked and wanting more answers now. I just waved everything weird away, wanting some real spooky things to happen that can keep me invested in the book. The first half of the book was rapidly approached DNF territory for me, but I trudged on (because one, I am stubborn because I spent money on the book and two, tons of you guys wanted to know if Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was a worthwhile read), and boy, do I not regret doing so.
The second half of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, however, was a whole another story. Right from the point where River revealed who he really is and what he could do, things started picking up. I was starting to care about things that were happening because things had finally gotten interesting and I was writing down a ton of different theories. (I’m happy to say that one of my theories were correct. Yay!) The second half of the book definitely did not disappoint. It was definitely worth reading the first half of the book to get to the second half.
“Does this mean what I think it means?” Sunshine and I had walked back to my bedroom in silence. Now we were sitting on the bed, the letters handed back and forth between us as we read them over and over and over. (228)
As for the main character Violet, she kind of rubbed me the wrong way and continued to do so throughout the book. No, it isn’t because she likes to wear her dead relatives’ clothes and thinks it’s perfectly normal to do so, so perfectly normal that she bugs her brother Luke to do that too; she rubs me the wrong way because she curses a lot, specifically using the word “damn.” (Yes, I personally do consider the word “damn” to be a curse word, especially if you use it a lot.) Luckily, Violet doesn’t use the word “damn” a lot, but when she does, I notice it and it stops the flow of the book. I’m immediately taken back into reality, shaking my head, instead of being invested and into the book.
As for River, I pretty much disliked him for the entire book, even in the beginning when he didn’t reveal who he really is and what he could really do yet. He just rubbed me the wrong way somehow. When I finally figured out what River could do, I hated him with a passion.
[HUGE] SPOILER: I mean, killing someone for being nasty to someone else? Killing someone just because you don’t like them? Killing people just because you could? And most of all, the most huge no no for me is: Controlling someone and playing with their emotions all the time? No, just no.
As for the sort-of insta-love in Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, it didn’t bother me at all because Violet and River had a valid reason for it. (No, they were not long-lost lovers in the past life.) I don’t like the reason for it, but I do accept it, if that makes any sense. (It’ll make sense to you when you read the book. Trust me.)
River still sat in the booth. He saw me, and smiled, like it was nothing. Like it was all nothing. (189)
Was Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea as good as people say? I say that it really depends on which part you look at, the first half of the book or the second half. Do I recommend it? Yes, especially once you get to the second half of the book. You really won’t regret it. Trudging through the first half was so worth it. I even plan to read the sequel.