Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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

Stay tuned for an exciting giveaway announcement coming soon!
Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Publish Date: August 15th 2013

"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. "

Cover: This cover. I love this cover. Its so dark and mysterious and gothic. Love the font, love the cliff and the crashing waves and the fog and the moon and just, I love it. Despite everything else I'm about to say, this cover would certainly be stunning on any bookshelf.

StoryLine: The writing was Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea's saving grace.

I for one don't mind insta-love when it's done right. But this was the true definition of insta-love, Violet even admitted to having decided to fall in love with him 10 minutes after meeting him. You remember back in highschool where some girls would get their first boyfriend and from day one they are so in love and their boyfriend is literally ALL they can talk about? Yeah, thats what reading this was like. And to make matters worse, River had nothing going for him to illicit such a reaction. He was short, average looking, and instantly a psychopathic liar. It frustrated me to no end.

There isn't really much of a plot going here, just some random side plots that don't seem to have much use, other than to fill pages, attempt to add mystery, and make the audience hate River and Violet more.

Characters: They tried to vaguely explain away how naive and plain stupid Violet is throughout this entire book, but frankly it does nothing to forgive the characters. It doesn't add any sympathetic feelings toward her. Her choices are just to dumb to explain away that easily.

And there is nothing that can cast River in any kind of positive light. A murderer is a murderer, a murderer that enjoys and gets pleasure from it? Even worse. The attempts to gain sympathy or to match him next to an even more psychopathic killer do nothing to negate that.

The characterization in this book is positively despicable and if it weren't for the writing, they would have made this a DNF for me. They weren't even in that "love-to-hate" category, they were in the "I-honest-to-god-hate-I-hope-a-meteor-crashes-and-kills-them-all" category. The ones that I didn't despise, were one dimensional, under-developed, and pointless, there only to make Violet or River look better (i.e. The "Make You Look Like Pure Because I'm Loose" neighbor, the "Make You Look Like a Gentleman Because I Objectify Women" brother, the "Make You Both Look Like Sweet Caring People Because I'm a Sad Serious Kid" kid).

There's also a lot of slut-shaming in this book. The neighbor is constantly looked down on for being a slut by the narration, but the neighbors actions don't even justify the names at all. The most she does is some flirting with the MC brother.

Parting Thoughts: Overall this is like a movie that has an amazing director, breathtaking cinematography, and an ok concept, that gets destroyed by a terrible cast of bad primadonna actors. If you think that you can look past the annoying characters, then give this book a try. The writing style certainly is very very good, and like I said, its the saving grace here.

2.5/5 Stars

Click the book's cover to go to it's Amazon page(Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Associate, meaning I earn a small percentage for the items bought through my links). Description from Goodreads.


  1. Too bad that it wasn't that good. But you're not the first person that I've seen give it a so-so review. Good job of explaining what the issues were. I probably won't end up getting to this one.

    1. The writing style and the setting are both very well done, so I'll be looking out for more works from her, and hopefully she improves in the characterization department.


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