Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Date of Publication: August 15 2013
Pages: 360
Source: Library ebook

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.

Review:

I don't know how to say this, but from the very beginning, I was enchanted by this book. It was alluring, compelling, all the pretty words you use to describe books that excite you. And this one is what I like to think of as what I like in paranormal romance.

In some ways, I shouldn't have liked Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea because there wasn't all that much to it. The plot is not all that new, and the action is quite slow going. Somehow, I adored the way the story was written. It was slow and languid, enjoying its sweet time with all the details. I enjoyed the writing and plot and characters and everything.

Violet and her world is quite charming. It's so quiet and pretty, and I enjoyed exploring Echo, which was this beautiful serene place right near the ocean. The imagery was quite relaxing and I almost felt like I could feel the sea water. Anyway, Violet is a very strange character. She has depth to her. She is upset with her parents for leaving. She has insecurities about being snobby and being alone. She misses her grandmother Freddie. She's also quite eccentric and I think I would love to know her. Violet is different in a way that don't feel pretentious. Violet is just being the only girl she can be: one that is worried for her brother, craves something else, and loves old things. She is interesting, and the kind of person I would like to have around.

I know that River might not make it on most people's list of fav protagonists, but I was quite charmed by him. River has this mystery surrounding him. I'm usually quite critical of supposed bad boy love interests, but once I find one I like, I usually fall hard. And that was River: this gorgeous guy that loves coffee, can cook (I swear this is so attractive to me), and speaks Italian. He is morally ambiguous. He is hiding something. He is dangerous and wrong and right and I don't care because I want to know more about him.

The other notable characters are Luke, Violet's brother who is sometimes the biggest pig in the world, but whom Violet loves fiercely because family is family, and Samantha, a girl with sleepy eyes and lots of passion. I enjoyed that a big theme in Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is that sometimes you can't help loving people that do wrong, and I think this book explores this idea and whether it's right or wrong on many levels.

Now that I think about it, I should have known I would like this book. It talks about the attraction of darkness, it is romantically gothic, and for me, it was a very luxurious read. I was eagerly reading every word, wondering what would happen next. My only concern is that the ending is a little weak, but I think the story is open to a sequel and I will be looking forward to reading it.

Ultimately, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is exactly the kind if paranormal I've been craving. I really liked it, and so it gets four stars.



-P.E.

6 comments:

  1. I had a few issues with this one but I absolutely adored the writing and the gothic feel to it and it was a stunning book to read!
    Great review, P.E.!

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    1. I know some people had issues, and I was really surprised that it just worked for me. The gothic feel is so nice. I would love to visit gothic places and take pics (I need the modern appliances though! And no spiders!).

      -P.E.

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  2. I have read some so-so reviews on this one so it was interesting to get a different perspective with your review! I do like a good gothic story, but the slow pace scared me off - and the idea that I might not like River that much! But now I am intrigued by this book, so maybe if the second book has great reviews I might pick this one up! Great review!

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    1. I think that's a reasonable way of going about it. The story is very atmospheric. Think a plot type similar to The Scorpio Races with slightly less poetic writing, and less enchanting characters (the characters here were more urban and less unique, but I still enjoyed them.) If that's your type of read, I think you should give this one a go.

      I think liking River is important to your enjoyment though.

      -P.E.

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  3. I always wanted to read this book! Mostly because I love the title.
    Great review! I'll try to read it ASAP!
    Lis @ The reader lines

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    1. Tbh, ever since I saw the title I was like, "YES I will read this book!" and I did regardless of the reviews. Sometimes, stuff just randomly calls to you and it works out. You just get that special feeling. It's happened a few times to me.

      Anyway, hope you enjoy it!

      -P.E.

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