Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading …. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Just Finished Reading …. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
by April Genevieve Tucholke
To be published by Dial
On August 15, 2013

Source: ARC sent for review by publisher

Connect with the author: website.



Summary from Goodreads: 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.
My take: You know that happy feeling you get when you read the first few pages of a book and just know that it's your kind of book? That's the feeling I got as I began Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. When I was a kid, I spent every boring summer reading and re-reading all the musty books in my family's basement, which included a lot of paperback Gothic romance -- you know, innocent girl who's sent to work as a governess in a creepy old house and meets a brooding, mysterious guy…  I just never get tired of that stuff, from Jane Eyre to contemporary Gothic fiction.

In Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Violet White and her brother Luke are alone in their crumbling old house (nicknamed "Citizen Kane") after their flighty artist parents head off on a European trip. Money's tight, so Violet has tacked up signs in town offering their guesthouse for rent. Enter River West. He's gorgeous and mysterious and Violet is immediately drawn to him. But there's also something slightly menacing about River…something that doesn't quite add up.

The book features some elements very familiar to readers of both Gothic fiction and YA paranormal romance: a girl alone in a spooky setting, the mysterious new boy in town who will either be the love of the girl's life or kill her, etc. etc. But I loved the way that Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea both embraced these familiar tropes and slyly used them to toy with me as I read. Every page of this book was beautifully written, taut with tension and suspense, hinting at terrible things to come. The story takes place in the small town of Echo, a place with a creepy cemetery and abandoned tunnels and kids who whisper warnings about a kidnapper who snatches children. Because the reader is kept in a constant state of uncertainty about River's identity and motivation, I wouldn't exactly call this a swoon-y romance. Yes, River is a handsome, beautifully dressed guy who whips up delicious meals for Violet and sleeps chastely next to her. But isn't he too good to be true?

I absolutely loved this book.  If you love Gothic fiction, beautiful writing, atmospheric stories, and suspense, then Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a must-read!

I'll be giving this away tomorrow on Freebie Friday...

32 comments:

  1. I have been seeing so much about this book and it sounds fantastic! I can't wait to read it. Great review!

    ~Sydney@Pika Pages

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  2. Great review! I really can't wait to read this book, I love Gothic stories:) I'll definitely enter the giveaway tomorrow!

    Eveline's Books

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  3. Glad to read your positive review of this after reading some that savaged it-that makes me feel more confident that I'll like it too after having spent most of the year salivating over the gorgeous cover and dying to read it!

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    1. Well, it's a Gothic, and I think that someone who isn't into that whole "innocent/naive girl and sinister guy" thing might not enjoy this book….

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  4. Been seeing a ton of great reviews for this one lately and really looking forward to it and the haunting writing. It does follow the old new girl, bad boy, romance thing but since he is the devil I'm guessing it will be a bit more interesting.

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  5. I completely understand what you are saying about not knowing River's motivations and how that impacted the 'romance'. At times I was a little upset that it seemed insta-loveish but then I wasn't entirely sure that was what was happening... It was very interesting. I'm excited for the sequel. I'm glad you liked this so much!

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    1. Yes -- I think the dynamics of the romance were interesting and not entirely what some readers might expect. But I really enjoyed that whole off-balance feeling of the romance, the "is he or isn't he evil" thing. I just loved that...

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  6. I liked this one, but didn't love it. I absolutely loved the Gothic aspects and how atmospheric the setting was (Echo with its graveyards and tunnels, the crumbling Citizen Kane), but I had some issues with it, too. I'll definitely pick up the sequel to find out what happens next. Great review!

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    1. Have you reviewed it yet? Headed to your blog to check it out!

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  7. So happy you liked this book. I'm reading it next and super excited to get into it.

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  8. So glad you liked the book-I'm really excited to read it. The Gothic tone in the book sounds amazing, and I can't wait to read it! Thanls for sharing.

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  9. I don't think I've ever read gothic fiction before so I'm not sure how I would feel about this one. I keep reading rave reviews for it though so I think I'm going to try it.

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  10. I've been seeing this book around and I'm very intrigued. It's on my TBR and I can't wait to read it! :)

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  11. I am the most horrible blog commenter lately!! OMG I feel awful. Between being super sucked into the Big Brother live feeds, and training a new pup I haven't been online barely at all. Anyways, I am so glad to see that you liked this. I will hopefully be reading it soon. I did a trade with someone for it and it sounds so awesome!!

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  12. I have been excited for this book for so long, I am glad it was your cup of tea! Great review =)

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  13. I so need to try out this one esp. after reading your review.

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  14. I've been watching for reviews of this one. It's one I didn't get approved for on NetGalley, but have been wanting to read - now I definitely will have to read it! I think I'll be entering your giveaway tomorrow too. :) Thanks for the review!

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

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  15. I just finished my review of this one too--I LOVED this book as well. The writing was gorgeous and I loved the suspense, the mystery and the creep factor:)

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  16. "you know, innocent girl who's sent to work as a governess in a creepy old house and meets a brooding, mysterious guy… I just never get tired of that stuff, from Jane Eyre to contemporary Gothic fiction" <--- YES. Me too. There's really not that much Gothic stuff out there in YA. Huge fan of Jane Eyre too.

    "But I loved the way that Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea both embraced these familiar tropes and slyly used them to toy with me as I read." <-- Too true. Whereas other PNRs often fail to capture my attention with the heroine or the hero, this one did. The writing made them both super compelling characters, and the entire story is an interesting mash-up and addition to the legions of PNR books.

    "Because the reader is kept in a constant state of uncertainty about River's identity and motivation, I wouldn't exactly call this a swoon romance." <-- Definitely not lol. Were you a fan of the romance? Are you rooting for them as a couple? I'm curious to know which were your favorite parts and who was your favorite character.

    (You're right. We tend to like a lot of the same things and if you described Midnight Dress as being for fans of this book... will likely enjoy it then :D).

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  17. I really want to pick this one up! I love the concept and the cover, I need to dive into this one! Got to pick this one up soon :)

    Happy Reading!

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  18. Jen, first of all I feel like I haven't commented on your blog in forever and I'm sorry! I have been a TERRIBLE commenter lately!

    I'm sooooo glad you loved this one. Kate really loved it too, so between the two of you I feel that I MUST read it! Plus the cover is gorgeous and gothic romance is awesome :)

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  19. I've heard SUCH good things about this book. I'm dying for it. :) I love this "love of the girl's life or kill her". Epic kind of book, right? These things are so hard to decide between...haha.

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  20. Ever since I've seen the cover, I've always wanted to read this one! But you review made it sound twice as awesome! Creepy gothic books are the best and I can't wait to read this one! Plus River sounds amazing- "River is a handsome, beautifully dressed guy who whips up delicious meals for Violet and sleeps chastely next to her"- Wow. ;) This book sounds seriously magical! Crossing my fingers for tomorrow's Freebie Friday! :)
    (PS- Sorry for not commenting on your blog lately! I LOVE your blog and all your reviews, but college is being an ass with all its long exams and I barely get the time to visit all blogs let alone read. In the past three months, I've only read four books. FOUR BOOKS. I want to become a professional bookworm instead..)

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  21. I really need this book like yesterday, because I believe that after reading few pages I'll get that feeling. I haven't read a gothic book in a while and I really want to. When you add hot guy there I feel like a kid on Christmas. Great review Jen :)
    PS. Can't wait for the giveaway :)

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  22. Oh, I am so happy to hear that it is living up to its beautiful cover, and awesome blurb. I cannot even begin to describe how eager I am to read this novel. I really hope I like it as much as you!
    I actually love questioning the love interests in novels. It makes me wonder if I am making the right decision by swooning over them. Although, when/if they turn out evil, I am sort of disappointed, haha.
    Chiara @ Books For A Delicate Eternity

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  23. I have a huge soft spot for gothic romances, I havent read many but I love them all so far.

    Amazing review, Jen! <33

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  24. Ah, Jen, River's not too good to be true....he's perfectly swoony, if you ask me! :) I like my hottie with a side of danger. Hehe. I agree, though. I knew from the very first page that this was going to be perfect for me. And it soooo was.

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  25. I'm not much of a horror fan, but I can't wait to read this book. The world sounds so creepy yet alluring. I'm so looking forward to this. Great review, Jen! :)

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  26. YES! I'm so glad you loved this as well. I'm a big fan of gothic romance and this was such a great representation of the genre. The setting was gorgeous too. I thought I wouldn't be able to stand River, but he drew me in completely. Love when an author can play with my mind that way.

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