Friday, 28 February 2014

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


Name:  Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Published: April 15th 2013
Genre: YA
Stars: 4.5
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 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.

This book chilled me to the bone. It's that rare read that's straight from the era of dark Gothic classics. Tucholke can make you go from curious to downright scared in a matter of seconds, at times, just with a single line. Decadent and rich in mystery, this book is totally unputdownable. 

Is River West a demon? Or is he just a troubled boy with an equally as troubled past? These are all the questions readers ask themselves throughout the book. It's quite obvious later on that River isn't the Devil, but the word pops up now and again to catch the readers attention. 

River is twisted, that is obvious. But yet, his character still strangely appeals to the reader. At times, you feel pity for him, at others, you just want to scream at Violet to run as fast as she can away from him.
Violet and Rivers love is that you call 'instalove.' Quite literally. Within a day of meeting, you can see their connection and spy the twisted tones to it. River strikes you as a liar with a charming personality when you first encounter him. But as the book progresses, the lies unravel and the truth starts to come out. Disturbing truth I might add.

Violet seemed rather vague to me. Her friend Sunshine is constantly belittled and Violet doesn't strike me as a very nice person at times. Her brother is certainly one of those characters you dislike from the get go, but only because they've been made like that. Violet and River don't share a love connection, exactly, but something similar. Their relationship is complicated and disturbing to say the least.

When strange events happen around Violets home, of course River is to blame by the reader. I did too. 
It's still not clear what River is exactly, but from his deadly powers, it's easy to see why he could be called 'the devil.' But compared to a certain someone else in this book, he's positively shadowy rainbows and black butterflies. In fact, River isn't even his real name. River West is a walking lie.

This book will not appeal to all readers, that I can assure you. It's one of those "love it or hate it" types with no inbetween. For me? I loved it immensely. River West seems to me to be the lovechild of American Horror Story's Tate Langdon and Cassandra Clare's Sebastian Verlac. Both twisted characters in their own right, yet still favourites of mine. 

There are others with River's powers, but they're named differently. You have River's 'Spark' and then you have the 'Burn.' Each one carries immense power and ability to inflict pain. It seems like the only decent enough one around here is Rivers brother of sorts, Neely. He's left alone with Violet when River leaves town at the end of the book, prompting the question: will any romance happen between the pair in BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN. Since Neely is Rivers brother, I'm not inclined to trust him. If one brother has a secret... does the other have one as well?

Story was 4 stars and cover 0.5 just because of how amazing it is. Cannot wait for the sequel. This book is one to be watched, because it will eventually creep up on you.

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