Thursday, August 8, 2013

Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA
Between #1
April Genevieve Tucholke
Paranormal Young Adult
368 pages
Dial
Available August 15th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (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 THOUGHTS
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is the very definition of an atmospheric read, rich in texture where the sin of satin and the temptation of velvet make a bed of bliss for us to revel in, teased with both comfort and passion and wrapped up in a cocoon of feeling we're unwilling to share with anyone who exists outside the world Ms. Tucholke has created. This is a story that evokes a reaction not easy to put into words, one that inspires vagueness and encourages us to dance circles around any specifics – much the way River so expertly conducts his symphony of lies and half-truths – hopeful a piece of this story will remain ours alone if we don't attempt to give too much of it away.

Violet is someone whose mind and heart we don't necessarily delve deeply into despite all the time we spend with her, but she's by no means a shallow character, instead she's like a stunning gift wrapped in unassuming paper – easily overlooked by those wanting something bright and beautiful to jump out and grab their attention, but so worth the reward for those who stop and take the time to see what they can find under the seemingly reserved, lonely exterior. She's ever quiet and watchful, not someone prone to loud outbursts or drastic emotional fluctuations, rather she takes her hits on the chin or walks away to gather her thoughts before she decides how to respond to a particular situation, and we can't help but appreciate her utter lack of drama. She's not a pushover though, often directing a well-aimed cutting remark back at whomever came at her first, giving us just a few glimpses of spark before she returns to quietly smoldering embers.

River is just one of the many fascinating aspects of this tale, his character that of a broken mirror; cracked and shattered in so many places his image is repeated and distorted over and over again until we can't be sure if any of the visages we see are the person he actually is. Our minds churn frantically as we try and place him in a box bearing the label “love interest”, but with every page he puts up a bigger and bigger fight, refusing to bend or contort himself to fit where we so desperately want him to. We keep trying to pour white into his sea of endless black, hoping against hope to turn parts of him gray, knowing that in those murky areas lies a chance at redemption – a chance at being the young man the romantic in us so wants him to be – but his blackness is strong and nearly overpowers any light we try to breathe into him. He is a dangerous and strikingly addicting challenge, daring us to try and find something in him he's extraordinarily good at convincing us simply isn't there.
 

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is absolutely gorgeous, a tale that weaves in and out of our fingers like smoke, tempting us with light caresses to reach out and grab it but disappearing just as we close our fingers, making us work that much harder and invest that much more of ourselves before showing us some of its secrets. Haunting, eerie, and darkly decadent, this debut should not be missed.

Rating: 4.5/5



Find April:


This book was sent to me by the publisher  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

48 comments:

  1. I have heard nothing but raving reviews for this one, I can't wait to read it!! Awesome review!

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  2. YES I knew this is going to be exciting! And.. I am so excited about River - can't wait to meet him and see how much I am going to like him :) --or not!

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    1. Oh River, what a character he is. I love that I just couldn't really make my mind up about him Danny! I kept projecting what I wanted him to be onto him and he kept being like "Um. No." :)

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  3. Jenny! You have said it perfectly! I just posted my review of this and had to paraphrase you a bit. This book was amazing and totally mind boggling at the same time. It was crazy. I am glad to see that you maybe had the same experience as me. Thanks so much for the review- you absolutely said it beautifully. I wonder what we'll get as the story continues.

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    1. Thanks so much Sara! I cannot wait to see where this story goes now, and I have no doubt the sequel will be just as beautiful:)

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  4. Omg, your words are so perfect! You really nailed describing the atmosphere of this one, and I know that's hard. I struggled with my words endlessly and never felt satisfied with my review. Such a gorgeous story!

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    1. It took me forever to write this review Candace! And then when I did, I just started rambling and being as vague as possible. This is just one of those books you have to experience:)

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  5. I just confused the font of the title with another book, oh well wanna read this one too then :)

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  6. Yay! It comes out on my birthday. I know what I'm getting myself for my birthday present. ;)
    Amazing review by the way! I'm so looking forward to reading this book.

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  7. Jenny, I swear to GOD. Your reviews are like poems. I kid you not. The way you describe the rich layers of River makes me want to meet him right away. I love it when you have dark, twisting characters, all with their own backstories that they bring to the table. Gahhh I'm so intrigued now, especially that this one seems to offer so much but tease us all the while. Fantastic review, doll! :)

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    1. *blushes* Thank you:)

      I think you'll really like this one Melissa. You like the dark and slightly twisted stories like I do, and this is just amazing:)

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  8. I've been hearing so many good things about this, so I'm really glad to see you enjoyed it. I originally planned to hold off on this until the sequel released, but the idea of Gothic horror is just too appealing to resist. Lovely review, Jenny!(:

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    1. READ IT NOW KEERTANA! Don't wait ;-)

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  9. This was SUCH a good book -- and so different. Very gothic-feeling and amazing. River was an incredibly intriguing characters -- more of an anti-hero, I would say. We knew there was something off about him but it was impossible to figure out what until it was revealed. WOW! (And I agree with Melissa -- your reviews are poems!)

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    1. YES! I loved the whole feel of it, and I just didn't want to put it down. I kept willing more pages to appear magically in the back so I could keep going. And yes to River being an anti-hero! Loved that he wouldn't let me shove him in that romance hero box:)

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  10. "Darkly decadent" has to be one of the best phrases EVER. Because now I want the book.

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    1. YES YOU DO AMANDA! Because it's awesome.

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  11. I love your review for this, Jenny. The way you've described it makes me want to read it right away. I've heard mixed things about the "love interest" and your review confirms my doubts about him. I think I'll enjoy him more if I go into the book not expecting a love interest I would want to exist in real life.
    The plot sounds like it's really well-written.
    I'm looking forward to reading it!
    Lovely review, Jenny! :)

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    1. He would definitely balk at being called a love interest, but there's something deeply fascinating and darkly romantic about him anyway. He's one of those guys you know in your head you shouldn't find attractive, but you can't help but feel something for him anyway:)

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  12. Yeah you liked it too :) I enjoyed this book too. It was so much better than I thought I would like it.

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    1. YAY! I had high hopes for this one going in since I've been drooling over the blurb and cover for so long, and it didn't disappoint in the least:)

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  13. I own a copy of this one and cannot wait to read it! I've heard nothing but raves.

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read it soon Liviania! SO GOOD!

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  14. Oh, how I adore this review. Almost as much as I adore the reviewer, but that's neither here nor there.

    I'm still so curious about this one, but I feel like I really need to be in the right mindset to read it. Clearly this won't be my go-to book for romance, but sometimes a girl needs a haunted, seductive tale that transcends the norm.

    Can't wait to read it!

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    1. I miss you. That is all.

      Definitely not a go-to book for a sweet, charming romance, but that doesn't mean it's absent romance. It's just a darker variety that makes you question your own feelings. Loved it.

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  15. Jenny I wanna hug you right now! May I? :D Anyhow you have no idea how much I want to read this one and I'm so afraid I'll end up being disappointed but I won't! It'd be a great read after all summer-romance books. Great review Jenny :)

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  16. Jenny, thanks for this awesome review! I love books with broken characters. You make it sounds so awesome. I'm reading it next :)

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  17. Wow, that is the complete reverse of my thoughts! Glad to hear another opinion though. Tattooed Books

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  18. Omg, that first sentence, Jenny! You killed me with that one :D It's gorgeous! I don't think I'll read it. Something about this one puts me off although the reviews have been amazing. I'm glad that the MC is something of a fresh-faced heroine with her calm attitued and isn't a hot-head with a short temper, but rather has that calm, quiet strength within her. I'm happy that this dark debut worked so well for you! We'll see about me reading it, but yeah, for some reason, this one doesn't appeal to me. Perhaps it'll change, but for now.. :(

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  19. Wow-- what a review, Jenny! I love the way you describe Violet's character, how she's subtle but not shallow at all, and I'm really curious about River now. This book sounds absolutely gorgeous and haunting, and I am SO excited to read it now! Beautiful review, Jenny!

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  20. Beautiful review Jenny! Love the line "quietly smoldering embers." I like quiet characters who still have a backbone and troubled boys so I'm sure I'll love the characters too.

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  21. I wanted to read this one so bad. I mean look at that title. It screams... "Mel! Read me!" Sadly, I was rejected and now must live my life looking in until I get this book and read about River. Oh you have me so curious about that character. I know I would want to twist him into redemption. Must have this book! Gimmie! :D

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  22. *dances in a circle * I have this book and your beautiful, wonderful review has me giddy. I worked it into my Sept/October schedule. The characters sound splendid! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  23. This book sounds awesome. I need to get my hands on a copy. I love that it's atmospheric and haunting....definitely in the mood for a book like that. River sounds like my kind of character! This book seems like a must-read for me. Thanks for the great review, Jenny!

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  24. WOW. You have outdone yourself with this review, Jenny. You evoke this story so well with your words. I like how you talk about Violet seeming one dimensional at first, until you pay attention to her and realize that the author weaved in a lot of complexity. I found that with all the characters actually. And River. What a conundrum he is. Definitely not the typical love interest, but that makes him even more intriguing. Lovely, lovely thoughts!

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  25. I cannot wait to read this book! I have heard so many amazing things about it, and I am completely in love with the whole devil as a love interest idea! The characters sounds brilliant, but I am most excited about the world-building. It is dark and different, and I love that about this! Plus, I love the sound of Violet and River, and am looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Jenny! Fabulous review! :D

    *New Follower*

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

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  26. So true. My review for this one has blackened highlights because I don't know what should be considered a spoiler for this kind of reading experience. I tried to be vague about it too, but I don't know how successful I was with that. Perfect metaphor for Violet too. She's not quite perky, but her observation and quirks make for an interesting perspective and play with the tropes often found in YA PNR. And River, like Violet, doesn't fit within the normal tropes, definitely doesn't fit the typical romantic interest, but all the same you can't help but be fascinated by him. Lovely writing in your review for a lovely book :).

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  27. Wow this review is utterly gorgeous Jenny, not that I expect any less of you and your amazing review writing skills. I loved the cover and the entire concept for this book when I first heard about it, but now I'me even more glad that the author actually provides such a fascinating read. I need this book asap!!

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  28. YIKES!!! I am dying for this book! I almost couldn't read your review. You make River sound so, so....? Pizza!!!

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  29. I see so much about this book! It sounds so good. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

    ~Sydney@Pika Pages

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  30. Wow, River sounds dark, mysterious and dangerous, and just like my type of guy! My husband would snort if he saw that sentence! Lol! This does sound lovely. I need to pick this up. Wonderful review, Jenny! :)

    Btw, thanks for answering my question. :) Another UF I need to read. Maybe I'll get it on audio.

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  31. Oh.My.GOD! The way you described River! I'm speechless and super curious to know more about his dark side. I'm not a fan of dark, goth reads, but it seems like this is the one book I should really give a try. Beautiful review, Jenny!

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  32. I've been hearing AHMAZING things about this book and I can't wait for it anymore!

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  33. This one sounds amazing, Jenny. The story seems very well-written, I love that Violet doesn't engage in drama but isn't a pushover either, and there's a love interest who refuses to be categorized ... I'm definitely reading this one!

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  34. Ooh I'm halfway through this one right now, and loving it! I started it last week, then got super sick, and I was actually having feverish nightmares about it. I know that sounds like a bad thing, but that means the atmosphere has totally invaded my brain, so I consider it a job well done by the author. I know there are going to be some revelations heading my way so I skimmed your review, but I'll come back later when I've finished. :-)

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