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

Posted on Friday, November 29, 2013 4:00 AM

Series: Between # 1

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Publisher: Dial

Publication Date: August 15, 2013

Pages: 360

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

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was one of my most anticipated reads of the summer.  I just knew by the title and the cover that it would be absolutely amazing as evidenced by my Waiting on Wednesday post back in May I really wanted to fall in love with this book and sing its praises to everyone I know.  But unfortunately, this book didn’t live up to my very high expectations.

Violet and her twin brother Luke, live a very ordinary life at Citizen Kane (Yes, there house is so big it has its own name).  When their grandmother, Freddie, passed away they inherited the house from her.  Violet and Luke are having a hard time financially, so Violet gets the idea to rent out the guesthouse.  When River West shows up and moves into the guesthouse, strange things start happening in Echo, things that can’t be explained.  And it all seems to lead back to River.

I really didn’t like Violet at all.  She was very eccentric and that was fine, that didn’t bother me at all.  In fact I like characters that have something quirky about them.   But Violet was incredibly na├»ve and that was really the thing that pushed me towards the ‘not liking’ side.  There were plenty of times throughout this book that I caught myself rolling my eyes at the things she done and wondering Why the hell can’t you see it?  Or You’re really going to do that after what you just learned?  

I really didn’t like the relationship between Violet and River.  I could tell from the very first moment when River was introduced that there is something off about him and he is someone that Violet should stay far away from.  And what killed me about their relationship was that Violet knew something was disturbing about him but she still kept him around.  Also, this book has one of the worst cases of insta-love that I have ever seen.

Overall, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a book that had an interesting premise but unfortunately, it fell short.  It starts out really slow and there were a few times I thought about putting it down and reading something else, but I stuck with it because I was hoping it would pick up and become one of the best reads of 2013.  While it does pick up around page 100 or so, it’s one of my most disappointing reads of the year.     



  1. Oh, man, that's too bad. I was planning to pick up a copy of this soon but eek, insta-love? I think I'll just wait till the sequel is out. Awesome review!

    - Kazhy @ My Library in the Making

  2. This seems like one of those books that you either love or hate. I've seen a lot of glowing reviews for it, and I've seen a lot of reviews that say similar things to what you did. I'm definitely going to still read it since it's on my bookshelf. Plus, I'm really curious to see how my own review for it would go.

    Great review!

  3. I actually liked this one because it was just so unique. I do agree with you about Violet, I was like, what are you doing??? But there were so many other things I liked about the book and the ending left me wanting to know more. Sorry it was such a disappointment, I hate when I look forward to a book and it ends up not living up to my expectations. Thanks for the honest review! ~Pam


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