Sunday, December 1, 2013

Novel Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1) by April Genevieve Tucholke

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Dial (Penguin)
Publish Date: August 15th, 2013
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

Something Specific:
  • "'You stop fearing the Devil when you’re holding his hand.’” (Hardback, pg. 1) This is the first sentence of the book, and the one most advertised, but I do like it.
  • "I was pretty stupid, when I was younger.” (Pg. 109)
  • "There was something about sleeping next to a person that was…dangerous. More dangerous than sleeping with a person, maybe.” (Pg. 117)
  • "Freddie once told me that I was the worst sort of stubborn—because I wasn’t stubborn at all. I was patient. Patient, but determined. A stubborn person could be distracted, or tricked. But not me. I just held on and on and on, never giving up until I got my way, long after everyone else stopped caring.” (Pg. 127-128)
  • "'It’s easier to forgive someone for scaring you than for making you cry.’” (Pg. 157)
  • "Freddie often told me that you’ve got to be happy when you can, because life won’t wait for you to take the time.” (Pg. 359-360)

The Cover:

I rather like this cover. It's just so pretty, and the font on the title looks so nice. It's also mostly fitting, and the feel of it is very nice. I don't think the cliff really has anything to do with the book, but the ocean does and the trees give a good idea to the setting. The couple doesn't look as good close up, but it's still overall very pretty.


I had very high hopes for this book, and was rather disappointed with how it turned out.
I was expecting very paranormal romance, but with a twist, with an actually dark love interest, possibly with some violence or horror-esque elements but nothing too bad. And it was those things, I suppose. But it was also slow, a little boring at times, and I didn’t connect with any of the characters.
I read this book in two parts. The first time I read it, I got about 100 pages in, and I was not enjoying it even a little. I had to force myself to read ten pages, I wasn’t liking it so much. The second time I picked it up, though, I found it a lot easier to get through. It still wasn’t very exciting, and I was still very iffy on the characters, but it wasn’t torture to finish a chapter.
The premise sounded really good. The start of the book was intriguing. I liked the town that they lived in, the ending was intriguing, but I think my biggest problems were the writing and the characters.
I didn’t really care about Violet. I kind of understood her reasoning behind her feelings for River, but I also kind of didn’t. I guess it kind of worked for her character, but I had a problem with him. Because he’s always lying, not telling anyone anything, going around the questions, and then distracting Violet by kissing her or literally sleeping with her, and she just let him do so. There was a reason for some of it, but other times, like when he wasn’t touching her, she should have said no.
I think I wanted to like River, but I couldn’t stand his lying, and how he was always doing something bad and getting away with it and not seeing anything bad about it. I just didn’t really like him, even if I understood that Violet did.
Then there was Sunshine, Violet’s friend, who was just kind of a jerk. The only reason I didn’t have a problem with their ‘friendship’, I think, was that it seemed like Violet knew Sunshine wasn’t really a good friend. But then again, Violet called her her best friend often, and went to her house a lot, as if she actually were. Their friendship didn’t really work for me, either way, because Sunshine was a jerk.
Violet’s brother, Lucas, I kind of liked. He needed to grow up some more, mature a whole lot, but he did get a bit better by the end of the book. He just needs to get past his jerk fa├žade, I think.
The writing of the book was slow, didn’t grab me at all. That, and the setting, did remind me of Maggie Stiefvater a lot, particularly from the Scorpio Races, only a lot less enticing and pretty. So, not as good. 
I wasn’t very impressed with this book, and was happy when it was finished. I don’t know if I’m going to be picking up the second book. I would have said no, but since this book did get better and I’m slightly intrigued, and since the second book is the last one (it is, right?), it’s possible. Unlikely, but possible.

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