Tuesday 4 August 2015

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

*This review has minor spoilers!*

Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Publisher: Dial
Format: Audio Book
Blurb: 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 was one of those books that I just don’t know how I feel about.  It’s not bad, but I’m not sure I would describe it as “great" either.  “Good” works, but it doesn’t quite convey this absence of feeling I have.  It was unusual, for sure, which fits it right into the gothic horror category.  
Violet is so in love with River that it is a little annoying in the beginning, but it soon turns out to be something she can’t necessarily control.  It made me a little uncomfortable, admittedly, because of the abusive undertones (SPOILER: River is manipulating her emotions A LOT).  Their relationship was very Twilight-esque to be honest, and the fact that Violet doesn’t run screaming from River when she learns *SPOILER* just how many people he has murdered, I was starting to fade out.  Okay, spoilers done.
The writing in Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was suitable to the genre.  However it was pretty pretentious, because Violet is pretentious.  She was raised by artist parents, and often references different kinds of painting styles and artists (ones I assume are famous and I’ve never heard of as I'm not into art).  I think unless you’re into art many of the references will be lost on you (as they were on me).  Other than that I found the writing was well done, and Tucholke did a good job describing the settings.
So to conclude, I liked the writing (minus the constant art references), and the storyline was pretty good until it became more like an abusive relationship.

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