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

between the devil and the deep blue sea april genevieve tucholke

Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Series: Between #1
Publisher: Dial
Publication Date: August 15, 2013
Source/Format: Library / Hardcover, 360 pages
Opening Sentence: “‘You stop fearing the Devil when you’re holding his hand.'”
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon

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.

I just want to start this off by saying that Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was basically nothing like I was expecting. That’s not to say it was bad but the synopsis and even the title are a little bit misleading. While I was expecting something to do with an actual devil —that is, a devil in the religious sense—it was more of a “Devil” in the main character’s eyes.

The story itself is rather interesting but I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t have a little bit of trouble getting into it… because I did. There was actually a long stretch of time where I didn’t even touch the book at all. I’ll allow that a couple of outside forces caused it, but I didn’t really feel like I was missing anything. I could’ve dropped the book completely and never finished reading it and I don’t know that it would have been a problem. Forgetting about my preconceived thoughts about what the story would be, though, I was rather impressed by the author’s imagination and storytelling. I know I say this a lot but I’m not sure that I’ve ever read anything quite like this book before.

Overall, I did like the story but I actually did have a few big problems with the book. I know it was explained in the storytelling but I feel like the main character’s parents were just completely nonexistent. Realistically with the parents just abandoning their children and the entire town knowing it I’m pretty sure somebody would’ve called Child Protective Services instead of just ignoring it. I sort of felt like the parents being gone was convenient for the story and the author made up some reason for their absence to support it.

That aside, there was only one or two other things that I’ve found problematic. I felt like there was a lot of the author in the story. I find it very hard to believe that this teenager was so set in the past. Whether her grandmother was from that time period or not I just felt like the author’s knowledge of old movies and things like that leaks into the story quite a lot and in more than one character. I guess what I’m trying to say is the characters could have been more dynamic and rounded out. I saw a lot of common characteristics in several of the characters, so while they were good overall, they had too many similarities for me.

Overall I had a decent time reading this novel but I don’t know that I would read it again. I know I most likely will read the sequel just to figure out what is going to happen but I’m not going to go on a crusade to get the ARC ahead of time. The end of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea seemed very “perfect”, if you will, and that made it feel a little bit dull.

If you like paranormal I recommend giving this book a try. It wasn’t as creepy as I was expecting it to be or as people were saying it is but there are definitely some creepy aspects to it. All in all though it’s mostly just weird. And I’m not sure if that’s any good or bad way.

Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

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Stacking the Shelves (24)

Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga’s Reviews) is a weekly meme in which bloggers share the books they buy, borrow, and receive.

sts24-2

Borrowed:

Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

sts24-1

Won:

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (from Fic Fare) – I was beyond excited to see I won this book. I’ve been on a hold list for it at my library for a couple months, so its nice to be able to read it whenever I want now. SO EXCITED.

From Pulseit:
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton
The Wicked Within by Kelly Keaton

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (from White Sky Project) – This is technically my third copy of this book, but I’ve been wanting an ebook for those times I don’t want to hold a 60 pound book.

$40 Amazon gift card (from Nose Graze) – Okay guys… !!! I got the email that I won this gift card and I thought it was wrong. But it turns out it wasn’t. skjdjdjdksjfnc I have no idea what I’m going to use it for, but whatever.


I finished reading Born of Illusion the other day and I loved it. Since then, though, I’ve been having a hard time reading anything else. I just want to be in the BoI world still. I’m so bummed I have to wait so long for the next book.

I started reading The Book Thief yesterday and I don’t know if it’s because of the above mentioned book hangover or what, but reading it is like pulling teeth. It took me FOREVER to read 100 pages. It’s not even boring, just really slow. I’m hoping it’s me and not the book. I really want to like it.

Top Ten Tuesday (17): Fall 2013 TBR!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish to facilitate list sharing. My lists, as usual, are in no real order. This week’s topic:

Top 10 Books On My Fall 2013 TBR List:

So, as you will see, I didn’t try at all to cut down my list. I thought about it, but then I deemed it too difficult a task. So I guess I’m a cheater. (haha)

To Be Released:

just one year How to Love Katie Cotugno Curtsies & Conspiracies
not a drop to drink The Promise of Amazing Robin Constantine roomies

Just One Year by Gayle Forman
How to Love by Katie Cotugno
Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Not A Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Roomies by Tara Altebrando, Sara Zarr — Does this even count as fall? It comes out at the end of December.

Already Published (“It’s about time!”):

the book thief the fault in our stars jellicoe road insurgent
between the devil and the deep blue sea scarlet siege and storm obsidian

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I’m pretty excited for all these books. A lot of them are well-loved novels that I just haven’t read for one reason or another. (Mostly I’m intimidated by them.) I’m horrible at sticking to my TBR/lists, but oh well. It’s worth a try!

Lisa’s Summer Reading List (2013)

I’ve been seeing a lot of people making to-do lists and lists of books they want to read before BEA. Now, I’m not going to BEA, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a list too, right? A summer reading list!

I’m not the type of person to make lists of books or tell myself to read certain things at certain times. I’m definitely a “feelings” reader. I read what I want, when I want. And I like it that way. That said: My TBR on Goodreads is dangerously close to 500 books and, to be honest, it’s completely overwhelming. I want to go through it sometime, but until then I thought I would make a smaller list of books I want to read.

There’s, like, 30 books on this list. Just because they’re all on “The List” doesn’t mean they’ll be read or I’ll even stick to The List. This is more of a quick guide for myself if I find myself wondering what to read next. Because the list is so long I made a “Top 6” list of books I have to read or I’ll die.
Without further ado, The List:

Top 6 Books I Have to Read This Summer:

summer reading list 2013
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Books I’m Risking Death By Not Reading:

Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender
52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
Our Song by Jordanna Fraiberg
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green
That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard
Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
True by Erin McCarthy
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer (re-reading with my sister. Excited!)
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
The Symptoms of My Insanity by Mindy Raf
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick
Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
Ink by Amanda Sun
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
OCD, the Dude, and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn
Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
The Program by Suzanne Young

As you can see, I’m rather ambitious with my reading goals. I know I won’t be able to read all the books, but a nice chunk will do.

What do you plan to read this summer?


P.S. I’m treating summer as now until the end of August-ish. Probably into September because that would be technically correct.

Waiting on Wednesday (6): Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
between the devil and the deep blue sea

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
by April Genevieve Tucholke
Publication Date: August 15, 2013

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.

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.

Wooooah! This book sounds so cool. Can you imagine falling in love with the devil? I feel like there would be so much insecurity in a relationship like that. I’m curious to know what “the deep blue sea” has to do with the story. Like, she lives next to sthe sea, but I wonder if it ends up tying into the story in some significant way. And take a look at that cover. I am too stoked for this book.