Thursday, September 19, 2013

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1)3 out of 5 Robots!

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release: August 15, 2013
Hardcover: 360 Pages
Publisher: Dial
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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.
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
I feel like I am missing something.  After I read the last page, I just kind of sat there staring at the book feeling like I missed a punchline or something.  I can't quite tell if Tucholke meant for me to read into the story or if I am supposed to take it at face value.

First, let me back and say that the parts does well, it does really well.  I definitely got the gothic horror feeling.  It was very atmospheric and tense.  There were some very creepy moments and some very disturbing moments.  I thought those parts were done excellently.  The ending especially is crazy pants and not at all what I expected.

But the focus of the book is really on Violet and her relationship with River.  And I just don't know what to make of it.  Violet finds out some very disturbing things about River, but instead of running far, far away, she keeps coming back for more.  There is some explanation given as to why she keeps going back and that she may not be completely in control of her own senses, but from a reader standpoint I found the whole situation incredibly frustrating.  Especially when she even SAYS she needs to get away.  I can't tell you how many times she says something along the lines of "I knew he was bad.  I knew I should leave.  But then I looked at him...and I didn't care."  I just can't get behind a book where the protagonist willfully explains away psychotic behavior. Which is why I was wondering if I am truly to take this relationship at face value.  Maybe it is metaphor for addiction?  I don't know.  I just know by the end of the book I basically just gave up on Violet.  Good luck with your sociopathic boyfriend, Violet, because I'm out.

This book really lands somewhere between a 2.5 and 3.0 for me, I'm ultimately giving it three robots.  I'm fairly put off by Violet and River's relationship, but I'm adding points for the gothic horror-ness of it all.  Like I said, I DID like the creepy, disturbing events and the atmospheric quality.  I could totally see this being made into a movie a la The Good Son.  

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