2nd Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April G. Tucholke

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Series: Between, #1
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: April 3rd, 2014 (Originally published on August 15th, 2013)
Source: Provided by Publisher via Netgalley

18522831Goodreads 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.




Disappointment can’t begin to describe what I feel about this book.I had been expecting to read this for months before it even released thanks to my Kindle. Like Shakespeare wrote, expectation is the root of all heartache, and damn this book has made me doubt of what books to read in the future when I can’t even predict if I’ll like them or not.

Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea, other than being one heck of a mouthful, has a feel to it while reading like that of a cheap parody of the movie Dark Shadows with Johnny Deep, which I didn’t even finished (the movie) because I consider my time preciously valuable. The book held the promise of horror into it but it was definitely not there, replaced by the most ridiculous amount of insta love you can imagine in Young Adult literature. I’ll read the whole Twilight Saga again instead of this single book. I hate that people hate on Twilight when there are books much, much worse and Twilight is like paradise when compared.

The horror and goth in this book felt like it was strategically placed here and there just to let the reader know that they were reading that, because surely they will have forgotten with the big amounts of fuzziness and infatuation of the main character, Violet, and River.

And whose fault is that this book went to waste? The main narrator aka Violet White. Let’s grace her with a round of applause at her marvelous performance as a character!

I hate her in a way you can’t imagine. Hate is a strong emotion and a bit wrong, but I don’t have that restrain with Violet. She was like a walking paradox! She slut shamed her own best and only friend. Anything her friend did, how she dressed, everything about her screamed “I’m a worthless uneducated slut who just wants to bang your twin brother.” If I were to wear dresses and had cleavage, well, why not show some of it? If I were that confident of myself I would and that wouldn’t made me a slut! It’s my body and I should feel proud of it. Also, oh Lord, no one, not a single blessed soul in this book is as smart and a snobby know-it-all like our precious Violet! Why yes, I have read William Faulkner and other people you oh so eloquently mention a lot; this is not a promotional book of other authors where you can puff like a peacock to show that you know more than others.

Luke (her twin brother): “Faust. We all know you’re a smug bookworm, sister. Stop showing off.”

And HOW, how can someone be that smart and stupid at once?! Common sense went on a stroll and never came back when Violet was born because she lacks any quantity, however small, of it. We’re told she’s smart and all, but all she knows are names of authors because in the face of all that happens in this book, she’s one dumb cookie. If you’re renting a guesthouse you definitely don’t ask for ID. If a guy who you barely met 24 hours ago is lying to you at every moment, of course you’ll trust in him, specially when you know he’s doing things he’s not supposed to do. Of course not! You fall in love with said person who can be the end of you, because you feel an instant connection to him and he could be your soul mate. *gags*

She was also so very creepy in a non-enjoyable way. Which makes me think she was indeed crazy at the core to do what I mentioned above and now this. Her grandmother died, the closest thing to her. I understand and would have probably done the same as her as to wear her same clothes. Nothing bad to it, to an extent. She’s the spit image of her grandmother. She dresses like her, sleeps in her same room, even takes as being like her a bit too far! There’s no problem to some of that, but there’s a limit in remembering your loved ones and obsessing so much about them like Violet does.

My other problem with this book was River. Gosh I detested him! He was a manipulator, a liar, a killer, a danger to everyone, and did I mention he’s like an angel fallen from the Heavens to bless Violet’s boring life? Because he is so hot, smooth, mischievous, I am obviously falling head over heels for him. The quantities of insta love in this book is so unhealthy, young teens shouldn’t even read this so as to keep their developing minds in the safe side of common sense.

For Violet being a smart girl, she sure was manipulated easily, didn’t even thought about anything at all! If River said something, well, she’ll do it just because it sounds logical and reasonable, a contrast to what it really is.

The other characters are just there to make Violet and River look like the brainy saints in a sea of ignorant humans on heat of the matting season. God forbid Violet ever behave like her best friend only because she likes to flirt and wear dresses. Her twin brother, oh Lord, he’s just a player looking for a good time because he’s flirting with a girl and says comments like that. Obviously some guys just like to mess around and say those things even if they won’t actually do them, but Violet takes everything too seriously. Everyone, absolutely everyone is there to make a contrast of Violet and River, with the excess quantities of slut shaming and lack of personality.

Just me with all this…

I was starting to like this book a bit more by the end when things FINALLY began to look good with a mystery. But that barely lasted a few pages. Gosh I hated that. It was getting so good, I was eager to finish it and see what it was all about, but Violet pulled a Bella moment with doing something stupid and fainting in the middle of the best part, making all cataplum to nothing. If you asked someone who’s had sex how it is, it’d probably be like reaching a climax and then being thrown in a frozen lake to die. That’s how the end felt to me.

Basically, please do yourself a favor and don’t read this book unless you want a distaste in your mouth once you start it. I know maybe the author didn’t mean it in that way, but I just couldn’t like this book at all. Even with all I detested, I am still curious of the next book to see if it gets any better and give the characters another chance. If you are going to read this, don’t have any expectation and if your mind says to stop reading, do it. Don’t be like me that I read it all.

Rating: 1.5 stars


did not like it


Because both Marianne and I were going to rant of this book in our reviews, we didn’t want to make the post too big for you guys. To check out Marianne’s review, click here!


13 thoughts on “2nd Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April G. Tucholke

  1. I had to go back and look at my review because I remember enjoying this book. It’s been a long time though. I am sorry you didn’t like it. I actually liked it. Not love, but liked.


    1. That’s alright! I totally understand what you mean. The same has happened with books I’ve read and loved but Marianne, my coblogger, doesn’t. Sometimes it’s that I hate some things but others love it for those too. Sorry for my harsh review though! There was no other way to put it. Still, Im glad you enjoyed it at least 😀


    1. That’s probably for the best xD But I admit, I was masochistic cos Marianne told me it was horrible before starting it but I read it nonetheless.


  2. Ohhhh my gosh I laughed SO HARD. That last GIF yesssss (I love that movie too) but I’m officially crossing this off my want-to-read list. *sigh* I’ve only seen dodgy reviews for it and the reasons I’m already agreeing with. Frankly, there’s too many books to read to bother with dodgy ones like this. What the heck, though, River??! That’s not a cool dude to hang out with… No.


  3. Can not get over how perfect these gifs are. I can stare at the first one for ages and it still makes me laugh xD I DNFed this one because of all the cliche ness and I totally agree about the characters. So frustrating! And heck yes, there are so many books worse than Twilight. *shudder*


    1. I love those gifs so much ❤ I even have a file full of them for ocassions like this xD and yes, unfortunately, not all books can be good and are much, much worse then some u.u


  4. There were things that I did like about this book. The creepy mob mentality that the kids had when they were staking out the cemetary and the creepy manipulation thing that River had going on. Other than that I really wasn’t a fan of this book. There was too much instalove and characters that I just wanted to destroy. I feel like the author really could have done so much more with this novel.


    1. I feel the same. And now that you mention it, I also liked a bit that scene, so not expected and creepy. I’m hoping that maybe by the second book it can get a bit better, maybe Violet will know it was an infatuation and decide to do something better. Who knows.


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