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

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between #1)
by April Genevieve Tucholke
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.

Source: I purchased a paperback

Add to Goodreads


Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is one of those books I kept touching and putting back and touching and putting back at the bookstore. The cover is gorgeous, the story sounded dark and twisted, and the title was so poetic. I didn’t want to buy a hardcover because of the price, so I finally snatched it up once I saw the paperback at my local Barnes and Noble.

How do I begin? The book was written well, but simplistically. As far as the way the narration unfolded, it could fit in the Middle Grade category. Which is fine, since I do enjoy Middle Grade fiction, but the plot was very much romance based and not really appropriate for younger readers. Violet struggled with her feelings for River. For the first time, she felt understood and like she belonged, plus she was feeling a slew of other emotions she couldn’t figure out. Literally the entire plot is about Violet’s feelings for River and their interactions were much too advanced for any kind of Middle Grade fiction novel. It wasn’t anything too far fetched for YA, but I didn’t feel like I was reading a YA novel.

Even though the plot of the novel was romance based and the main character’s focus was on River, the love interest, it was an awesome novel. Suddenly, strange things were happening in the town of Echo and River was somehow a part of it. He was dark, mysterious, and the things he was making Violet feel were just as dark and mysterious. I loved their chemistry and the way Violet struggled with her emotions. I loved the additional characters that came about later on the book. I couldn’t stand Luke or Sunshine, but the way Violet felt about them helped the reader get a grasp of Violet herself.

Once I got used to the simplistic writing, I devoured the novel. I loved it, loved River and Violet, and loved the infusion of dark magic. I almost one clicked the sequel, but then I had to go to work. And once I got to work and had some time to mull it over, I realized it wasn’t a big deal to read the sequel and I’d rather not spend the $10 on the kindle version. I'm curious, but not enough to buy the sequel.

The plot was great, the characters had potential, but I wish the novel was written for adults. I wish the writing was more complicated, the characters older, and the exploration of feelings more explored. As a MG/YA novel, it didn’t make much sense and didn’t resonate with me as much as it could have. However, I would still recommend the book, I don’t regret my purchase, and my finger my end up clicking that Buy button for the sequel.


Labels: , ,