|Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea|
by April Genevieve Tucholke
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 Ricer just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violets 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. Before we get into all that serious reviewing stuff I have to tell a little story on my self here but I promise it is totally related! WARNING: the majority of this story is told in gifs that are made of pure awesomesauce! Ok, so when I went into Liberty Books to talk to the owner, Suzanne, about teaming up she graciously directed me to some nondescript boxes and explained that they were filled with Galleys and ARCs and invited me to take some home and read them...not just some 5-10 MINIMUM! That is when I began to inwardly loose my crap. I was seriously flipping out and dancing all over the place and screaming and singing and dancing some more, but I am supposed to be all professional and so I managed to keep it all inside my brain, it nearly killed me, but some how I did. So I sat down and began to literally dig (gently though) through these treasure chests and tried not to pee myself or cry out of utter joy and bliss. Through all of this my mom was sitting nearby chuckling because she could tell exactly what was going on inside and a little bit of my excitement was beginning to leak out in excessive uses of "OH. MY. GOSH." But I am proud to say that I was really doing a champ job of containing myself that is, until I saw this corner in the pile of an all too familiar gray ocean, peaking out and beckoning me. I literally froze and stopped breathing before digging it out of the stack to find it is exactly what I thought...I am holding Between the Devin and the Deep Blue Sea. That is when I lost it and just couldn't keep it inside. I must have looked a little something like this:
because my Mom came over to me and I whisper explained just what it was that I was holding that I had been waiting EONS for this book. Not even kidding. That was when I started hyperventilating and just freaking out spilling emotions all over the place while trying to be discrete about it. When I got home I freaked out some more and my mom tried to catch me crazy dancing all around the house something like this:
then combine that with a penguin and some hand movements that I can't even figure out how to describe and you would have exactly what I was doing. So, naturally, like any excited teenage girl what do I do? I called up my best friend and the only one that would understand. (She has been waiting for the book too and we just had a fangirl screaming conversation about it that week) And we had a conversation that went a lot like this:
Only I'm pretty sure I was the only one screaming and squealing and she was just sitting there doing this silently or maybe not silently I couldn't really hear her over the screaming I was doing mentally when I wasn't screaming audibly.
Anyways, as you can see I am very excited about this review and this is probably going to be the longest blog post in the history of Reader, Writer, Critic as well as the one containing the most gifs. Shout out thank you to Suzanne and everyone and Liberty Bay Books for making my day and to my Mom and Catherine for putting up with my insanity. Now for the review!
I was not disappointed. Not one bit. This book was every bit as awesome sauce as I expected. The writing had me hooked from the start. April's style is like nothing I have ever read and I find myself at a loss for words trying to describe it. I have thought about it for days. Vintage? Poetic? I settled for enchanting, unparalleled and intriguing. She describes things and looks at things in a way that I have never seen before. I think this is the best quote to show you what I'm talking about, "Dawn was taking off its clothes, kicking up its pinks and purples on the horizon."(p.103) That doesn't even do it justice, but I feel it is the best example. The only thing in the writing that bothered me was the occasional awkward phrase like on page 108, "I wondered where that beautiful, buttery, fluttery feeling I felt in River's presence had gotten itself off to." Gotten itself off to? What? But I cut some slack because it is an "uncorrected text" and it was just every once in a long while and it didn't take away from the story. I loved the way April wrote her characters, especially Violet. Often in paranormal books and genres where the inexpiable or dramatic or romantic or otherworldly occurs characters are far to quick to accept it without a doubt or fear or any hint of disbelief or distrust and that really REALLY bothers me. Violet was refreshingly realistic about the whole situation especially her quickly developed feelings for River. That made me love her even more than I already did. Violet was just all around refreshing really. She was quirky and eccentric in a lovable way without it seeming forced or fake. She had a very real personality. The majority of the characters had the same realism despite them all having such different personalities. All the characters are utterly charming despite some of them being a little more rough around the edges. Readers will have no problem connecting. The only problem I had was that the way that the synopsis portrays River very differently from how the book describes and portrays him from start to finish. Maybe that was just me but either way the synopsis, the story, and River were phenomenal. The story line was fresh and original and thoroughly interesting and entertaining. The plot was nicely paced and will keep readers guessing until the shocking end! I say it is undeniably a MUST read for all teen and YA readers that love a chilling, thrilling and romantic read! 5 out of 5 stars. So, pre-order it or buy it as soon as it comes out on August 15th. You can buy it through Liberty Bay Books and get a great deal while contributing to making this blog awesome by clicking on the caption under the book title "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." Add it to your Goodreads!