Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke


What a shame. That such a beautiful cover encircles such a disappointment of a book.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea follows Violet White, who lives with her only brother in a run-down mansion by the sea. While she was growing up, her family had money and lots of it. But now it's all gone and her parents are off gallivanting in Europe, spending what little they have left. So Violet decides to rent out the guesthouse, hoping to get enough money for food. Enter, River West, the renter. As soon as they meet, Violet is inexplicably drawn to him. But then weird things begin to happen in this sleepy town. Children claim the Devil kidnapped a little girl and a man suddenly slits his throat in the middle of town. And it seems like River is involved. But how?

I had approximately 36794 problems with this book, but I had two big ones:

1. Violet: She was an idiot. This fact became increasingly obvious as the story continued, but even the start of the whole plot centers around it: she decided to rent a guesthouse to a stranger. You are an unsupervised/protected teenager and you are going to rent out the space that's twenty feet from where you live--a place where you never lock the doors? Are you asking to get murdered? And like I said, that was just the tip of the iceberg. The more you she got to know River and what he was capable of, the faster she should have run away. But she stuck around, all doe-eyed and willing to make it work.

2. The Romance: It felt like an abusive relationship. He would do these terrible things and she would promise herself that she would never touch him or speak to him again and he would promise he wouldn't do anything bad again; but then five minutes later she forgot about all that and was hopping into bed with him and he was doing terrible things again. What the hell? And he tried to use some Peeta romance on her, claiming that he didn't have any nightmares when she was with him, but it wasn't romantic like it should have been because, ya know, HE WAS A PSYCHOPATH! Well, not technically. But to avoid spoilers, let's just say that he knew he was cruel and evil and didn't care at all.

I did like the writing most of the time. It was quite beautiful. However, it would have made more sense if it was third person. And the writing style made the story feel like it was set in the 1950's instead of modern day. I understand that it was meant to feel like a Gothic story, because it was one, but it ended up dating the narration a lot. The style also constantly made me feel creeped out even when nothing scary was going on--which, I think was the point, but it didn't do it every successfully because the conclusion wasn't very creepy. Just kinda screwed up.

In the end, all I can say is that this book wasn't what I had hoped.

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