Series: Between #1
on August 15, 2013
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
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 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.
~ Every once and a while a book comes along that just seems like it was written with you in mind. This was one of those books for me. I really felt like Tucholke was presenting me with a gift.
~ This book is filled to the brim with atmosphere, from the crumbling mansion by the sea called Citizen Cane, to Violet wearing her grandmother’s clothes and little children playing in the cemetery. I wanted to crawl into this book at times, and crawl away in fear at other times.
~ Although this book suffers from the Absent and Neglectful Parent Syndrome found in so many YA books, it didn’t bother me in the least. There would be no napping with sexy boys in the kitchen if the parental units were around. I don’t care how liberal and artsy they are.
~ Once wealthy, what remains of their family fortune is now being spent by their parents in Europe, so Vivian decides to rent out the guesthouse. I’m actually fairly impressed with her initiative, but I guess not have money for food and electricity is a good motivator.
~ Luke and Sunshine’s relationship both made me angry, because I totally agreed with Violet that it was kind of wrong, but on the same token, it felt very realistic for the type of people they are.
~ I love that Sunshine’s hope is filled with books and that her parents are librarians. Sadly, Sunshine is not the book nerd Violet and I are!
~ After Sunshine and River come back from a dark, supposedly haunted, cave, Sunshine’s version of what she saw gave me the shivers.
~ I like that River is mysterious without acting like a snobdouche. He’s fun and flirty and says impossible things. He has flashes of temper, but he’s not broody and “I’m too dangerous to date you”. I’m tired of YA bad boys backing away from the innocent heroine, I like that River is the pursuer here.
~ Violet and River go grocery shopping, and this may sound silly, but I was charmed by the way they shopped. You’ll just have to read the book yourself to understand what I mean.
~ Oh, my. I want to take a nap on a couch in a kitchen… with River.
~ Along with napping, River chases away bullies and shows kids proper yoyo technique. He is my newest book boyfriend, so the rest of you may read but keep your hands off him! 😉
~ Violet and River visit a cemetery at night and my midnight heart swoons!
~ I love the imagery of the kids patrolling the cemetery with twig crosses and homemade stakes, on the look out of the red-glowing eyed devil.
~ Oh, Jack. This little, serious, red-headed boy kind of stole my heart. He’s also a little leader of the kids trying to track down the devil.
~ Mysterious disappearances begin to occur, and nearby towns are have strange incidents.
~ Honestly, the entire time I was reading this book, it was enfolding in my mind like some kind of gothic horror movie. This book completely captivated my dark imagination without being weighed down by lengthy descriptions and heavy-handed dialogue. As much as I love scary books, it’s rare that I get this sucked in.
~ River cooks and I no longer care if he might be a devil. Seriously, don’t care.
~ Violet searches the house at night, hoping to find some undiscovered item that once belonged to Freddie. In a way, Violet is the one haunting the Citizen.
~ I adore Violet, she feels so familiar, as if I’d be her if I’d grown up in a crumbling mansion by the sea.
~ There’s a lot going on in this book, but it never felt like too much, and it never felt (to me, at least) as if things came out of nowhere. I really felt the author did an amazing job of leaving clues and weaving stories together. From the history of the Glenships, to Freddie’s scandalous past, I was hooked.
~ Other things in this book that I loved: cemetery crypts, bonfires at the beach, playing dress-up in huge attics, Violet’s lecture on poisoning someone, adorable, creepy kids, River, his brother, Ouija boards and ghosts and things that go bump in the night.
~ And just when I thought I hated Luke I find that he’s converted his grandfather’s study into a bedroom, which sounds so cool that I am filled with envy of a fictional character.
~ Honestly, ya’ll, I took notes for days about this book, and I could go on and on, but I probably need to stop here.
~ My only complaint with the book is a particular character that seems perhaps a little too crazy… but honestly, it’s a minor complaint and it will not stop me from devouring the rest of this series. Some people might find fault with her making certain… allowances… for River, but to me they made a weird kind of sense. It’s one thing to know what you should do and then actually doing the right thing.
~ I also pre-ordered this book so that I can re-read it again during October’s readathon!
Violet- the book nerd heroine I’ve been waiting for!
Luke- Violet’s snobby brother, but he can paint.
River- mysterious new arrival in town, rents guest house from Violet and Luke.
Sunshine- Violet’s friend and Luke’s plaything.
Freddie- despite being dead, Violet’s grandmother is very much alive in V’s memories and heart.
Blue Hoffman- legendary boogey man.
Daniel Leap- town drunk who is not a fan of Violet’s family
Gianni- gorgeous boy, his parents own the cafe and pizza shop.
Jack- red headed serious boy, yoyo playing, twig and stake carrier.
Neely- River’s awesome brother, full name Cornelius. I’d go by Neely too, wouldn’t you?
The moment that most horrified me and scared me was what Sunshine’s parents do towards the end of the book. I really can’t say anymore without spoiling it, but my stomach dropped when I read that scene.
Also, when River says this (I usually don’t quote from ARC’s, so I apologize if this doesn’t make it into the finished copy. It should.):
“Well, I like strange. People aren’t as strange as you want them to be. We’re all pretty weird as kids and then we grow up and …”
Stop The Clock:
This will go down as one of my favorite reads of 2013 without a doubt. Do I think you should read this? Yes! But maybe not if you’re like Joey from friends and you have to put scary books in the freezer.
Andrea Genevieve Tucholke— Website | April Tucholke
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea gets a Midnight Book Rating of: