I received this book for free from ARC Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Between #1
Published by Dial on August 15th 2013
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Paranormal
Source: ARC Tour
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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.
Admittedly, the reason I wanted to read this book the most was because when I see the words romance and Devil in the same synopsis, I expect a forbidden type love with the ultimate bad boy, which is something that intrigues me beyond belief. Oh there is definitely a bad boy in Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, but there is so much more to this story than just that!
Violet, along with her twin brother Luke, are living in a broken down estate on the edge of a cliff above the sea. Alone, due to their parents and their neglectful trips out of the country to work on their art, these two find themselves in desperate need of money for food and supplies for their home. Vi places an ad out for someone to rent out their guesthouse, but she never expected who showed up at her door, cash in hand, needing a place to stay.
River is the Devil in disguise, or so it seems. He breezes into Violet’s life with a classic grace and beauty, but mysterious, oh so mysterious. River has perfected the art of persuasion and charm, but also deflection, choosing to keep the details of his life a secret. River is the ultimate lying liar who lies, basically. You cannot trust a single word that comes out of the boy’s mouth. But there is something about him that draws Violet’s affection. They hit it off, quickly, and even though it sorta kinda bugged me, it also added to the mysterious presence River had in this story because I wasn’t entirely sure Violet was falling for him on her own or if he was somehow influencing her. I found myself hoping that it was his influence, because otherwise, I could not fathom her attraction to this boy, due to the horrible things he has done/does do. Because of this affect on her, it was hard to really get a strong grasp on my feelings for Violet. I wasn’t sure if she was being super naive or what. I kept yelling at her, “DANGER, DANGER!” Sometimes she had a firm grasp on how crazy things were and wasn’t totally oblivious and other times I wanted to hit her to snap her out of the spell River so easily cast upon her…
There were some really great secondary characters. Luke, her twin brother, ugh he was a total jackass. But I could not find it in me to hate him, ever. He was the full of himself, obsessed with girls type. They fought and annoyed each other, like siblings do, but there was a softer side that truly cared for his sister and missed his family. Their deceased grandmother, Freddie, had quite the presence in the plot, even though she was dead. Violet was always thinking of her, wearing her old clothes, and was even obsessed with finding old letters she may have left behind in the house. Jack, Neely and Sunshine were also really well placed characters that added to the plot in ways that left me suspicious, laughing and nervous. My emotions were truly all over the place with this book, I tell ya!
I’m going to be really vague about the plot here because there is quite the mystery of events that led to some true shock factor moments that cannot be spoiled. Some things were obvious and some things came completely out of left field, leaving me with my jaw dropped. Do not ignore the word ‘horror’ in the synopsis, because it is there. There are murders, lot of murders, as well as creepy kids with homemade stakes who like to hang in the cemetery. And so much more than that. But it’s crazy exciting and definitely one to be checked out! I find myself shaking with nerves and anticipation for what the sequel, Between the Spark and the Burn, will bring!
And I prayed to Freddie about the Devil. I asked her to keep my hand out of his. I asked her to keep me safe from evil.
But for all my praying, the Devil still found me.