Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Genre: Gothic, Horror, Magical Realism
Publication Date: August 15, 2013
Source: Print ARC via the publisher
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 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.
☆: 5/5 stars – WOW. Beautiful and dark and horrifying and perfect
It took an hour of fangirlish screaming for me to get it all out of my system and write this fangirlish, scream-devoid review. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is hard to put words to, but what words I can pull together into a review are nothing put positive. The rest of 2013 is going to have to work hard if it wants to top this as the best novel I’ve read so far in 2013.
Though Violet lets a few things River did to her slide when it seems unusual for her to do so, she’s got a strong head on her shoulders and she’s not afraid to ask River directly if he’s causing the changes within Echo. There’s not a lot she lets slip by her, but she’s got this sweet naivete going on too. That naivete and River’s gift are how she “lets” him get away with what he does for so long and how she makes the same mistakes over and over again. Why else would a straightforward, no-nonsense girl like Violet let a blatant liar like River stay around as long as she does? It takes the entire book for some of his lies to unravel, and it’s delicious to watch every single one of them go.
River. Oh, River. He messes with Violet’s head so easily and it’s hard not to ask if he’s pulling the same trick on our minds through the pages. It’s the only explanation when the guy you’re swooning over is basically a serial killer. (What do I mean? Got a secret, I will keep it, swear this one I’ll save~…) He’s hardly the Devil like it’s implied, but he’s far from being a good boy or God. He’s more like a demon. Or maybe he’s exactly what he is: a boy with a crooked moral compass and powers too great for him to handle.
The jacket copy is almost inaccurate and doesn’t begin to cover all the layers of this novel and what’s going on as Echo starts to fall apart post-River, but the twists and turns and truth are all too precious for me to reveal. It’s something you’ll have to see for yourself! People burning witches, furry-toothed men, illusions everywhere, dead bodies galore, brothers who may or may not be good, and so much more are what you’ll find if you give Devil a try.
Between the Spark and the Burn, the sequel scheduled for fall 2014, is sure to be one hell of a ride and I’ll be anxiously awaiting it as I clutch Devil and reread my favorite bits. Fans of magical realism and Gothic horror? You need this like your lungs need air.