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
I am pleasantly surprised after reading Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. If you read any of my blog then you know I crave a dark beautiful story that doesn’t make me wanna yak. I have been having a hard time with YA as of late, they all feel like carbon copies of each other and I have had more DNF books this year then every before in my life.
With this said…I really enjoyed this book. Let me starts with the good points.
1)The characters- they are interesting, flushed out, unique and their personalities are all different and well written. The heroine is a Mary Sue, but not in a way that made me wanna punch her, more in that she kind of HAD to be for the story to work. Each character had a life of their own, interests, family…spark…Even Freddie the dead grandmother who Violet(the heroine) talks about all the time, it feels like she is a character you interact with as much as say… River(the hero…kind of)
2) The back drop- the descriptions of Echo(the town) and Violet and Luke’s house Citizen Kane were awesome. I could have read so much more about the house and the people who lived in the town.
3) The plot- I found the plot engaging, there was a twist at the end and you spend a lot of time loving and hating River, being intrigued by the fact that the actual story is hidden between the fun and not so normal habits of kids who have been ditched by their parents for the summer. Now add magic, fear and yes a bit of sexual innuendo (and an almost sex scene which I LOVE in YA) and BAM. A book I read in the course of a day.
4) River and Violet- They have what I consider a bit of an nontraditional YA insta love. They never actual say they love each other and a lot of their relationship is mystique and physical, which honestly is more how teenagers really are. Someone is gonna bitch about certain “unhealthy relationship” aspects. I beg of you to see past this and take the story for what it is…a story. River HAS to be like that for the character and the story to work. Also I found Violet’s response to him to be more believable then say…When a certain someone discovers a vampire stalking her while she sleeps.
Bella Swan cough cough
Now here are the reasons this is getting four stars instead of five.
1)The pacing- the story starts out slow and languid, which I didn't mind; it truly worked for the authors writing. Then towards the end it sped way the heck up and then ended with kind of a Laurel K Hamilton wrap up, moral of the story BS.
2)Suspending the Disbelief- OK this might just be me…However, I can suspend reality to believe in vampires, magic, ghosts etc..etc… However parents who ditch their 17 year old kids for like six months to go to Paris, and in all that time are basically AWOL with no phone calls, letters, post cards, nothing, is ridiculous. EVERYONE in town knows they have basically been abandoned and even after an emergency when the police are called there is NO mention of social services…. Sorry it felt a little too much like the author needed some reason why Luke and Violet could spend months doing whatever they wanted with no parents. She should have just upped their age by a year and made them orphans.
3)Cop Out- the whole point of this book was that River is supposed to be evil or kind of evil…dark. I felt like the author decided not to deal with this in a real way in the end, turning River into someone that might eventually become a hero. While instead she should have toyed with the anti-hero possibility. I don’t want good guy River…I want him to stay deliciously tormented and dark. You can still love someone like that; it still makes for good… well theatre I guess. Look at Lestat.
If there is a sequel I will be buying it. I had a good time reading this book.