Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between #1) by April Genevieve Tucholke #bookreviews

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…12930909

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. – Goodreads.com

In looking over the other reviews for this book, readers seem to really love it or strongly dislike it, with very few reviews falling in the middle.  Well – I’m one of those readers in the middle.

The Southern gothic feel of this book is very enjoyable and the author did an excellent job of making me feel like I was actually a part of the setting.  The writing itself is exceptional and Violet’s description of life with her grandmother drew me into the story from the first page.

The odd and creepy occurrences around town and Vi’s neglected house on the cliff that holds some family secrets set the tone early in this story.  The author has created an interesting cast of eccentric, dangerous, loathsome, charismatic, maddening, and unusual characters, with equally unusual and amusing names.  Violet and her brother have been left in a somewhat unbelievable situation and if you can suspend disbelief and overlook some other questionable circumstances, it will aid you in enjoying the book a little more.

While some of these characters had their good points, they felt somewhat shallow to me and I questioned the ‘insta-love’ between Vi and River but, without giving anything away, certain details revealed later in the story might explain how that relationship progressed so quickly.  The biggest focus of the story was on the romance, and I was hoping more time would have been spent on the paranormal/horror aspects.

This was an enjoyable read that certainly held my attention and I plan on adding the second book in this series to my TBR pile.

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