Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

betweenthedevilWritten by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was dark, twisted, and disturbing, yet I liked it. It is about a mysterious young stranger named River who rents a guest house behind Violet’s crumbling mansion, in a small coastal town called Echo. The new comer spikes Violet’s interest immediately, but then strange things begin to happen. Violet starts to wonder if she can trust this shadowy beautiful boy, whose eerie charm seems irresistible.

First off, I would like to note that this book contained swearing, some sexual content and violence so I definitely recommend it for high school age readers only. That being said, although the story become more alarming as I went along, it was also incredibly intriguing and unpredictable. The author planted false foreshadowing and threw in twists I never saw coming. The characters were engaging and sympathetic, and the love story, though terribly unhealthy, was understandable and didn’t dominate the entire plot.

The main character Violet was believable to me. She wasn’t delusional or stupid and just fell for River for no real apparent reason; he was more like a drug to her. She knew he was bad for her, she knew he was a manipulative liar, she even was angry and resisted him at times; yet, he had this certain charm that was alluring and addictive to her. River, on the other hand, was a very intense and interesting character. Yes, he has really serious issues and has done horrible things, yet despite this, was sympathetic.

This book was not a cheerful story. There was no happy ending, and love did not conquer all. It was dark and real, with deeply-flawed characters. Overall I liked it and would recommend it to the readers who like black and mysterious books.

Review by Shelby Boyd, Skyline High School Media Center
Rating: ★★★½✩ (3.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 9-12

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Written by April Genevieve Tucholke
Dial Books
360 pages
Release Date: August 15, 2013
ISBN: 9780803738898 (hardcover)

Categories: High School – Fiction
Tags: Fantasy, romance, horror

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