Book Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke Book Cover


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.

Book Details

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Series #1
Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Published Aug 15th 2013 by Dial
Hardcover, 360 Pages
Source: Bought
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Books in the Series


Book Review

Between the Devil And The Deep Blue Sea is rich, dark and compelling, it literally romances you with its seductive words. It embodies all that new Gothic Romance should be perfectly.

The author April Genevieve Tucholke has created a thrilling story that combines elements of both spine-tingling horror and a timeless romance. The Gothic setting is so atmospheric that you will feel the salt spray and hear the creaks of old Citizen Kane, you’ll know that something Other has walked into Violet White’s world and his name is River West.

Like all good Gothic stories, the setting of the story is as much of a character as any person. The fanciful and dilapidated estate of Citizen Kane perched on top of a cliff and the raging Atlantic Ocean crashing beneath lends a perfect background for the story to unfold. The Town of Echo holds many surprises too, it’s history and inhabitants also have their secrets. April Genevieve Tucholke does not hold back when it comes to the element of supernatural horror to keep you delightfully frightened. There’s plenty of dark shadows and mysterious things going on, but what sets this story apart from many is that Between the Devil And The Deep Blue Sea delivers something behind all that. The author not only takes you slowly up to that door you know you should not open but cracks it wide enough for you to see what’s behind. I LOVED IT.

"You Stop Fearing the Devil when you're holding his hand." 

Violet lives with her twin brother Luke on their families Seaside manor, Citizen Kane. Their artist parents are traveling the European countryside on an endless quest for painterly inspiration. When funds begin to run low, Violet decides to rent out the guesthouse, never knowing that her life was about to change forever when River West, a mysterious seventeen-year-old, rents the guest house.

Suddenly strange and eerie events begin to happen in the town of Echo and at Citizen Kane. Violet can't help but wonder if her grandmother's warnings about the Devil are somehow related to River. Has evil come to Citizen Kane in the handsome and charming form of River West?

Violet is odd and quirky, a teen with an “Old Soul.”  More at home in the disrepair and old world surroundings of Citizen Kane, she rather read books than socialize with other teens. I loved the wonderfully eccentric and sweetness about Violet, how she likes to dress in her grandmother's vintage clothes and uses odd, awkward phrases without thinking.

River is the mysterious stranger that walks into Violet's life. Darkly handsome and charming, he attracts Violet with his wild and carefree ways. An anti-hero, one that Violet knows she should not trust, but can't help but be fascinated by and attracted to.

The author did a great job of keeping me guessing about River's nature, never knowing just how much he could be trusted. I was constantly questioning the evil that seems to follow him.  

The Romance between Violet and River was dark, compelling, and definitely Gothic in flavor. I loved how the author kept me intrigued and even repelled at times, knowing that something dark and deadly was brewing just below the surface of this romance. With River being an "Anti-hero", I never knew just how much he could be trusted. The romance entices you even though it at times it scares the pants off of you.

In the End

With its rich atmosphere, lush writing, and foreboding tone, Between the Devil And The Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke, is perfect for lovers of Gothic Romance.