Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Release Date: 15th August 2013
Rating: 4 out of 5
Description: 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.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a little book of horrors. It all begins with an ancient crumbling estate set on a cliff by the sea, with an eccentrically strange girl and The Devil. This book is terrifying and messes with your mind. Mark my words it is dark. But at the same time, this book is mesmerising and completely takes you in. This book is bound to make an impact. It’s not for everyone, but I sure did enjoy its evil ways.
Violet and her twin brother Luke live in the small town of Echo, in a massive decrepit estate on a cliff by the sea. Their parents have abandoned them to travel around Europe. To make ends meet, Violet rents out the guesthouse to the mysterious River West. From the moment River arrives in town, strange occurrences happen. Soon, rumors of The Devil are whispered around and begin to haunt Violet. Rivers presence also dredges up old family secrets. Secrets that haunted Violet’s grandmother and secrets that will haunt Violet as well.
The story is very disconcerting to read. But there is a certain quality about the book that makes you keep reading despite all of its crazy. Its creeps up on you. April Tucholke is able to invoke vivid images with her words. Her writing is evocative and fresh at the same time. The words capture your imagination and plunge you into the darkest parts of your mind. As you keep reading, you learn that there is no end to the lengths these characters will go to. Everyone suffers in the end. This story exposes the darker sides of human conscience. The characters in this book believe that they operate in the grey area when in reality they have firmly crossed the line into black. The book also explores the different levels of evil.
The setting of this book adds greatly to the mood of this book. The town of Echo itself wasn’t a wholesome small town full of friendly people. This town was filled with urban legends of cannibals, town drunks and unstable murderers. There is even a witch-hunt and children who hunt The Devil.
I didn't like any of the characters in this book, even though a few of them had redeemable qualities. Violet’s a bit morbid and eccentric. She’s a very lonely girl that has been left behind by those she loves. Luke’s a bully and a sexist, but if you look close enough you can see that he loves his sister. Violet’s only friend Sunshine is a doe eyed boy crazed girl. River is bad news. I do not condone any of their actions but I wanted to see how big a hole they would dig themselves into. They were all ambiguous characters. These characters were also quick to forgive the heinous crimes that occur in this book, and I found that very troubling, I would love to see how the consequences of their actions affect them in the sequel.
I definitely recommend this book for those who would like to read something darker. A very haunting read full of ambiguous characters and The Devil himself. I hope I never encounter the crazy.