Monday, September 2, 2013

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

Two Stars

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.

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.

This book was like Alisa Bait. Pretty cover? Check. Interesting premise? Check. So much hype? Check.  Good quotes? Check. Rejection from Netgalley so I had to wait until the release date, heightening anticipation? Check.

Too bad it completely screwed up.

I was wary of reading this book after Khanh's review. She had good taste; I shouldn't touch that book. She didn't like the Fever series; never mind. And then I decided to be an idiot and pick the book up. But how can you blame me? Look at that cover!

There is a good thing about this book, though. The writing is beautiful. It doesn't actually do anything, but it well crafted. The old house seems to be a living part of the story, but other than that, there was nothing.

There was so much potential in this novel. I mean, it'd easily be gothic, mysterious, haunting, beautiful, and terrifying. If it didn't take over half the book to get to the plot. I'm fine with slow paced books- sometimes they end up amazing- but the plot was just so unimaginative and forgetful.

I said that the house was creatively imagined. But that was the only thing in this world that was well-described. Other than that, the town and the people were described minimally..

The worst part about Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea were the characters. River's clearly a psychopath; he gets off on people's fear, Violet's just idiotic, and her brother is a sexist pig. It'd be alright if there was this magical thing called character development, but no. The characters just stay the exact same throughout the entire book.

This was used twice, but it really got me annoyed. River's hips are described as "panther hips". First, no one notices hips. Second, say you have some hip fetish, why would you describe them as some animal?

And the insta- love! It's like, you have a glimpse of a guy and all of a sudden, you and him are insanely and unoriginally in love. And you ignore the fact that he's clearly a psychopath!

There are no parents here. But at least there's a sort of legit reason for them being gone. But how are their children supposed to pay for everything?

Slut Shaming is everywhere here. Violet's friend constantly is spoken about like the only thing that makes her who she is, is only her breasts.

There were so many opportunities for this book to be spectacular, but it failed at almost every turn. I will read the next book though, because I want to see if it'll get better. It probably won't, but one can hope.

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