Wednesday, 30 October 2013

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

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Dial Books (15 Aug 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0803738897 

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.

Cover:  A really great, gothic cover, that definitely suits the descriptions of the setting in this bok.

I picked this one up because I thought it would be a good read for October, a nice, gothic, slightly creepy tale for Halloween.  But I have to say I was disappointed.
I found it slow to start, it didn't really grab me.
I found the writing style that I had seen as described as gothic, and hauntingly beautiful, was just boring really.  And I found it I bit repetitive.  There's only so many times you can read, 'bad,bad,bad', 'dark,dark,dark', etc,etc,etc.  It was trying to be all tense, but I just didn't appreciate it.
I found the characters annoying and frustrating.  Violet- I didn't connect with her at all.  Her reactions were so nonsensical that I just rolled my eyes.  She knows River is a bad guy- one moment it's all 'I hate him.  He's evil.'  Then they get all snuggly.  Annnnnd repeat.
Her friend-but-not-really Sunshine was just pathetic.  'Guys like it when girls scare easy'.  Her whole philosphy was sickening to me.  I wouldn't say I'm a feminist, but it's CERTAIN she wasn't.

Something that really irritated me was the names of these characters.  I mean, seriously:

River West.  Violet White.  True White.  Sunshine Black.  Rose Redding.   Blue Hoffman.

Even typing them makes me want to vom.
It's as if she picked out names using the game of Twister.

The setting was fantastic.  A small town called Echo by the sea, old, crumbling mansions.  The old buildings had such atmosphere.  So the potential for that really gothic tale was there.  But it fell flat for me.  I didn't feel the tension.  Any horror.  Any scare factor.  Or creepiness.
Over all this was an ok read for me, and it would have been much better for me personally with different characters.
2.5/5 stars.

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