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

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Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

 Series: Between (#1)

 Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

 Genre: Paranormal romance, horror

 Rating: ★★★¾

 In short: a haunting atmosphere and setting, and a nice enough story—enough to satisfy, but not really the kind that leaves you wanting more…

Goodreads: 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.

This book suffers from a case of Misinforming Blurb. Somehow, my idea of the book was a lot darker and fast-paced than it actually was—not that being slow was a bad thing. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea had a really well-written setting. I love reading about sleepy, lonely towns—HENRIETTA. HENRIETTA. (the one from Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle)and I thought that was portrayed well, but also, it sort of lacked energy. Maybe comparing Echo to Henrietta is unfair, because I love Henrietta, but Echo was just sleepy. I didn’t feel the undercurrent I was expecting.

As for characters…I think the good thing about these characters is that though they’re fairly generic, they’re still written quirkily enough for them to be likeable. The main character, Violet, is a typical deep and profound heroine and though I usually don’t like deep and profound heroines, Violet was pleasant enough. River was interesting, but not as dangerous as I hoped expected. And then, of course, there’s the friend-who’s-a-‘slut’, which is everyone’s favourite YA trope. Not. I think this book gives you enough, but not more, and that’s where it’s a let-down.

I think the story itself was a really interesting concept and it was written great too, but the ending was what disappointed me the most. Maybe I was just really hoping River would turn out to be bad, because how often is it that we get a plausible bad boy—good girl romance, with an actual bad boy? The bad boys of YA turn out to nurse some deep, heartbreaking past. Why can’t they just be bad, simple as that?

All the same, I will be waiting for the next book in the Between series.

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