Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Image from Goodreads
Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Series: Between #1
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: 3 April 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads
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 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? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who likes coffee and who kisses you in a cemetery… 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 Gothic horror and romance story about a seventeen year old girl called Violet White. Violet and her twin brother Luke live together without their parents. Their parents went off to Europe to look for an inspiration for their art, leaving the siblings on their own with no money. To earn money, Violet decides to rent the guest house behind the estate. The man who goes to live there is called River West. After he arrives, strange things begin to happen. River is also seventeen and he falls in love with Violet. Violet feels that the strange things are linked to River and she wants to know if they are.
The synopsis and book catch your attention straight away. I thought the entire main plot was given away in the summary but it wasn’t. The summary does however cover the first half of the book by giving you a brief explanation of what happens.
I loved the characters in the book. Violet is very quirky and a shy person who enjoys wearing her grandmother’s old clothes. Although she is very quiet, her confidence is shown throughout the story. River West is a very sly and mysterious character. He is full of secrets that make you want to uncover them. River confesses to having many secrets but, he doesn’t explain them until later on. One of the reasons that The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a compelling read is due to the drive to uncover River’s secrets..
At the beginning, I felt that the significant parts of the plot were being told too quickly. This also meant that the parts that I felt were not as important were told too slowly, causing a discrepancy in the flow of the story. After a few chapters, the pacing settled into a smooth flow.
The plot is very well written and very well thought about. While I was reading, I felt parts of the plot would be predictable. The author leads you onto a state of complacency with the deceptively predictable plot, you think you have figured out quickly. However, near the end there is a huge twist. The twist changes everything, all your assumptions are put aside in astonishment.
The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is not only a Gothic romance but also an intriguing mystery. As Violet is trying to figure out what is going on, so do you. You find that you are trying to figure out the weird things that are going on in the town. She also finds out things about her family that she didn’t know before.
I found that the end of the book was disappointing. The plot stayed strong and interesting but I wish it had ended differently. The ending left me a bit upset and wondering what was going to happen to the characters. Thank goodness there is a sequel.
On the whole, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is interesting and entertaining and I loved the characters.

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