Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Geneveive Tucholke (Review)

Release date: 15th August 2013

Publisher: Dial

Number of pages: 360

My rating: 2/5

What promises to be an engaging, compelling, and original read soon turns into a nonsensical book full of insta-love, dickhead characters, and a severe lack of common sense.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is about two kids who decide to make a little extra cash by renting out their mansion’s guesthouse. It is soon rented out by River, a mysterious stranger with a special ability. Violet falls head over heels in love with River (*puke*) and strange things begin happening around their little town.

Violet is truly a bland character, who seems to lose half of her brain cells when she meets River. River lies to her, uses special abilities on her loved ones, and harms many people. Yet, she still falls hopelessly in love with him.
Violet, in the future, please refrain from falling in love with a lying dickhead and likely psychopath. Even if he is really hot and is good at everything he does. Seriously. Just don’t.

River falls into the category of characters that I truly hate (well, one of them, anyway). I call this category the Super-Hot Douchebag Mysterious Lying Jerk with Way Too Many Secrets. These characters can often be found in shitty romances, especially in New Adult books.
He’s bland. He’s a liar. He’s a fucking psychopath (because killing people is totally acceptable!). He bored and pissed me off to no end.

And I was supposed to like him?

Sunshine and Luke are really no better than River. They’re characters that are found in most young adult books. Luke was a douchebag jock, who is mean to Violet for no good reason. Sunshine was a dumb girl who likes to flirt with every guy in a ten-mile radius. It felt like these characters were put in just to make Violet look better.

Writing tip: Do not try to place a whole bunch of clich├ęd mean characters next to your “good” character to make them look better. Please don’t. It makes you look like a lazy writer. Channel your “good” character’s goodness through themselves, not through other people. (NOTE: I often have no idea what I’m talking about. Take this tip with a grain of salt.)
The plot? Eh… not sure if you can call it that…

This book felt more like a romance than a fantasy. Sure, a bunch of scary shit happens, but all of that is linked to River. Near the end, some mind bending twist came out to hit me in the face. That was where the real plot started (seriously, 60 pages before the end?). This twist really didn’t do it for me. By that point in the book, I had already lost interest, so I didn’t really care about it anymore.
I was sure glad when I finished this.

I would not recommend this book to people who dislike characters from the category of Super-Hot Douchebag Mysterious Lying Jerk with Way Too Many Secrets. Seriously. River will piss you off so badly. I think that a lot of people will like this book, but if the romance fails for you, then the whole book will fail.
I will definitely not be picking up the next one.


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