Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…
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.
Once I saw a blurb for this book that read:
"A gothic thriller romance with shades of Stephen King and F. Scott Fitzgerald, set against a creepy summertime backdrop--a must-read for fans of Beautiful Creatures, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and Anna Dressed in Blood."
Sold! I'm completely obsessed with - or at the very least, I've enjoyed - every one of those titles and authors, my love for this one should come as no surprise. It was DAMN GOOD.
I haven't read many gothic horrors, or old school creepy classics, but Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea has me inclined to - April Genevieve Tucholke did her job well.
I usually associate gothic-type atmospheres with the old deep south, but Tucholke brought the coast to life, filling the pages with just the right tone to convey the perfect amount of eerie and dreary of Echo, Violet's small, quiet seaside town. The doom and gloom feel served well, especially with the arrival of River, who - let's face it - is as dreamy as he is mysterious. You're aware from the title and synopsis that he may or may not have sinister motives, yet he's an intriguing and smooth enough character to allure you (and Violet) anyway.
The rest of the cast is great, and each of them distinct, from Violet's jerky twin brother Luke, to her boy-crazy best friend/neighbor Sunshine, and then there's Violet and Luke's home, the old rundown mansion referred to as Citizen Kane, which also serves as quite the supporting character in the story.
Apart from the story itself, the gorgeous writing was another factor that had me glued to the pages - Tucholke can sure string some words together.
This is a debut that has everything - characters you'll care about, mystery, a wicked romance, and an ending that wraps up well enough, yet still leaves you yearning for the sequel. And though this book has a certain ominous vibe to it, non-horror fans need not worry - it certainly provides more thrills than chills, but will satisfy every reader all the same.
A perfect read now that we're heading into fall and Halloween is nearing, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is in stores now, and you should most def pick up a copy!