Between the Devil and the Deep Blue
Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
♦publisher: Dial Books
♦release date: August 13th, 2013
♦hardcover, 368 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
Review: In the haunting little sleepy town of Echo, a
visitor comes, washing the town with a twisted and terrifying mystery.
Violet lives in the boring seaside town of Echo, a small town structure where everyone knows your name, your family, as well as your family’s secrets. Where the echo of the past, haunt your today’s.
Violet was brought up by eccentric and artist parents, who abandoned their kids to study art in Paris. Left to fend for themselves in a run- down sea-side mansion, which once belonged to richest couple in Echo; her grandfather and grandmother, Freddie, who lovingly named it Citizen Kane.
Once dignified and elegant, it now stands sea bitten, overgrown and severally neglected. Although it seems like every child’s dream to live alone, the reality of it quickly comes crashing down on Violet and her brother Luke. When faced with the fact that they are quickly running out of money, as well as not being able to keep up with the expansive property which is precariously perched on the edge of the Atlantic.
Old and almost abandoned, the Citizen Kane sets its own stage. Filled with wondrous treasures and an attic adorned with glimmers from the past, Violet finds herself spending her days alone. Only being comforted by wearing her grandmother’s vintage clothing, wrapping herself in her memory. Causing Violet to stand out with peculiarness, even more than the home she lives in.
Desperate for money, Violet puts out an ad to rent the guesthouse, and that’s where charming, handsome and enigmatic River West comes to stay. He brings with him an air of wonder and enchantment, masking the sense of fear and impending doom. Before anyone knows it, the town’s legend of kidnappers and monsters come alive, as children start sleeping in the cemetery waiting in the sea mist fog, for the devil himself. Murders start to happen in nearby cities and slowly creep into Echo itself.
Before Violet realizes it she is pulled into River’s lull, swept up in love, leaving her open and vulnerable just like River wants. Enamored by River’s illusion, Violet quickly ignores his lying, distrustful nature, falling for the blissful promises his alluring glow can offer. A glow that offers deals like the devil himself, throwing her into a lust, that washes away any sense of danger.
April Genevieve Tucholke seduces you with a storyline, while gently rocking you back and forth, lulling you in like a lullaby. Back-building a story like a wave, which crashes before you, pulling you under with its power.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, is a gripping gothic horror unlike any other. From beginning to end it doesn’t disappoint. Only once it’s too late, do you realize you are in the books under- tow, tumbling head over heels, throwing you into a world filled with mystery, magic, horror and love.