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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between #1)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  11,027 Ratings  ·  2,044 Reviews
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 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
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published August 15th 2013 by Dial
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Dreamingintherain The phrase "Between the Devil and the deep blue sea" is an idiom for a dilemma, such as "Between a rock and a hard place." Because of that, it's not…moreThe phrase "Between the Devil and the deep blue sea" is an idiom for a dilemma, such as "Between a rock and a hard place." Because of that, it's not technically copyrighted to anyone. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Apr 09, 2015 Mitch rated it did not like it
Shelves: no-just-no

As a huge fan of Gothic horror, it pains me to say this, but that rant? All true.

The Writing

You know how April Genevieve Tucholke's writing has been called haunting and atmospheric? Well, it only is because either she borrows gothic horror tropes that have nothing to do with the actual story, like the whole deal with a crossroads demon or the entire discussion of music and art, or she comes up with these fake outs, like the stuff with the creepy kids waving stakes around, that end up being not
Khanh (the Grinch)
“His name is River West,” Sunshine slipped in. “And Violet’s decided she’s going to be mad as a hatter in love with him.”
...Sunshine was dead right, and we both knew it.
River West. Sunshine Black. Rose Redding. True White. Violet White. Blue Hoffman.

Did you pick up a copy of US Weekly by mistake? Oh, these silly celebrities and their strange baby names! Oh, wait, no. These are some of the names of the characters within this book. I should have known something was wrong when our big man, River
Jul 31, 2013 Giselle rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
"Their faces were white. And grim. They glared at me, streaks of pale moonlight sweeping across their cheeks. They looked somber and gruesome and not like kids at all."

Highly atmospheric, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a haunting tale of evil and family secrets for every Gothic horror fan!

Although most Gothics are set in the past, this one is not, but it takes place in an old and tired estate which gives this book the perfect ancient feel. It's not long before strange things start
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Jul 07, 2013 Christina (A Reader of Fictions) rated it did not like it
Recommended to Christina (A Reader of Fictions) by: Ashleigh Paige
Sometimes I'm that guy. You know, the one who reads a book that trusted friends, ones I usually agree with, were super impressed by and ends up unenthused. The blurb for Devil (since I can't be bothered to type all of that out over and over) did give me pause, what with the focus on River coming to town. The whole thing suggests instalove, but early reviews were promising and an ARC arrived, so damn the blurb and full speed ahead! Well, turns out I should have listened to my first instincts, ...more
Aug 20, 2013 Katy rated it did not like it
This book promised to be a gorgeously terrifying gothic horror, but for me, it ended up being a cheesy bad ghost - or devil, I should say - story. To call it a nightmare would imply that I was emotionally moved - intrigued, nervous, scared - and the only feeling I had for it was disappointment that it was so silly. I really tried to like the book, but I just felt Tucholke missed so many opportunities with this one because it had potential to be so great.


Oct 01, 2013 Krysten rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013

I need this book in my life RIGHT. NOW.
I seriously cannot wait for it to come out.

Aug 17, 2015 Riley rated it did not like it
Shelves: disappointing
So I reread this book a while ago because when I read it initially I couldn't put my finger on why I didn't like it. After rereading it I realized what I didn't like. I felt like it was somewhat sexist. And I couldn't get behind the romance because of the way that River uses his power/ability to "force" Violet to do things, sometimes physical. It was just not okay with me. It seemed like the author was aiming for a sort of angsty romance but it was more disturbing then anything else.
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change.

Violet White and her brother Luke have lived in Echo all their life. Their parents travel around the works leaving the twins to themselves in the small town. When a mysterious and gorgeous boy named River rents the little room in their mansion, Violet realizes he's not just any normal boy..

The love story was a big confusing, and I wasn't a big fan of the roma
Oct 15, 2015 Saniya marked it as to-read
There's is a song. A SONG with the same name as the book's. And it's pretty legit.

And is also previously:
*In a constant struggle of whether I actually love this cover or not.*
Erin Bowman
I love this book. Love, love, love. I've been fortunate enough to read it several times over and I somehow manage to fall a bit further in love with each read.

Violet is such a captivating protagonist, and the cast of characters that populate this novel are just as charming. I fell in love with each of them and saying goodbye to them at the close of the story hurt. Violet is a bookworm, and spunky, and says it like it is. Her brother is bit of a jerk, but I love him anyway. And River, the mysteri
A.G. Howard
Apr 30, 2013 A.G. Howard rated it it was amazing
Can't wait to read this! Love the sound of the premise. Almost has a Heathers feel to it, for those of us who remember the 80's flick. YUM. I do love me a bad boy. :)



This book is amazing. Gothic atmosphere, check. Creepy bloody horror scenes, check. Hot guys, check, check. Unpredictable outcome, check again.

I'm officially a fan of Ms. Tucholke.

When is the next one coming out???
Kat (Lost in Neverland)

DNF at p. 200

Aug 11, 2013 Suzanne rated it did not like it
Oopsies. I seem to be in the minority here. Oh, well! I DID finish it, mostly out of morbid curiosity to see where in the world it could be going, but I found its whole nature to be difficult to digest and its world unpleasant to visit. Some of my qualms might stem from my age being so beyond the teen target; however, many of the references and atmosphere of this book seem oddly pitched to a much more mature reader than those with a one for the first digit of their age: old movies, men wearing ...more
Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)

I was expecting something more, I think the characters are very flat and some things are meaningless to me. Maybe I'm just not in the mood for this right now ... maybe I'll give it a chance at another time.
I hate this book. To the core.. I really think this is one of the most terrible books I've ever read. This is I think the only book I've ever rated one star, but this is definitely a one star book for me! The characters... I really disliked all of them. I even dislike the parents. This books sells itself as being Gothic and dark. Don't be fooled. It's not.

Violet is just so annoying. She takes way to much crap from everyone. Her brother is an ass and she should totally put him in his place. She'
Jul 13, 2016 Kassidy rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

The best part about it is the setting. The atmosphere is sooo creepy. It's set in this little quaint town, but you soon realize there are a lot of secrets. At first everything seems so normal, but there's always this feeling that something is wrong.

I really loved the main character Violet, she's such an old soul and very unique.
The plot is a little slow at first, but you can tell it's building up to something. Be prepared because it gets really weird and twisted..
Paige  Bookdragon
Meh. First few chapters and my idiocy-radar is tingling. I smell bullshit, drama and crappy romance.Life's too short for me to read crappy books.
Aug 09, 2013 Nafiza rated it liked it
Two days have passed since I read this book. Two days between me finishing the book and me attempting to write a somewhat coherent review. I will confess to you, though; I am utterly uncertain about how I feel for this book. Did I love it or did I hate it? I really don’t know. One thing I am certain of, however, and that is the fact that I am not indifferent to it.

The prose is gorgeous. It is beautiful in just the right amount in just the right places. There is no purple prose spoiling the narra
Jan 05, 2014 Keertana rated it it was ok
Shelves: why-the-hype
Rating: 2.5 Stars

...that's it? Are we all sure I received the right book in the mail, because I'm just a little bit confused. Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea became a blogging sensation when it first released a few months back and, ever since, I've been curious to try it out for myself. When my copy first arrived, I got through about half the book before turning to other pressing ARCs. Now, having finally found the time to settle back into this story, I've wound up disappointing. For s
"And I reached, I reached,
Through the rain to the Devil's feet."- The Devil's Feet

Setting:Echo, Maine; 2013

Coverly Love?:Yes!! This cover is insanely gorgeous. Unfortunately, it's the only good thing going for this book.

Plot:Violet White and her twin brother Luke are living all alone in their family mansion nicknamed "Citizen Kane". With their rich, bohemian artist parents always gone and their grandmother Freddie recently deceased, they are running short on cash to live off of. So Violet pos
Jan 24, 2015 Lainey rated it really liked it
I'll definitely be picking up the second book in the duology. I was torn on the romance, whether I felt it was too insta-lovey or not, but I know 80% of that was influence, which I'm unsure how I felt about how River manipulated Violet so much. Which was why I knocked it down a star.

What I LOVED about this was the tone and the setting. It was creepy, and aspect I was definitely expecting based on what I've heard people say about this book. But you know what it reminded me of? It reminded me of T
Aug 08, 2013 Estelle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Gothic fiction
(This review also appeared on Book Brobe)

Quite frankly, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke gave me ALL the feels. There’s no other way to describe its highly addictive quality that makes me want to drop everything I’m doing and submerse myself into this breathtaking world. With an alluring blend of horror and romance, this is a perfect book to read while curled on a comfy couch on a rainy, Australian winter night. Personally I always had a soft spot for all thing
Nov 21, 2012 Danielle. marked it as need-to-read-next
Hmmm... A story about a girl falling in love with the Devil? Scary. I'm absolutely flabbergasted with the YA novels nowadays about demons falling in love with humans and whatnot. Aren't these supposed to be unholy beings with no type of love in their hearts and they take pleasure in hurting humans? I cannot believe they're taking demons and making them into those boys we supposedly need in our lives/want to fall in love with.

Huh. Interesting. Very, very interesting.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Well smack me silly.
I finally found a good YA book out of the whole stack I checked out the other day. This one had me reading it till I finished, which is always a good thing in my book. Loved the writing and the characters literally jump out at you from off the page. Kudos!
Whitley Birks
Feb 06, 2014 Whitley Birks rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
See more reviews at my blog.

I loved this book. Loved it. Loved the setting. Loved the creepy atmosphere. Loved beautiful writing. Loved the fucked-up “romance.” Loved the twisted powers. Loved it. …until the last 60-ish pages came in, pulled a total cop-out, and changed the entire book into something I no longer loved. It was on track to be this glorious novel of grey shades and sticky relationships and fucked up people, and then at the very end, “Nope, here’s a totally random evil dude to wipe
Not what I was expecting. And sadly, not as good as I was hoping. Three stars is even stretching it but the writing helped save this book from some of the most frustrating characters.

Let's start with Violet. Our "heroine" and narrator for the story. She has an obsession with her dead grandmother through the entire book. Wears her clothes, sleeps in her room and is continuously going through her grandmother's belongings looking for the elusive "something" for the past 5 years! Enough is enough an
Sep 02, 2013 Delaney rated it really liked it That was so messed up. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea has the most complex plot that made me even feel wrapped.

The book starts off with Violet and her twin brother, Luke, needing money to keep living in their little masion called the Citizen Kane. So they put up papers for rent their abandoned guesthouse. That's when River West accepts and wants to live in the guesthouse.

Alright you know the drill strange things start to hapen and seriously it was strange things.

I wasnt exactl
Demitria Lunetta
Feb 01, 2013 Demitria Lunetta rated it it was amazing
Recommended for fans of: YA horror with a gothic feel

Not only is BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA beautifully written, it grabs you from page one. Everything about Violets situation is eerie, from the falling apart mansion and lack of parental supervision to the creepily aggressive brother. Then River shows up and creepy takes on a whole new meaning. I love the way the plot threads weave together, reminding me of a classic gothic romance. Add a few unexpected plot twists and you have a fa
Dec 30, 2014 Gamze rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
kitaba o kadar özen göstermişler ciltli basmislar gönül ister daha fazla puan verebileyim. Hikayenin ana fikri güzeldi de aslında ama ben sanırım işlenmesini pek sevemedim. Bir de Violet'in Freddie takıntısına deli oldum. Esas adamımız River'a gelince onun hakkında ne düşünüyorum hala emin değilim. Karakteri sevdim mi sevmedim mi bilmiyorum. Ha yayinevi 2. Kitabı çıkarsa meraktan alır miyim? Evet. Ama size şiddetle tavsiye eder miyim? Sanmıyorum.
Detestable characters. INSTA-LOVE. PANTHER HIPS (no, seriously). Boys being complete wankers. Slut-shaming. A villain that could not be more of an archetypical villain if he wore a cape and cackled a lot. Not much of a plot? The Gothic small town setting and writing earn plus points, but other than that I'm not impressed at all. What a damn shame... just look at that cover. *drools, then sighs*
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April Genevieve Tucholke is the author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Between the Spark and the Burn, and Wink Poppy Midnight. She also curated the horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. She has received five starred reviews and her novels have been chosen for the Junior Library Guild, Kids' Indie Next picks, and YALSA Teens Top Ten. When she's not writing, April likes wal ...more
More about April Genevieve Tucholke...

Other Books in the Series

Between (2 books)
  • Between the Spark and the Burn (Between, #2)

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“Sunshine, if I ever disappear, please tell people that I ran after the Devil, trying to get my soul back.” 124 likes
“Lots of people have bad stories, and if they wail and sob and tell their story to anyone who’ll listen, it’s crap. Or half crap, at least.The stuff that really hurts people, the stuff that almost breaks them . . . that they won’t talk about. Ever.” 118 likes
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