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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

(Between #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  13,864 ratings  ·  2,428 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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CapesandCovers 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 t…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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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  13,864 ratings  ·  2,428 reviews

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Aug 20, 2013 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 n
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
“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, Rive
Wendy Darling
4.5 stars If the idea of Tennessee Williams writing a supernatural gothic novel interests you, you will not want to miss this.

Shrieking, wild-eyed, descent-into-madness horror. I LOVED IT.

Review to come.
Jan 07, 2013 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 star
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Feb 28, 2012 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, bec ...more
Mara YA Mood Reader
9/11/2020: Reread!! Everyone’s been sleeping on this!!

Oh my gosh I just fell so hard for this. There’s just something about it....the way Tucholke writes...I can’t even explain it but it just feeds my soul.

It’s kind of the way I feel about Stiefvater’s writing. And I know that’s saying a lot! Because to me Stiefvater is on a bleeding pedestal above all others. But like Stiefvater, Tucholke has a way of numbing me with words and this gothic with The Raven Boys—-and ser
Aug 19, 2013 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.


A.G. Howard
May 07, 2012 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???
Nov 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
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.
Feb 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013

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

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
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
Apr 22, 2013 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..
Aug 21, 2012 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.*
Aug 11, 2013 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 l ...more
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. ...more
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
Jul 20, 2013 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 some
"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
Hannah Greendale
Aug 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
There’s so much to love here—the precision of Tucholke’s writing, the Gothic atmosphere, the nuanced horror, and all the little references to classic literature—but it’s all marred by the moment a character makes a joke about getting girls drunk and taking advantage of them, and the protagonist says the joke is so wrong, all she can do is laugh. Nope, nope, nope. A brooding, twisty, and flawed debut.
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.
My review can also be found here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

I picked this book and it's sequel up at a used book sale in my city for a dollar each. I've been on a YA fantasy kick lately, and this series looked like it fit the bill. But I didn't have extremely high hopes for this book for some reason. Maybe it's the cover, which in my opinion is kind of mediocre. Regardless, I didn't expect it to be half as good as it was. The writing is incredibly descriptive, but manages to be i
Not what I was expecting the first time. And sadly, not as good as I was hoping. For some reason, I thought I wanted to give the next book a shot, so I would need to reread this as I had forgotten parts. Apparently I had forgotten just about anything. Including how much I didn't really like this overall.

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
Jan 17, 2015 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
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!
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Let’s play a game—a game of shots. Raise you’re glasses, ladies and gents, every time you see a name drop.

Audrey Hepburn, Faust, Fitzgerald, Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Heathcliff, Zane Grey, Sergio Leone.

Spare us uneducated plebeians.

We’d be drunk off our rockers by the end of this book.

I’m at a loss here. The writing is beautifully crafted, perhaps not up to exact perfection as there are awkward lines here and there, but it’s up there. Way above certain titles. So why did I give
Apr 21, 2013 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
Oct 14, 2017 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
DNF'ed at 24%. I can't with this River guy, I just can't. Back to the library you go! ...more
Whitley Birks
Feb 02, 2014 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
Trigger warnings: fire, misogyny, slut shaming, parental neglect, disappearance of a child, murder, death of a child, alcohol abuse, violence, cheating, child abuse, domestic violence, suicide.

I bought this on my Kindle back when it first came out and everyone was RAVING about it. And then there was so much hype that I lost all interest in reading it and it languished in the depths of my Kindle for like four years. Until now, because I'm determined to get through all the books I have on my Kind
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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, Wink Poppy Midnight, The Boneless Mercies, and Seven Endless Forests. She also curated the horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. Her books have been published in sixteen countries, and have received ten starred reviews. They have been selected for the Junior Library Guild, Ki ...more

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

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