Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea: Review


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 guesthouse 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 eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

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.


So it's a Gothic story set in modern days. I have to say I have mixed feelings about the whole theme. On one hand I love the darkness of Gothic stories and it's often really beautiful, but on the other I hate the slow-paced plot and the time it takes to create the whole atmosphere. And the whole book is like this. There are something alluring about this book, yet I can't like it whole-heartedly because of some fatal flaws.

So this is about a story in which Violet White, who lived in a broken mansion in a small town called Echo, meets River West, the mysterious and handsome guy who wants to rent their guesthouse. And then weird stuff happened and people are whispering about the Devil. The atmosphere of suspense is set up well, I guess. Because people whispering about the Devil is anything but normal and it kind of gives a creepy edge to this book. But when the truth comes out, I was kind of disappointed because I was expecting a true Devil. I mean, I know the Devil can't be an honest-to-god demon. But maybe I was really expecting it because I keep dreading to see a red-eyed Devil but it never happened. So yeah, maybe it's just me, but I'm disappointed.

I won't say the character part is a fail, but none of the characters impresses me. First is Violet. I will say Violet is a really typical girl, to the point that she's not remarkable. She knows to do the right things when it's time. But that's what people normally do. And her personality is nothing impressive or remarkable. River is slightly better. I think I get the whole point about the author trying to make a dark and complex yet caring and soft character out of River, but I just can't feel it. Though I appreciate the attempt. The supporting characters are just nothing memorable enough to impress me. All the characters fade easily to the back of my mind. Possibly even farther.

The words are beautiful though. There are a lot of meanings behind those words, especially the ones Freddie said to Violet. They can be some sort of motto I guess. And the rest are quite poetic as well, which fits the theme of the book. Although some of the words in this book kind of makes things rocky, I'd say the words are one of the best parts in the book.

After reading Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea, I think I'm down for a sequel. But I guess this is just a story I read when I really have a lot of time to kill. And not something I will burn down the world to have. 

Rating: 5.5/10

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