Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Watch me go crazy:
Freaky freaky freaky fabulouso! Creepy creepy creepy brillianco!
Me love-so! Me fangirl-so!
*let’s all pause for second and hang our heads for the bereavement of the once-awesome girl who’s now been fangirled(as in reduced or oxidized) to quaking around duck-like in a hideous simulation of Redox reaction*
quack quack quackity quack
*let’s all try not to be smarmy, sniggering assholes at the humiliation of myself*
Whoops! I just remembered that you can’t actually see me and so you have no clue that I’m utterly humiliating myself. Forget whatever was said earlier.
Watch me try to write up a review:
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is one of the better debut novels of 2013. In fact, I will suck up and say it’s right there along with All Our Yesterdays competing for the debut awards. In fact, it’s so damn good that I’ve been sitting before my computer screen for two hours. All my words get eaten up the second I line up a sentence; construe that however you will. Because this book is good, man. And let’s see what I come up with.
The basic gist of the book is lame but here it goes:
Mysterious boy comes and strange things happen. Girl is deluded and shit goes down.
I like how Ms Tucholke has put a spin on the mysterious, bad boy stereotype. River is mysterious and he is very definitely bad and sorta sociopathic. He’s got powers and he fancies himself a god; add to that his fucked-up family issues and that’s how we get our devil here. Throughout the novel, he has Violet and the reader deluded; it’s impossible to trust him. It’s impossible to Violet’s words even, because he messes with her mind. And Violet is a well-rounded protagonist.-excuse me quack quack quack– She’s a strong, realistic girl. Yet she falls for River when she knows something’s going on with him. She can’t keep away from him, knowing what he does and is. But then she does try and pester River to get to the root of things. Mostly though, it ends with him evading her and she conceding. For a little while. One second she’s fuming mad at him and the next she doesn’t question his roaming hands. I loved this aspect of Between; that maybe she isn’t just being puppeteered by hormones and emotions, maybe there’s something darker at play.
It’s the middle part of the book that had me from hook to sinker- when Violet is afraid of and for the budding romance of her summer. I loved as her delusions parted and her eyes lost the shine. I loved as she becomes deluded again. I simply loved her struggle to define the line between deceit and reality. And rounding up now: I found the romance to be the best aspect of the book. Even better than the writing.
–beg your pardon mardo vilato!–
Which brings me to: the gorgeous prose. It’s so effing atmospheric and creepy. Capisce? I haven’t read many contemporary Gothics that gave me as good a visual of the creepiness and dread as Ms Tucholke managed and for that alone, you should give this book a try.
Watch me try to be critical:
Nonetheless, there were a few negatives that me shirking from the five stars that I ultimately caved in to. I think the talks of art got a tad too excessive and pretentious sometimes. Secondly, the smoothing down of all kinds of shit was maybe facile. And finally, the ending has some aspects that bug me the wrong way. BUT the rest of the book negates the negativity! And someway or the other, all this compounds the awesomeness of the book!
Watch me revert from my moments of sanity and use up the few words of Spanish and French I know:
DON’T LOOK AT ME WHILE I’M DOING MY BTWATDBS DANCE! AND DON’T YOU DARE DANCE MY DANCE! ARE YOU? IT’S MINE! MINE MINE MINE AND YOU WON’T DIN-
Je aime(?Je sucks at conjugation) le livres.
Muchos Gracias, Muchas Gracias!
This whole crappy review after another stint is freaking me out.