Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
By April Genevieve Tucholke
Expected publication August 15, 2013 by Dial
Violet's family used to be a big deal - now they live in a forgotten mansion on the outskirts of town. Well, Violet and her twin live there - her parents are off in Europe, storming the art world and leaving their children to fend for themselves. Even though she's lonely since the death of her beloved grandmother, Violet is pretty much okay without her parents around. Not much happens in her town. That is, until a mysterious stranger rents her guesthouse - and talk of the Devil spreads like wildfire.
I love me some horror, so I couldn't resist requesting an e-galley of this title. Then, a couple of my bookselling buddies gave pretty positive reviews of this one. Color me excited for it. I made it one of my recent reads and I have to say - I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid.
I really did not care for this one (which makes two recent galley reads in a row that I didn't enjoy). I was expecting scare-your-pants-off stuff. Now, admittedly, it is incredibly difficult to scare me. Typical horror stuff doesn't really get my heart racing or my adrenaline pumping. So, maybe a different reader than I will be terrified by this book. And I will give it creepy. The supernatural stuff going on here is just plain disturbing and unsettling. But that doesn't mean I had any trouble sleeping at night after reading this one.
Mostly, I found this book a combination of forgettable and annoying. Forgettable because it doesn't really do anything new and exciting for me. I feel like I've read this story before, maybe with some different details, but nothing terribly unique. Annoying because of Violet and her terrible decisions. I guess maybe I should cut her some slack because it turns out she was pretty much right all along about River (which I didn't expect, so I guess there's that), but I don't want to. Because she didn't know she would be right about River - and that means she made some AWFUL decisions along the way. This was one of those "I would throw this book across the room, I'm so mad about this character" situations (if I were the type of person to throw a book - talk about horror!).
I also expected a bigger twist at the end - honestly, I was expecting Violet to discover a heretofore untapped psychic power - so the actual twist was kind of a let-down. Really, I can't think of anything about this book that I enjoyed - and I just found out it will have a sequel. SIGH.
Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.