Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"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 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."
It's a gothic horror, in that crumbling-old-houses-and-secrets way. But it's also got a unique voice in Violet, who is intelligent but self-indulgent, patient but with occasional violent thoughts, and whose daredevil curiosity leads to some horrific things.
It's honestly difficult to say more about it without giving things away. So I'll say this:
- Violet is an amazing, if not entirely likable or relatable, character.
- And portraying some characters as both murderously wicked and responsibly compassionate, in a realistic and believable way, is utter genius.
- I read this book in three days, so compelled was I to figure out what was going on and whom to trust.
I highly recommend it to fans of magical realism, mystery, gothic novels, those who like contemporary with a touch of supernatural, folks who are tired of repeated YA tropes about independence/adulthood/romance/etc, and people who enjoy getting a poetic imagery of place.
Labels: april genevieve tucholke, between the devil and the deep blue sea, book review, female protagonist, gothic, horror, lit love, literary friday, magical realism, mystery, romance, suspense, YA