Hi! Today we’re celebrating the release of April Genevieve Tucholke’s BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA.
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.
A gothic thriller romance with shades of Stephen King and F. Scott Fitzgerald, set against a creepy summertime backdrop–a must-read for fans of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER, and ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD.
I say: This is one of my favorite books this year. I loved it so much that it’s still lingering in my mind a good two weeks later, and I sent a total fangirl email to April after I read it. I’ll share an excerpt (cut to avoid spoilers about the ending): The atmosphere was gorgeous – so vivid and creepy and lovely. I adore the crumbling old mansion with the warm-glow kitchen and the artist shed and the sound of the ocean and, oh, the attic for playing dress-up and discovering secrets! The Citizen Kane is like another character in its own right and your prose is so lovely without ever taking me out of the story. I adored the small town with its other mysterious falling-down mansion of tragedies and the graveyard and – oh, that scene with the children and the stakes in the graveyard – I was reading it and my husband came home and I was like, THANK GOD because this book is creeping me out to the extent that I am scared to go downstairs! Books don’t usually scare me but the tension just builds beautifully there. I love how smart and snobby Vi is. And how stubborn…I appreciated that she has more going on than just River, as transformative as he is for her – she’s determined to figure shit out and she has her art and her parents to worry about too. Oh, River, how dreamy and yet how untrustworthy – I was fighting against his charm just as Vi was – he’s a liar but such a damned charming one.
Really, you should all go get this book now. I am going to make all my friends read it.
Now for our interview with April:
1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.
Violet White is an odd, lonely, bookreading semi-orphan. (JS: And I loved her!)
2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.
BETWEEN THE DEVIL is a voice-driven, Stephen King Jane Eyre-inspired, gothic thriller.
3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.
Four-eyed, scarf-wearing, autumn-loving roamer. (JS: I love this! Can we be best friends?)
4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?
Italy. Norway. New Zealand.
5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?
Basic carpentry. Film history. How to fake your own death.
6. If you could have any 3 alternate careers, what would they be?
Eccentric heiress. Private eye. Bread baker in the French Alps. (JS: I would also like to be an eccentric heiress, please. Now accepting patrons.)
7. What are your 3 favorite flowers?
Orange blossoms. Lilacs. Any wildflower (like the pasque).
8. What are your 3 favorite foods?
Affogato. Khai Soi. Butter lettuce with olive oil and parmesan.
9. What are your 3 favorite books?
JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL. JANE EYRE. A GAME OF THRONES.
Thanks so much for stopping by, April!
You can find out more about April and her books at her website.
Giveaway: I loved this book so much I want to give away a copy! Since one of my favorite things about it was the vivid setting, leave a comment telling me about YOUR favorite setting in literature. (Mine would be Hogwarts, but I’d really love to stroll around the Citizen Kane with Violet now. Also San Francisco with Lola from LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR.) Open until next Friday (8/23) at noon EST. US and Canada only.