by April Genevieve Tucholke
Violet and Luke White are twin siblings - teenagers - living in the sleepy East Coast town of Echo. They come from old family money and live in a rambling mansion set on a cliff above the sea. Their parents are artists who live a rather bohemian lifestyle and are more concerned with their art than their parenting.
When the story begins, the teens' grandmother, Freddie, has passed away but still remains a great influence on Violet. Violet and Luke's parents have taken off to Europe in search of their latest artistic muse and inspiration. They have left the kids at home alone, for who knows how long, and the family wealth has pretty much been squandered away. Over the years, the estate has been neglected and is no longer the grand setting that it once was. Out of money and out of food, Violet comes up with a plan to rent out the guest cottage for some quick cash.
River West shows up out of nowhere, interested in renting the guest house. Violet finds herself mesmerized by him, drawn to him. He is young and handsome and relaxed but also rather mysterious. The two immediately begin to get close and spend time together. When strange events start happening in her town - a little girl gone missing, kids with stakes in the cemetery who claim to have seen the devil, a scary urban legend coming to life, and more - Violet starts to think there may be more to River than meets the eye. Is he just a cute boy who happens to be a good kisser, or could he be...the devil? And, why can't she seem to avoid touching him and just stay away from him?
I love this story! It is probably my favorite book I've read all year. So many YA stories have a paranormal aspect to them but I found this one to be different and unique. The setting - the crumbling estate, complete with it's dark and shadowy attic full of remnants from the past, it's massive but dilapidated property, and the crashing waves far below the cliff - reallly add to the story. The characters are complex and well developed and I like them all - the good and the bad. The author's writing style is beautiful and pulls you into the story completely. I do not usually get scared from a book, but Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea definitely gave me a chill. It's the perfect combination of gothic horror and romance.
A sequel to Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea is set to come out next year. I will be anxiously waiting to see how the story continues.