Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…
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.
Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.
I had HUGE expectations for this book because it seemed right up my alley. I loved the setting and dark romances are always a winner for me. Although this book is definitely enjoyable, I found myself getting a bit bored with the plot and became tired of all the cliches, predictability and just plain… weirdness.
The heroine, Violet, really got on my nerves as the story progressed because she made really stupid decisions and became obsessed with River despite all the signs of evil pointing to them. Been there, read that before. There is also the stereotypical older brother and best friend, and both of them annoyed me as well. The older brother was a major player and seemed just as obsessed with River as Violet was.
The mystery in the first fifty or so pages is the only thing that really hooked me and that didn’t last too long because it was solved very quickly by a confession from River, which I’m sure we all saw coming.
No Angel by Helen Keeble
Rafael Angelos just got handed the greatest gift any teenage boy could ever dream of. Upon arriving at his new boarding school for senior year, he discovered that he is the ONLY male student. But what should have been a godsend isn’t exactly heaven on Earth.
Raffi’s about to learn that St. Mary’s is actually a hub for demons-and that he was summoned to the school by someone expecting him to save the day. Raffi knows he’s no angel-but it’s pretty hard to deny that there’s some higher plan at work when he wakes up one morning to discover a glowing circle around his head.
Helen Keeble’s debut novel, Fang Girl, has been praised for its pitch-perfect teen voice, and VOYA called it “refreshing and reminiscent of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series.” No Angel brings you angels and demons like you’ve never seen them-complete with the wry humor of Vladimir Tod, sinfully irreverent romance, and some hilariously demonic teenage dilemmas.
NO ANGEL lacked a clear plot, and that was my first qualm with the book. My second would be the fact that the book seemed confused as to whether it wanted to tell an actual story or a humorous pseudo-parody of the cliche YA novels out there.
Although it definitely got a few laughs out of me, I was not committed enough to just the humor to continue reading. The characters had a variety of personalities and the diversity between them all is also a positive. This book is a unique read that will not be for everyone, but some people will get a kick out of it.