Series: Between #1
Release Date: 15th August, 2013
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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.
The title of this book implies that shenanigans will be happening with Devils. There are no Devils to be found in this book, only boys who need to be locked away in an institution for the criminally insane. It’s also supposed to be a Gothic novel but it just isn’t? I mean, Tucholke borrows some of the best known tropes from Gothic fiction but this book still reads like a poor imitation and not the worthy addition it’s being marketed as.
I mean, this isn’t a terrible book but it’s just not very good either. There were aspects of the novel I liked a lot, such as Violet’s penchant for wandering around her crumbling mansion wearing the clothes of her dead grandmother and the descriptions of said crumbling mansion were pretty good. But that’s pretty much it tbh because the vast majority of the book bored me. The romance between Violet and River is laughable at best, since they fall for each other almost as soon as they meet, and disturbing in some parts – River has serious issues including the concept of consent and boundaries while Violet is wilfully ignorant of his faults.
There also isn’t much of a plot other than ‘River comes to town and weird stuff happens’ with bonus ‘Violet and River have endless scenes together in order to fill out the pages while annoying the reader’. Promising things happen with the hint of true horror but then it’s abandoned in order for River and Violet to angst. The final plot twist is also completely hilarious because it is an obvious ploy to make River a more appealing character so that the endgame will be acceptable.
This is a boring and ultimately disappointing novel even for someone who went in not expecting much, as I did.