This week I owe a HUGE thank you to Stacee (@book_junkee) from the Adventures of a Book Junkie blog. First, she introduced me to Violet and River last year when she fangirled about Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea on her blog. And when Stacee says to read a book I’ve learned to listen to her. So if you don’t read her blog, I suggest you start doing so now. Then, when she saw me trying to bribe another friend on Twitter to get my hands on an ARC of Between the Spark and the Burn, she graciously offered to loan me her copy (with the stipulation that she owns River, of course!) And I devoured this book…
Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world.
But then, the Devil once told me that it’s easier to forgive someone for scaring you than for making you cry.
The problem with River West Redding was that he’d done both to me.
The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet’s life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River’s other brother, are left to worry—until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town. They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface. It isn’t long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own . . .
Gothic romance is not my usual reading style. But when it’s by April Genevieve Tucholke I am so there. Between the Spark and the Burn is the second book in a duo, and doesn’t release until August, so I will try to keep my spoilers to a minimum.
From page one, this book brought me right back to the world and characters I fell for last year when I read Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Violet’s narrative voice is quirky and original and just as conflicted as she is. She spends most of the book adding to her collection of broken and neglected kids, tracking devil boys and sea kings and anything that might lead her to River or Brodie, all while trying not to think too hard about her feelings for two of the three Redding boys. And the glow is just as mesmerizing and seductive, even for the reader, who can’t help but love River despite his murderous and lying ways. I mean, when he smiles his crooked-River smile, I don’t see anyone else around either. But I knew from the end of Devil, that Neely was going to play a bigger part in book two. And I didn’t mind. Neely is basically River with morals. But he’s not River.
And I have a River Redding thing. Like I have a Logan Echols thing. That’s just the way it is. I don’t care that they are bad and sometimes heartless and oh, so broken. They try—really desperately try—to be better for the girls they love, and that gets me every damn time. And no amount of sweet, inherently-good, perfect-for-the-protagonist, should-be-the-right-choice boys (like Neely or Piz) will change that.
But the book will sweep you up and keep you on the edge of your seat waiting for the missing Redding boys to show up. And you will love every minute of it. (Even if the end leaves you a little broken, like it did me.)