Tuesday, June 17, 2014

So, I've seen a few others doing early reviews for books pre-release by doing a less formal review and sorta just fangirling over the title prior to publication, which may be months away, depending on when they read the book. Jamie from The Perpetual Page-turner has a Save the Date feature, and Heather over at The Flyleaf Review showcases her pre-release thoughts in a Mark Your Calendars post. I have the same problem. I want to tell the world about some of the awesome books I read pre-publication, but I can't wait until just a few weeks before the release date to shout it from the rooftops.

My dilemma led me to an awesome -- if I do say so myself -- idea: Reviews in a GIFfy. I already sometimes post my reactions to a book via GIFs on Goodreads. (The one I did for World After was very well received.) But I wanted to make it a thing for those titles that I just can't wait until they appear on the ole reading schedule, and I wanted to share my reactions via GIF with all of you. Essentially, these are going to be GIF-only reviews to tide you -- and me! -- over until I can expand on my thoughts in a legitimate review closer to the book's release date.

This week, since I just finished the phenomenal sequel to Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, I thought I'd give Between the Spark and the Burn the ole GIFfy treatment.

Previous Reviews in a GIFfy:  Of Metal and Wishes & The Kiss of Deception

Title: Between the Spark and the Burn
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Series: Between, book #2
Publisher: Dial
Publication Date: August 14, 2014
Source: ARC received from author
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
The conclusion to Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea, this gothic thriller romance with shades of Stephen King and Daphne du Maurier is a must-read for fans of Beautiful Creatures and Anna Dressed in Blood.

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 . . .

I was dying to get my hands on this sequel, so when the author offered to send me an ARC, there may or may not have been some flailing. (There totally was.)

And then I heard tale of a love triangle. And I was all like, "What?"

Not that it was completely unexpected. I mean, that River...he's not exactly a good guy, ya know? He's a crooked-smiling liar, after all.

And though the triangle does pretty much span the whole of the novel, Violet's choice seems clear...or rather, her lack of a choice is pretty obvious. And the thing is, it never really has to be addressed in the story. You'll see what I mean...

Moving on.

I think what I liked best about this book is that Violet doesn't revert to her shrinking violet self once River takes off.

She's not taking crap from her brother or from Sunshine. Violet's got a plan. And it seems everyone else wants in on it, too. ROAD TRIP!!!

It all starts out fun and fancy-free. But then stories about red-headed devil boys turn up.

But the first story turns out quite differently than they all expect. Finn the forest-boy is everything Brodie the devil-boy is not. I may have swooned over this boy.

I know, I know. Quit giving me that look.

But then they discover River, kind of out of the blue. Or, at least, not where they were expecting.

Only he's not quite himself.

And now the real WTFery begins. Because River has been a bad boy. A very bad boy.

And I fully expected Violet to get crunk with one William Redding III.

Instead, they move on. Another story about a red-headed devil. Another trip across the country. And I got a little more twitchy. 

I needed something big to happen. And I needed it to happen soon.

I got my wish.

Awesome twisty goodness. Like, I saw it happening. I didn't want to believe it. And I somehow convinced myself it wasn't happening until I could no longer avoid it. For that,

I didn't expect this story to be any more predictable than the first one was -- and that one totally wasn't, like at all -- but I'm still gratified that April could still surprise me, even when I was looking for the crazy.

And then I get to the end and I think to myself, "I thought this was just a duology." Then I proceed to check Goodreads. Yep. Just two books.

I mean, I like those sorta open endings that leave you hopeful or whatever, but damn. Talk about needing closure. I'm not ready to leave these characters or their scary glows, burns, sparks, and anti-whatevers yet. Fingers crossed for more at some point.

Otherwise, you're likely to see some of this:

Oh, who am I kidding? You're going to see that anyway. :P At least until I have something else from this author in my hands...

Full review closer to book's release date!!!

About the author:

April Genevieve Tucholke is a full-time writer who digs classic movies, redheaded villains, big kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She and her husband—a librarian, former rare-book dealer, and journalist—live in Oregon. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is her first novel.

Find April:

WebsiteGoodreads | Twitter


  1. I have to admit that I didn't LOVE the first book like almost everybody else loved it. I thought it was alright, but I definitely had some issues, too. That said, I was pretty excited when I first saw that cover--so gorgeous. I'm bummed that this book has such an open ending, but I love the fact that it is only two books. Great GIF-y review!

    1. Yeah, I know a couple others who weren't as impressed by this novel as the rest of us, but even so, I think everyone can agree at the gorgeousness of the covers and the awesomeness of the font treatments. :)

  2. hahaha! Jen, I love this GIF reviews. These are great. You have a gift with gifs :-) This makes me very eager to read this one.

    1. Hehe...you're silly. And I hope you love this one! You're welcome to borrow my ARC if you want, just as soon as I write up my REAL review. :)

  3. I haven't started this series yet. I've been waiting to see how reactions to the conclusion are, before I make the commitment. But since you LOVED it... I'm hopeful I will too. The only thing that worries me is the ending. You said there isn't closure. Does that mean it feels incomplete, even though it ends on a hopeful note?

    Looking forward to your full review!

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

    1. No, it's not that it's incomplete, it just felt a little...unresolved. If that makes any sense. Like, there could definitely be MORE story, if the author felt so inclined. :) I definitely say it was a good decision to wait and read them back-to-back, though.

  4. AAAHHHHH. I'm seriously sad, Jen. Like tears, sad. I really enjoyed the first book. But I cannot do love triangles in book 2. Even if they turn out to not be a big deal, I know this would bug me throughout. I've been burned too many times to make it work for me. I am curious what happens in this, though. But not enough to read it for myself. The open ending is also a bit concerning, though it kind of fits with the wildness of this story. I'm glad you loved this!

    1. For the MOST part, it felt like a moving away from one relationship toward another, rather than a true love triangle, so it didn't bother me. There were times where Violet questioned herself and her actions, but I think it was pretty clear where things would end up, when all was said and done. Especially in light of certain events that transpired in this book. Aw, I wish you would read it so we could discuss. :(

    2. I know I'm late and everything, but I wanted to see reviews on this book closer to the date. With that said, it sucks that I think I know how this ends relationship wise. You pretty much said it. Even though River was a lying bastard, something about him was so different than the hum drum YA love interest. Kind of bummed. Still, if it was a choice between River being with Violet and all reformed, I think I'd rather have him play the bad guy. Great review, can't wait to read it!

  5. Love your review! I felt the same way when I was reading it. But the twist? Sweet Jesus I couldn't believe it. I had to read the chapter twice. Who knew Brodie could be so conniving. Also, just to make sure I understood it correctly, Violet does end up with Neely right? If that's the case, then I need MOREEE


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