Review: Between the Spark and the Burn by April Genevieve Tucholke

August 19, 2014 4 stars, Book Review 29 ★★★★

Review: Between the Spark and the Burn by April Genevieve TucholkeBetween the Spark and the Burn by April Genevieve Tucholke
Series: (YA) Between #2
Published by Dial on August 14, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Gothic, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
My Reviews in this series: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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 . . .


Angst to the A N G S T squared

Between the Spark and the Burn continues to have that marvelous descriptive writing style that I came to know and love with the first book Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. There is just something about the way this author writes that sucks me in. I have to say that I think if some other author would have written this I likely wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did because the style would have been different and would have changed the way that I handled all the teenage angst that was thrown at me. Because yes folks there is teenage melodramatic angst and a whole lot of it. Not to mention the dreaded love triangle rears it’s viperous head in such a way in this book that I couldn’t help but want to smack the stupid off of Violet’s face. But who who who does this triangle take place with? It will be oh so obvious to you within the first few chapters of the book no worries. But suffice to say even though I am not fond of triangles – this one didn’t really bug me at all. No, I’m surprised it didn’t, it was Violet that bugged me in some of her behavior. But that’s only natural for us to groan over things that characters do sometimes – not in a “I hate your character” kind of a way – but in a “I want to shake some sense into you” way. I can totally get being somewhat torn, or not even knowing if you have any feelings of that inclination whatsoever but ergh sometimes the girl just peeved me to no end even while at the same time I really liked her. Am I making sense? Maybe not. Violet is a great character and one that I think would make an amazing friend.

So let’s recap Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – this paragraph only has summary spoilers for book 1

View Spoiler »END SPOILERS – don’t worry no spoilers at all for Between the Spark and the Burn – I’ll keep it vague as I can *evil laughter*

A trippity trippy road trip like something out of Supernatural

You know those brothers on TV that drive around the country hunting down strange stories they hear about? This book has a whole lot of that. Violet gets so antsy waiting around her home Citizen Kane that she decides she must go looking for River. Her, Neely, Luke and Sunshine pack it up and head out on the road hitting rather a few strange occurrences along the way. The companions making up the road trip changes along the course of the book. New characters are introduced and others disappear into the background of the story. Violet of course always being the key character that everything revolves around. I think she learns a lot about herself on this particular trip as well as we learn quite a bit about Freddie her deceased grandmother because Violet happens to find Freddie’s diary right before the trip starts. We get to read quite a few entries from Freddie’s diary and the puzzle pieces of how Freddie’s past and that of River’s grandfather all tie together. I really adored seeing the diary entries as well as the addition of new characters, though I think the way Violet seems to collect people is a tad odd and not completely believable but then on the other hand I could totally believe it because some people do just that, collect people to themselves.

Which way do you want to go? Yes, Which way?

I absolutely loved the characters, the writing style and all of the atmosphere that I got from this book. But I was left feeling somewhat dissatisfied by the ending. This is the conclusion to the duology but it felt like it has a very open ended ending similar to the first. Have some things resolved? Yes, of course, but other things not so much. This might be one of those lessons to a reader that there isn’t ever truly an ending to someone’s story and maybe that’s what the author was trying to get at here. I can however go with that but I’m just saying usually I want more closure when I finish a set of books. The key things though are definitely answered and for the most part I’m satisfied but there is this sheen of discontent that I’m left with and I’m not exactly sure where it comes from. Overall I adored this book and hope to read more from Tucholke in the future.

Read my interview with the author April Genevieve Tucholke

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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29 Responses to “Review: Between the Spark and the Burn by April Genevieve Tucholke”

  1. Nathan (@reviewbarn)

    Ya know, I may have to pick this one up, love triangles and all. I like a gothic feel, sounds like there may be a bit of Americana as well; all told it just looks like the type of thing I could end up liking.

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yeah – they travel around chasing these rumors that they hear on this late midnight hour “stranger than fiction” radio show.

      I don’t remember seeing any negative reviews for this but then I don’t think I saw many reviews around the blogosphere at the time last year. I’m pretty much about trying the books out if they sound good to me but but but a few one or two people’s reviews that I trust could probably scare me away from something lol. So I know what you mean. You read oodles faster then I, I say might as well give it a shot since both are out now.
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Between the Spark and the Burn by April Genevieve TucholkeMy Profile

  2. Nara

    Hmm not sure if I want to read on with this duology! Especially since I didn’t really like the first one (dunno, I just thought it was very weird overall, and not in a good way). But it does seem like this one might be better, and I did like the writing in the first one, so it could be worth it…
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  3. Sarah C.

    I’ve been so nervous to read reviews about this one; I enjoyed the first one so much, and I’m just afraid this one won’t live up to it. So I’m glad to hear it wasn’t terrible. But I, too, like a certain amount of closure. So I guess we’ll see.
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  4. Danya @ Fine Print

    Well after reading the blurb and seeing it compared to Daphne Du Maurier, I am NOT surprised that there’s a lot of teenage angst! Actually, now that I think about it there’s a crap load of teenage angst in many Gothic novels (I’m looking at you, Wuthering Heights!). But honestly, I love the classic Gothic romances and I’m liking the sound of this. Plus it’s a duology! How am I supposed to resist that?
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  5. Kim { Book Swoon }

    Yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed this Tabitha! I love Tucholke’s writing as well, and this book did not disappoint on the chilling factor once that road trip commenced. I was at first sad Violet was leaving Citizen Kane, but man not for long. I loved the journal entries from Freddie as well. Now there’s a story that could be told as well.
    Wonderful review, Tabitha 🙂
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  6. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I really , really enjoyed the first one (so odd, so different, so gothic), that this one includes a Supernatural-style road trip makes me want to pick it on up. Though, just reading your comment above, I didn’t like that she sat at home while the boys went off, doing stuff, and I’m not pleased it happened again.
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  7. Kel @ Booked til Tuesday

    A love triangle and LOTS of angst? I can’t say I’m surprised, but yeah, probably won’t be picking this one up. I understood why the writing style and story grabbed people in BTDATDBS, but the stylized approach didn’t work for me and the story/characters reminded me too much of Twilight. ^^;; I’m glad you enjoyed this duology, though, despite the somewhat open ending. Great review!
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  8. Molly Mortensen

    Oh, I hadn’t heard the connection to Supernatural about these books. Though the romance and teen angst do give me pause. I just might have to check them out now. Thanks for not spoiling anything from book one.
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