Review: Between the Spark and the Burn by April Tucholke

Posted August 12, 2014 in Review / 4 Comments

Between the Spark and the BurnBetween the Spark and the Burn (Between #2)
By April Genevieve Tucholke
Expected publication August 14th, 2014
320 pages
Young Adult | Gothic | Paranormal
Source: Received from author in exchange for an unbiased review (so many thanks!!!!)



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About the 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 .


What a quirky, awesomely gothic read this series is.  I am so in love with the weirdness that is Ms. Tucholke’s Between world!  Now that I’ve read both books and comparing them, I think I liked Between the Spark and Burn a smidge better than Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.  Well, you can’t have one without the other and you certainly don’t want to try and read the second book without having read the first book (IMHO).  But it almost seemed like Between the Spark.. had a more specific purpose, it was organized well, had a bit more action, and a parallel storyline that kept me totally enthralled.  AND, ta da da da da.. it’s a short, quick read that I devoured in just over one day.

It was as if I went on a weekend road trip with Violet and her crazy “family” to the mountains of West “by God” Virginia and the outer banks of North Carolina.

Of course, when I say “family” in relation to Violet, I mean her extended family that includes friends.  They are all back.  Sunshine is still fixated on boys, Luke in particular.  Neely (Cornelious Redding to his father, most likely) is hanging around when he’s not out searching for his brothers River and Brodie.  Of course Jack wouldn’t go anywhere – he adores Violet and Luke and appreciates that they’ve taken him in as one of their own 😉   Mom and Dad haven’t flaked out yet, so they are still living in the house and painting in the shed.

Nothing has changed since the last book except Violet (Vi).  And she’s ready to go get what she wants.  She wants River back so she’s going “devil hunting”…  with Neely’s help.  I love Vi’s innocent way at looking at life.  But unlike before, she’s now willing to go (as in leave Citizen Kane) to get what she wants.  Yep, our little Vi has done some growing up!  No thanks to her Grandma Freddie and that diary of hers.  Lord have mercy, those flappers were craaaazy!

I loved the action in this story, the absolute horror of humanity depicted (sometimes humanity can be a horror movie in itself), and the fact that this story flowed perfectly (I never got lost following the mystery) and moved at an excellent pace.

Why did I take off the 1/2 star?  The Ending.  Personally, I was let down by two aspects of it.  Would I change the overall gist of it?  NO WAY!  If I could possess Ms. Tucholke’s brain for a day and rewrite a few sentences in the ending, would I?  HELL YES!  But I’m not an author and a book is a piece of personal artwork from an author so I won’t/can’t say the ending is bad because it isn’t.  Personally I was just let down.  Wah, wah… 


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Photo by Sung Park
Photo by Sung Park

About the author:

April Genevieve Tucholke is the author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and its upcoming sequel, Between the Spark and the Burn. She loves classic horror movies and coffee. She has lived in many places, including Scotland, and currently resides in Oregon with her husband Nate Pedersen.

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About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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