Title: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
Publisher: Dial Books
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Mystery, Supernatural Elements
Length: 252 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Penguin’s First to Read Program
The intrigue of The Raven Boys and the “supernatural or not” question of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer coalesce in this young adult mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, no one is quite who you think, and everything can change on a dime.
Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.
Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.
What really happened?
Someone is lying.
For fans of Holly Black, We Were Liars, and The Virgin Suicides, this mysterious tale full of intrigue, dread, beauty, and a whiff of something strange will leave you utterly entranced.
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke is a quirky, whimsical young adult novel that is part mystery, part romance and part fairy tale. With cast of interesting characters and an unusual (and intriguing) storyline, this fast paced read is impossible to put down.
Wink, Poppy and Midnight are classmates whose lives become intertwined after Midnight Hunt becomes neighbors with Wink Bell. Midnight is a sweet young man whose love for Poppy is unrequited but that does not stop them from sleeping together. Poppy is a manipulative, mean girl who makes no effort to hide that she is only sleeping with Midnight because the boy she really loves wants nothing to do with her. Wink is a dreamy young woman who helps take care of her younger siblings and more often than not, she has her nose buried in book and her head in the clouds. Midnight is enchanted by Wink and once Poppy realizes his affection for her is waning, she devises a plan to exact revenge on Wink. From the novel’s tagline, readers know to look for a hero, a villain and a liar, but exactly which character fills which role?
Midnight is the most grounded and normal of the three teenagers. He is going through a bit of a rough patch since his mom and older brother have recently moved to Paris so his mother can research her next novel. The separation may or may not signal an impending divorce and this uncertainty definitely weighs on his mind. Midnight is surprised but relieved by his interest in Wink but extricating himself from his arrangement with Poppy is a little more complicated and difficult than he thought it would be.
Poppy makes no apologies for her cruel streak and she embraces her dark side. She has a circle of loyal friends who are devoted to her and do whatever she asks without question. While nothing really seems to faze her, she is heartbroken that the boy she wants feels nothing but contempt for her. Although Poppy really does not want Midnight, she does not want Wink to have him either.
Wink is very a unique young woman. She is unflappable and she is unconcerned with other people’s opinions of her. She is free-spirited and capricious but she has a good sense of who she is and what she wants. Wink loves to read and she tends to view the world through the lenses of the books that she reads.
Wink Poppy Midnight is written from each of the character’s perspectives and their voices are unique and quite distinctive. The story itself is quite atmospheric and April Genevieve Tucholke brings the characters and various settings vibrantly to life. The storyline is engaging and while at first it seems to be a straight forward coming of age type tale, it morphs into a somewhat twisted story of revenge only to become a mystical mystery with seemingly supernatural elements. Despite a rather confused, convoluted conclusion, it is an enjoyable, if somewhat nonsensical, young adult novel that I liked and recommend to readers of all ages.