Book Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke


Goodreads blurb
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 knows.
Someone is lying.

First line: “The first time I slept with Poppy, I cried.”

Title: Wink Poppy Midnight
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
My Edition: A hardcover published in 2016 by Dial Books, with 247 pages
Age: Young Adult (16+) There is sexual references, and cussing. I would say that it would be okay for a 15-year-old, but because of the sexual context I put it to 16.
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Magical realism, Fantasy

I bought this book mostly based on the cover, because it’s just amazing, but also because the plot sounded so interesting!

The plot of the book is a little unclear, but I would categorize it as a classical contemporary. You’re pretty much reading about someone’s lives. But the thing about this book is that it isn’t as simple as that. At first I thought it was interesting, because the more pages you read, the more you understand about each of the characters. How they intertwine, why they are the way they are, and you get glimpses of their personality in each “chapter”. Then, more and more clues are spilled, and you’re wondering how this is going to end.

It was a strange book, strange in both a good way and a bad way. I love books where you think about whatever you are reading, I like it when a book kind of provokes me, or if it takes an unexpected turn, and this did, so many times, but the plot was kind of weak. Weak because it pretty much is about Midnight who was totally in love with Poppy, but then he realized that she was manipulative, so he falls in love with Wink. And that was pretty much the book for a lot of pages. It was weak because it took like 200 pages before something actually happened, to where the plot really started.

But then it’s such an interesting book, but it’s not interesting because of the plot, it’s interesting because of the writing and the characters.

The writing in this book is amazing, it’s kind of mystical and strange and it gives this book a much needed lift. The writing is weird, but so wonderful because of that weirdness. When reading a book, I always look for that thing about the book that I like the most, and in this book it was definitely the writing.

Two of my favorite writers have this way of writing that has become almost like a trademark. If I got a small text out of their books, I would pin point them with no problem among other writers, and that is, of course Maggie Stiefvater and Victoria Schwab. They have such amazing ways of writing, that only they can do, and finishing this book I felt like April Tucholke has that personal way of writing herself.

It’s hard to actually pin point exactly what makes this book so incredibly good, but the way she writes in such a lyrical way. It feels like she describes everything so perfectly, just with a small sentence, and you have the atmosphere set right from that one line of words. It was just magical, and I would recommend it based purely on the writing to be honest.

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Guess what I did half of the book? Tried to pin point who was the hero, who was the villain and who had the secret. But then again, it’s also written “People aren’t just one thing. They never, ever are. ” So, the quest kind of felt pointless to the point where I’d pin pointed everyone as everything in the end.

Wink is probably one of the strangest, but loveliest characters I’ve read about. She’s one of those people who just doesn’t care what others think, she’s her own person and it doesn’t matter if her underwear is filled with unicorns, because that’s just who she is. When I started this book I thought that Wink had to be the one with the secret, but then I realized that she was more than just a secret. Wink to me, is that magical person in your life who you feel completely content with. They have this energy that just makes you relax, someone who basically lets you be who you are. That is probably one of the reasons why I liked her the best out of all these characters. But, she also has this secretive side, where she doesn’t want to tell everything about herself, and that struck me as strange from the beginning because she seems like a very open person.Of course, there’s a reason for that, but I’m not going to spoil that for you.

Poppy is one of the best written ugly characters I’ve come upon in a book. She’s so ugly on the inside, but you can’t stop to feel sorry for her. From the first minute I knew she had to be the villain, but then after a while when I felt like I started to understand Poppy, and I suddenly realized that all people have ugly sides, Poppy’s was just more visible. She made it visible to everyone by being something she probably wasn’t.

Midnight was from minute one, Wink’s hero. The hero of her story, and he ultimately became my hero as well, but what I’ve learned is that no one is what they first seem like, and I started to think that maybe, just maybe, Midnight was the villain in stead.
Midnight is that boy who can’t stop thinking and longing for Poppy, but when Wink comes into his life, he suddenly sees Poppy in a different light, if you can put it like that? I didn’t like Midnight, mostly because somewhere among the way I felt something eerie about him. How could he be the one he portrayed himself as?

And that was the reason why I loved this story, it’s because it feels like a character analysis, you want to analyse each chapter to understand more, to uncover who’s who, and there are small clues along the way that I seriously did not see until the big bang was released! I loved that about the characters, because when you’re the narrator, you can pretty much portray yourself how you want to. No one can stop you really.

I did not like the ending though. It felt like a strange ending to what had happened. I wanted there to be a bigger ending, but it felt so thin.

The book was interesting because of the characters, and I seriously want to look up more books by April G. Tucholke, because her lyrical way of writing is amazing. The plot is a little slow at first, I wished there was more of a build up to everything that happened during the last 150 pages or so. But, all over, it’s a really good book and I’m happy I read it!

08/28 – Marked as to read
10/01 – Marked as currently reading
10/01 – Page 66 /26% “I love this”
10/02 – Page 88 / 35% “I love love love this book”
10/03 – Page 111 /44% “‘When you look into the darkness, the darkness looks into you'”
10/03 – Marked as read

Yes, I would want this in my bookshelf! It’s to be honest gorgeous, but I would also want it for a later re-read.

I would recommend it to people who like magical realism, and people who might like April’s way of writing and like strange and mystical characters. Plus it’s a super fast read!

“When you look into the darkness, the darkness looks into you.” – Wink




2 comments on “Book Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

  1. […] Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke Read: October 1-October 3 This book caught me by surprise, and it was a complete cover-buy! It’s pretty interesting, darkly written and there’s this plot twist that I did not see coming. The format is exciting because it’s not written in chapters but in small sections where it’s written from three different character’s views. Read the review here. […]


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