Wink Poppy Midnight
By: April Genevieve Tucholke
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: March 22nd, 2016
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.
The best thing about this book? The writing. It is beautiful, as is typical of Tucholke, but no matter how lovely, it was still awful. Thank the lord it was short.
With a rather vile cast of characters, who were not even interestingly vile, this book was a huge disappointment. I wanted to love it because it is an April Tucholke book and had a gorgeous cover, but the synopsis made me wary and the characters and story doomed it. It started out being possibly redeemable, I originally liked Wink and Midnight could have grown a pair, but sadly, in the end Midnight was still a frustratingly weak person and Wink was just not-in-a-good-way-weird.
I can’t fully explain my dislike for this book without being vague and providing specific details that are spoilery. Basically, all the characters are rather despicable, be they the used or the user, the ones you thought you might like to begin with or the one you knew was the villain from the beginning. The spoiled version is this: Midnight is willingly being used by Poppy, no matter how many times she bullies him or casts him aside. He follows her like a pathetic puppy dog, and even when he makes the decision to move on, he doesn’t try very hard for very long. Then we have Poppy, who knows she is manipulating Midnight to hell and back, but she’s a bitch to everyone so what does it matter. Lastly, there is Wink, who started out with the promise of being wonderfully weird and the redeeming character of the book, however, she becomes creepily weird, stalking people and being equally as manipulative as Poppy. The most disappointing character, though, was Wink’s brother Lief who is only spoken about in flashback for most of the book. He had the most promise, he hits Poppy when she is bullying a young boy, he tells her that she is ugly on the inside, and I loved how Poppy doggedly goes after him and he rejects her. Sadly, his character was a failure, he ends up giving Poppy what she wants, his attention and kisses, and then is Poppy’s reward at the end of the book for her seeking redemption.
The plot follows a frustrating path, Midnight is not the hero Wink makes him out to be, he is weak and pathetic and can’t stand up for himself to save his life. He stands passively by as Poppy commits her awful acts, and even agrees to lead Wink into a house that she is scared of for Poppy. Even when he participates in Wink’s plan to turn the tables on Poppy, he feels bad about it and bad for Poppy. No one should ever feel bad for that girl. Ever. The best part of the book was the brief moment when everyone thought she was dead. Also, when Poppy realizes that everyone hates her, because, like a stupid git, she didn’t realize this before. We then find out how utterly warped Wink is, because she planned the whole thing with Poppy and is just as manipulative. Finally, Poppy is somehow redeemed because she goes and lives in the woods and away from society, which is what she blames on her acting like a royal bitch, and asks Wink to contact Lief for her to get him to come back and see how much she has changed and wouldn’t it be great if they got together?
The bottom line is that this book was infuriating. No one is likable, even the minor characters, it had no point, other than to grant a girl redemption that she neither deserved nor earned, and served no purpose, no moral lesson or important revelations were imparted. All the characters were weird, all were awful people, and there wasn’t even much of a mystery. The main mystery is why I bothered to finish the book at all.
If you like what you read above, please follow using one (or more) of the social media sites in the sidebar!
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. An unfinished copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review by Around the World ARC Tours.