WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT | April Genevieve Tucholke
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: March 22, 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.”
I ran across this book in a used bookstore. With such a beautiful cover and a heinously low price, who could resist? But this decision proved to me that, sometimes, it might help to check up on some books before you buy because even if you spend less than $5 dollars on a book, you can still feel like you’ve been cheated. That’s not to say I felt CHEATED after buying this book, I just felt fairly….disappointed.
Wink, Poppy, Midnight was one of those contemporary books that relied a bit too much on the concept of edginess rather than having actually applied the concept of edginess. For me, it felt as if the author tried a bit too hard to deliver the story poetically. The three narratives of the MCs tie together nicely in some places but not always. The quirkiness of all the characters feels far too unnatural to be believable. And it doesn’t help that the characters seem hollow and are, arguably, very unlikable. One feels very reactive, not proactive in his role (Midnight), the other felt like a ghost and not all there (Wink), and the last felt drowned in her own storyline (Poppy).
It’s an odd book. There’s some beautiful imagery here and there and some moments felt truly impactful, however, the author’s potency in message and character couldn’t carry all the way through. The lackluster poetic delivery (excessive repetition does not make for a very interesting poem) only suctioned away from the magical essence of the text.
I wouldn’t read this book again, but I wouldn’t necessarily warn anyone away from it either. I’m convinced that this book just wasn’t for me. But it might appeal to some other readers who don’t mind symbolic characters, a bit of purple prose, and some enigmatic content.