By April Genevieve Tucholke
Published by Dial Books
on March 22, 2016
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
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 was super excited to read Wink Poppy Midnight. I loved April Genevieve Tucholke’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and I’m always drawn to books that seem like they’ll be twisty mysteries or thrillers.
First, the good: the writing in this book is really beautiful. I also liked that the three title characters, Wink, Poppy, and Midnight, alternately narrate the story. Multiple narrators can be difficult to do well, I think – or at least it’s difficult for me to enjoy – but it worked for me here. The three of them are kind of complex and, like real people, they’re all a bit good, a bit mean, a bit confused.
I also liked the format, with some shorter chapters and some longer ones. It kept me engrossed, and I read this book in one day.
Now for the aspects I’m less enthusiastic about: the story. I guess I shouldn’t say much, to avoid spoilers, but I didn’t find this twisty or thrilling or anything like that. It’s a very atmospheric story that doesn’t have as much going on, plot-wise, as I’d expected. I know there are plenty of people who prefer character-focused stories vs. plot-focused stories, and so those readers may get more out of this book than I did.
I also worried that I’d missed something, or that something went over my head. Did I read too quickly and miss a big twist or reveal? I have seen some truly glowing reviews that leave me feeling as though I didn’t pick up on something that I should have – but that’s probably just a reflection of different readers having different preferences, tastes, and opinions.
Overall, I enjoyed this, and am definitely a fan of April Genevieve Tucholke. I didn’t totally love this one, but it’s still a recommended read.