Expected publication: March 22nd 2016 by Dial Books
Format read: ARC via publisher
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.
But with that being said, Wink Poppy Midnight is definitely one of those books where actually doing a traditional review would spoil the story (and the experience!) of reading, so I'm going to keep this a bit short and a bit vague.
Wink Poppy Midnight is narrated by Wink, Poppy and Midnight, who are both outcasts and standouts within their small town. They each have their respective hangups, desires and issues, and Tucholke brilliantly explores them, by using first-person narration and alternating between each of their voices.
While a number of the trio's problems seem like fairly standard teenaged fare - e.g. Midnight has an unrequited love for Poppy, and Poppy doesn't hesitate to exploit that fact - there are elements of the story that are also classic Tucholke. She incorporates elements of the supernatural and whimsical into the trio's interactions, and interweaves them in a way that makes their struggles and tribulations feel beautifully removed from the real world.
Though the characters each developed organically as the story progressed, I was especially fond of Midnight's growth. Without giving spoilers away, he comes to the realization that it IS important to live is life and value what he has, verses chasing a seemingly impossible dream. It's a nice lesson, which I think will resound strongly with other readers.
Bottom line: Though the book is unusual, it's a worthwhile reading experience. Tucholke transforms readers into a world where lines blur between the real and hints of the fantastic, and it's an interesting, beautiful result.
In honor of Wink Poppy Midnight
I really admirable characters (and real-life people!) who can role with the punches, regardless of what comes their way. And that's why Julep is a hero to me!
If anything, I see her as being more dangerous than your traditional villain, since you never know if she's being polite and following society matters, or genuinely after you.
Our liar/character of ambiguous motivation:
However. Without giving spoilers away, she's also just as complex as expected for someone who was once entangled with Matt Murdock. She's fascinating as a character and I can't wait for everyone else to meet her.
What do you think of our hero/villain/character of ambiguous morals? Let us know!
* A finished copy of WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT
* SLASHER GIRLS & MONSTER BOYS
*A mystery ARC from our Summer 2016 list!
About the author:
April Genevieve Tucholke is the author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and Between the Spark and the Burn. She curated the highly anticipated horror/psychological thriller anthology Slasher Girls and Monster Boys. She has lived in many places, including Scotland, and currently resides in Oregon.