In Wink Poppy Midnight, Wink and Midnight team up to get back at Poppy for being a bully, but not everything is clear as to what happened that night, or what happened to Poppy afterwards.
Why this book?: I’d read a few reviews that absolutely raved about this book and how dark and bewitching it is. When my school library got it in, I had to be the first to pick it up.
Dark and mysterious . . . but maybe too mysterious
All throughout reading Wink Poppy Midnight, I felt like I was seriously missing something. I was enjoying what I was reading, found it darkly intriguing and was just dying to know more. Except . . . I was never really satisfied with what was revealed.
Wink is a very poetic and dreamy girl, and she talks and thinks and acts like that as well. Her chapters were harder and harder to make sense of the further into the book you went, and you could tell that a lot was being held back from you. But that missing information felt like it did more damage than good, because I was constantly confused as to what was going on or what the purpose was.
Nothing is ever directly explained. Wink’s chapters were too mysterious, Midnight’s were basically a typical YA boy with an extra dash of cluelessness, and Poppy’s were . . . a mix of Wink’s and Voldemort’s. Half the time Poppy was evil–and the other half she was acting like she could take Wink like a drug, and was practically becoming her.
The summary provided for this book doesn’t explain much, so I didn’t know what I was getting into besides what I had read in other’s reviews. But something that was directly on the cover of the book was this: A hero. A villain. A liar. Who’s who? That’s the quote that deeply damages this book. The twist wasn’t a twist because it was obvious that it was going to happen. You can label each character with one of those, and then figure it out from there.
The way this book was handled was very skillfully. Tucholke knew when to end her short and sweet (or bitter?) chapters, and had a distinct voice for each character. Nearer the end they started to blend more together, which can be taken symbolically or the opposite.
The atmosphere of Wink Poppy Midnight is witchy and just dark, but also light, and fair, and lovely. The book was so full of different types of love and even love disguised as hate and even the opposite. Tucholke doesn’t try to make her book a fairy tale, even as one of her characters does, and that’s one thing that really hooked me. Some authors like making all of their characters amazing or perfect–even when they’re supposed to be the grey character. Tuchokle, however, was brutally honest.
Final Rating: ★★★½☆☆
I enjoyed the characters and the setting and the idea behind the book, but the execution was a little lacking. Tucholke held back too much information, leaving me guessing too many questions at the end and basically just dumped an unsurprising ending on me.
Would I Recommend?
I can see how and what would make people like this book so much. Personally, it just wasn’t for me. If you like that dark, magical realism setting, with a mystery and love thrown in, you should probably try this.
Published: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Dial Books
Page Count: 247
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.