April 17, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

wink poppy midnight

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke • March 22, 2016 • Dial Books (Penguin)
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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 knows.
Someone is lying.


First sentence: “The first time I slept with Poppy, I cried.”

If you ask me to describe Wink Poppy Midnight, I can only tell you two things: 1. it’s weird and 2. ?????????????????. I am incapable of deciding whether this very atmospheric book is something I like or not, and that is a pretty special book.

The Ups and Downs of Wink Poppy Midnight

  • Wink Poppy Midnight sends you into a tunnel of weirdness.

The writing wraps this world in a moody atmosphere that makes you feel as if these characters exist on a different plane. They feel so far removed from what we usually see in the real world or in YA fiction; it’s like I stepped into a weird dreamlike bubble. It really messes with your head.

Everybody I’ve talked to about Wink Poppy Midnight has had a weird reading experience, and I totally agree. The characters and what happens isn’t exactly out of the scope of normal or hard to follow, but the way it’s written makes everything…indescribable?

  • You get terrible and selfish characters, but I’m somehow charmed by it?

Wink, Poppy, and Midnight—who have terrible names (though, Poppy’s name is fine)—are people you wouldn’t regularly root for: they’re extremely horrible and selfish, and will grate on your nerves, which makes the best of characters.

Wink, who lives with her many siblings across from Midnight, is a dreamer and constantly weaves fairytales into her life, and doesn’t care when she is made fun of. She’s tight lip about her personal information. She makes Midnight into the hero in the fairytale she’s created. Wink has that dazed dreamy personality that reminds me a bit of Luna Lovegood and Cassie Ainsworth (from Skins) but with a deep dark secret.

Poppy, who Midnight was in love with, is spoiled and a big bully. She’s mean and manipulates everybody to get what she thinks is rightfully hers. Poppy should really be a character that I find repulsive (re: her manipulation and her irrational possessiveness), but I strangely admire her because she’s very self-aware of her horribleness. She knows what she wants, and she’ll go get it even if people call her a bully or a bitch. Towards the end, her characterization skitters off course to someone I didn’t even recognize, which I didn’t like. At times, Poppy reminds me of Kathryn Merteil minus the sweet persona that Kathryn puts on.

Midnight, the boy who was in love with Poppy, falls for Wink when he moves into the house across for her and intertwines himself into her life and the hero role she casted for him. This boy is bland and had no personality at all, which is why he was the only character I actually didn’t like.

Did I like these characters? I wouldn’t say that only because it doesn’t even begin to describe what I feel for thesm, specifically Wink and Poppy. I wouldn’t want to be friends with them, but I was just so fascinated by them and their personality.

  • You get a fairytale that makes you feel like you’re swimming in a dream.

Wink lives in fairytales. In her chapters, she’s removed from this world she lives in because she’s always dreaming up fairytales about the Hero (with a capital H). These moments are the ones that make me feel like she’s living in her head–not exactly seeing the world as it is. She creates these roles for the people in her life—Midnight as the Hero, Poppy as the Wolf, and her siblings as the Orphans—which makes you wonder what’s going on in that brain of hers.

  • The story doesn’t exactly take you anywhere.

For all the heroes and fairytale stories, Wink Poppy Midnight fails to deliver a satisfiable plot. It seems we’re idling by with these selfish characters, and then at a flick of the wrist, something major happens near the end that seem kind of haphazardly executed. I think I would’ve found the story dull if I hadn’t been fascinated by the characters.

Should you read Wink Poppy MidnightWink Poppy Midnight is an…experience. If you want weirdness and an dreamy atmospheric fairytale-like story with very selfish characters, definitely pick up this book. I want to know if you had “???????????” feelings too. ;)


9 Responses to “REVIEW • The Strange, the Selfish, and the ??????? (Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke)”

  1. I kind of want this. It sounds so weird but I kind of like weird. Plus, I’m pretty character driven, so just seeing all these characters do their thing should be sufficiently entertaining for me…
    I’m JUST SO CURIOUS NOW. I want to know if I’ll have the same ?????? thing going on, or if I’ll like it or not? I just want it. now.

  2. It’s so STRANGE BUT I LOVED IT. Well, mostly I loved the writing. And Wink – she reminded me a lot of Luna as well! This was a five-star read for me, but I can see why a lot of people wouldn’t like it…not much in the way of plot (or rationality…)

  3. Hmmm… good thing I don’t have a copy yet… but. I have to say that Wink Poppy Midnight is a pretty damn awesome title! And is partly the reason why I wanted to read this book… but now I don’t know.. hmmm but I do love weird characters…. soooo…

    Once I get the time, I may actually read this!

  4. I remember reading this and thinking the characters are really weird, but in a good way. I think that was the only thing that made me interested in reading further more into the story. The first few parts unfortunately bored me, and the only time I really got into it was that part in the middle when they were in the Roman Luck House. I finished the book not really knowing what I just read (I still do). I was all, “Wait, what just happened?!” Unfortunately, I don’t think I liked Wink Poppy Midnight as much as I thought I would. >.< Great review though, Cee!

  5. Alexa S. says:

    Yes! Wink Poppy Midnight is so ODD. But I found it so fascinating and incredibly atmospheric and I couldn’t put it down! I think it was so interesting to see how Tucholke reveals the characters and lets the story unfold.

  6. Ashley G. says:

    I’ve been really curious about this book as I’ve been seeing it all over bookstagram and the cover is beautiful. The title itself did give me an idea that it was kind of surreal. It sounds interesting. But I kind of like weird and odd, so I might give it a try. This is actually the first review I’ve read of it. Thank you!

  7. Kim says:

    Whew, what a book, huh? I read a sampler for this one, but I didn’t get the first chapter, so I skipped it. Thank God for that decision!

    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG

  8. Emma says:

    So this isn’t the type of book I would normally read but I have to say your review has made me think I’ll be keeping my eye out for it…the idea of a book that makes you feel this confused. I want to do know more!

  9. Marie says:

    Oh my, YES…my feelings were so ?????????????????? I will filled with so many mixed feelings as I read it. It left me not knowing if I loved it or hated it.

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