For What It's Worth

Monday, May 16, 2016

Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke



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.
~ Goodreads



Source:
ARC obtained from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review

Review (or better known as my jumbled thoughts):

WTF was this book?

WTF did I just read?

I went into this book cold turkey – without reading the summary. Maybe I should have because I was immediately thrown when I realized the characters were named Wink, Poppy and Midnight (not to mention there are also Leaf’s Buttercup, and Bee to name a few more). I never know what kind of book I’m getting into when it starts of with that type of whimsy.

The thing is – I could have thoroughly researched this book first and STILL wouldn’t have understood what the hell was going on. I didn’t find the plot confusing so much as I couldn’t figure out what type of story the author was trying to tell. Was this a fairy tale? Albeit a Grimm fairy tale – these characters are mean. Is it paranormal or is it just a Mean Girls contemporary YA filled with metaphors and lyrical prose and fairy tale references to keep you off track?

Poppy is the local mean girl – manipulating her friends, and especially boys, to do her bidding. She’s a self described bully and makes no apologies. She strings Midnight along and he moves away (only 2 miles) to try to break the spell of her power over him. Wink is his new neighbor and catches his eye – but Poppy notices – and does not like it one bit.

Wink tries to help Midnight vanquish the villain/wolf, Poppy, and become the hero of his own story.

This is a really difficult book to discuss without spoilers. I won’t say anything specific but even a general discussion could be considered a spoiler so you have been forewarned…
Highlight for SPOILERS:

There are twists – then twists on the twists and one of the twists is better and more interesting than the actual twist. Did you get all that?? lol

Wink Poppy Midnight wants you to believe that the villain can be the hero and vice versa but all I could see is some seriously fucked up teens that need professional help stat!
Sure the *villain* becomes the hero at one point but are they really a hero if they are the ones that put people in danger in the first place?
In the end I found the implausible twist more believable and interesting than the reality. I could have believed in the witches and wolves explanation easier than what really happened.

END SPOILERS

Wink Poppy Midnight is oddly compelling in the driving by a car crash and rubber necking kind of way. I wasn’t sure what I was reading yet I couldn’t stop. I’m not even sure if I liked or disliked it or wanted it to go differently.

Tucholke has a very distinct way of writing and you either like it or you don’t. It’s surreal, metaphorical and filled with twist and turns. Fans of We Were Liars would probably enjoy this. I did enjoy WWL but I think Wink Poppy Midnight straddled that line between too many genres (fairy tale, paranormal, contemporary) for me to truly enjoy it overall.

20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yeah - it was a book full of WTF-ery but oddly compelling anyway.

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  2. I really loved her book Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, which was also a bit of a genre mashup (but I swear, it hit all of my favorite genres and plot lines). I still haven't gotten to this one- but I can't wait to read it. Well, obviously I can, since while I rushed to pre-order it, it's just sitting on my shelves (alongside Between the Spark and the Burn).

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    1. People who loved BtDatDBS love this one too so you should.

      Despite not loving it I could appreciate it - if that makes any sense lol

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  3. Oh my. This sounds like a hot mess. Lol

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    1. It's just....different. lol

      I can see it appealing to a lot of people though if you like that style of prose. Personally I don't - so that combined with everything else didn't work for me.

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  4. If it didn't feature a mean girl I could give this one a try - just because I'm attracted to weird things LOL. I read your spoiler, but it was nothing that would make me feel like I've read the book already. The problem is, I'm so sick of mean girls :/. Good job on reviewing such a difficult book.

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    1. P.S.: What's with the names? Do author come up with certain names just in order to compose clever (?) and alluring titles? LOL.

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    2. I do think that if this style of writing is your thing you would love it. The writing is beautiful in a way - just not what I enjoy.

      I *think* the names were used to throw you off maybe?? She flirts with it being fairy tale-ish and that plays into it and helps keep you guessing. That would be my guess. She does try to throw you in different directions a lot.

      I wish I could discuss it better but it would all be a giant spoiler and the whole plot hinges on the twist(s).

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    3. Umm...I read an excerpt and I don't like the writing style, so I'll pass.

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  5. This sounds like something I would listen to rather than read. The description reminds me of Weezy Batz in a way, but I think a book only needs one weird name.

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    1. Oh now listening might have been better.

      I can't really say it was bad - just not the right book for me.

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  6. Hm... on one hand too much confusion and I'm not in it at all... however... if just the right amount I can deal. Usually I have to have it make sense at lest in the end, but I've had a couple where I just didn't get it, but still enjoyed it. You have me curious even if you didn't quite enjoy it.

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    1. I know some people didn't get it but I did understand the twists but I don't know...it was just weird. Like watching a train wreck and not sure who you are rooting for to survive lol

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  7. I so want to read this! I want to be discombobulated too!

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  8. I barely remember what happened in this book because it threw me for a complete loop. I'm desperately trying to remember the twists you mentioned and I'm struggling.

    I don't know if I liked this book even. I think I nothing'd it.

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    Replies
    1. I think that's how I felt. I didn't' hate or love it. I just thought it was a hot mess.

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  9. Okay... I think I'll pass it :-) thanks for the warning as I was tempted by the cover.

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  10. wow a hot mess book - I did her other books :)

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