Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

My Thoughts

An atmospheric gothic narrative—eerie and fascinating
thoughtfully unraveled in Tucholke’s distinctive voice.

4halfstars

Synopsis

Mar-22Every 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.

My Review

April Tucholke’s Wink Poppy Midnight is a story in the making. A story deconstructed. A study in characters. It’s a mystery, a suspense, a romance and a novel difficult to classify, but one that’s deliciously creepy and deviously fun to devour. The tone is ominous and foreboding, the story constantly shifting , twisting, turning through the perspective of the narrative’s central characters: Wink, Poppy and Midnight.  A Hero, a Villain and perhaps a Catalyst… one who pushes their entwined story forward, who tangles it even as the story begs to unravel. But which character is whom and what secrets do they keep?

“We were like the three Fates, weaving the story together, threads of gold, red, and midnight blue. There would be wolves and tricks and lies and cunning and vengeance in our story. I would make sure of it.”

Midnight is the awkward boy enamored with Poppythe blond-haired mean girl who lives her life loudly and in the lead. But Poppy is in love with Leafthe boy who sees the ugly beneath the pretty, the brother of the red-haired, freckled, book-loving Wink. Over the course of a summer, their stories knot together through love, scorn and revenge.

“Your story is about to begin, and that boy moving boxes into the slanted old house across the road is the start of it.”

After being brushed off by Poppy (again), Midnight is determined to get over her. Moving out of town offered the perfect opportunity to forget the girl who had no heart. Moreover, the innocent-looking, green-eyed Wink seemed to be just the balm he needed. She was an oddball dreamer who interpreted life like a fairy tale and she was intent on making him the Hero in her life.

But as Wink and Midnight inch closer, Poppy bursts back onto the scene with a wicked gleam in her eye.

“Poppy was used to getting what she wanted. That was the thing about Poppy. She won. She always won.”

The relationship between the three is a vicious push and pull, a foreboding circling before a brutal strike. Then a prank goes too far and a girl goes missing, and nothing is the same. Worse yet, clues hint at something to come.

“Every story needs a Villain. The Villain is just as important as the Hero.”

I loved the unsettling mood and tone of the story. Loved how both the emotional and physical trauma deepened and twisted the narrative in ways I didn’t expect. How their three fascinating and distinct voices unwound the story in a quietly chilling and captivating way.

You won’t want to miss Tucholke’s darker take on teenage drama, in all its unnerving, capricious glory.

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