Wink, Poppy, Midnight
By April Genevieve Tucholke
March 22, 2016
Available at

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.

This blurb totally grabbed me I was completely hooked. However, the book didn’t quite deliver. The prose was amazing but I felt like it was so good to hide the fact that there wasn’t much plot. We spend the first part of the book meeting out three main characters, Wink Poppy and Midnight. Let’s start with reviewing the characters:

Wink: I am totally in the minority here but I couldn’t stand her. I felt like she was totally unbelievable and I had a hard time figuring out how Midnight would be so drawn to her other than the fact that she’s nothing like Poppy.
Poppy: Again in the minority but I kind of loved Poppy. I loved that she knew who she was and she owned. She didn’t really like who she was and I felt that this story was really more her’s than any of the other two.
Midnight: He’s a little tough. I had very mixed feelings about him. The whole story existed because of him and I found myself wondering why. He really was not that interesting he was a bit of a sad puppy for most of the book and I couldn’t figured out why Poppy and Wink were so drawn to him.
So the first half of the novel finds us being beaten over the head with the fact that Poppy is a bully and Wink is amazing. But can we really trust that? The blurb tells us right off the bat that someone is lying. So I felt I was predisposed to dislike Wink because I felt like she had to be the one lying.

The best part of the book by far was the writing it was beautiful, lyrical and haunting. Like I said though when I finished I find myself thinking wow what an amazing writer…but what exactly happened? One of my favorite lines from this book was; “I used to think that I needed to be part of a story, a big story, one with trials and villains and temptations and rewards. That’s how I would conquer it, conquer death.” As someone who loves to read (especially fairy tales) I’ve often found myself fantasize about being a part of a big story. The author was really great at being able to make you feel connected to the world she placed her characters in but sadly I never felt super connected to the characters.

The plot was interesting because it was so heavy in telling us about the characters and their motives but it didn’t show us too much. There’s an event (pretty much the only event) that happens about halfway through the story that forces one of the main three off the page so to speak. After that we’re pretty much rushed through a quick succession of minor events and a way-too-fast wrap up of the story. The second half of the story was so much more interesting but moved too quickly to easily follow. I ended up reading this twice because I though for sure I had missed something but no the book was hastily wrapped up.

I really really wanted to love this book but between wanting to rip my hair out every time Wink’s chapters came up and the whole no plot I can only give this one 3 stars. This definitely could have been a 5 star if the second half of the book had been expanded and better paced. Also, the characters were a little flat and there weren’t enough events that forced them to grow or change. I’ll probably read April again because her prose really is amazing but I’m hoping the book is a lot more plot driven.

Have you picked this book up yet? What books have you picked up where the blurb sounded amazing but in the end the book just did not deliver?