Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
Version: ARC Paperback
Rating: 5 stars
Published: March 22nd 2016
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.
I received this ARC from Miss Print's (Emma) ARC Adoption over here! Thank you Emma!
This book was... intriguing. I've seen many reviewers call it weird and it definitely was weird. And it does fall under the We Were Liars category with an unreliable narrator.
I don't even know if I could describe Wink Poppy Midnight properly because it was so out of left field. But in a good way left field. There are three teenagers, named Wink, Poppy, and Midnight. Poppy is the queen bee bully. Wink is the daughter of a tarot card reader and is nicknamed "Feral Bell" because she's, well, odd. And Midnight is the guy who ends up between them. The story is told in alternating POVs of our three main characters, although it's Wink who is telling the story from a more third person POV, analyzing the players in her tale of "the Hero" and "the Wolf".
She likens Midnight and Poppy to characters in a book she enjoys reading, The Thing in the Deep, as Midnight resembles a character in the book, whose name is Thief. Thief has to fight a monster who wants to kill the girl he loves, as well as face many obstacles and trials. In some way, Midnight did face a lot of trials over the course of this story. Does that make him the hero? Does it make Poppy the villain? Tucholke tells their story in such a way that it's really hard to tell.
I devoured this book. It was a great read, and I haven't been giving many 5 star ratings in awhile. It was an atypical way to tell the hero's journey, because each character had their own motivations for their actions, and I didn't expect any of their reveals in the end. Of course, I entered it not having any idea of where it was heading or what was going on for a few chapters, but sticking around was worth it. The plot was unique. And lately I've been reading many books with the same recycled plot, but just different retellings, so reading this was a breath of fresh air.
The prose was also very We Were Liars-esque, with very mysterious and vague lines that often.
The prose was artsy and developed over time, as the characters developed over time. I'll share my favorite line, without spoilers of course.
___ wasn't a villain.
She wasn't a hero.
People aren't just one thing. They never, ever are.
___ was flesh and blood.
She was bad.
And she was good.
She was real.
With that in mind, I went in reading this, hating Poppy for being so cruel, wishing Midnight would stand up to her, and thinking Wink was a hippie to the tenth degree. My opinions of them changed after I finished. The characters were very much human and real, neither bad nor good.
What I can say is it is a tale of redemption, in a sense. If you're looking for a roundabout, strange story, and I didn't expect it to be as good as it was, I recommend it! It's a read that will stick to you.