[Review] Wink Poppy Midnight – April Genevieve Tucholke

Title: Wink Poppy Midnight
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Genre: YA Fiction
Published: 2016
My Rating: ★★★★★

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 really, reeeeally enjoyed this. For one, it’s a very quick read and, since I’m obscenely behind on my Goodreads challenge, it’s nice to read a whole book in one sitting. For two, it has a very magical quality to it without there being any actual magic in it. There’s a haunted house, a fortuneteller, and a very warm and cozy hayloft that I’d love to read and take a nap in.

The characters are beautifully flawed. Wink is obsessed with fairy tales and blurs the line between fantasy and reality (I can relate). Poppy is obsessed with herself (I can relate) and Leaf, Wink’s older brother, and likes to torture people (ahem). Midnight is obsessed with being like his older brother, Alabama, who his mother took with her to France, leaving him with his dad. Tucholke has an amazing way of making you root for one character in the beginning, hating the other, and then by the end, making you completely change your opinion on them. Except for Midnight. I don’t think my opinion of him ever changed. Poor thing, stuck between these two powerful forces. They have a lot of personality, these girls.

I love how the names are so bizarre. It’s like when you watch an anime for the first time and you know immediately who the main character is because they’re in a sea of plain characters while they themselves have spiky rainbow hair and eyes the size of soccer balls. I think the same could be said with the names in this book. Wink, Poppy, Midnight, Leaf . . . If they had a normal name like Zoe or Thomas, you know they’re mundanes.

I had the pleasure of getting my book signed by Tucholke last year when she toured with a group of authors (she said she liked my name). It’s kind of sad that I’m only just now reading this, but I will definitely be picking up more of her work.