By April Genevieve Tucholke
Publisher: Dial Books
Format: Print ARC
To Sum It Up: Wink Poppy Midnight follows the intertwined stories of three very different characters. Midnight, a sensitive and unusual young boy finds himself caught in between two very different girls. Poppy, the beautiful and very mean girl refuses to relinquish her claim on Midnight, but the strange and fairytale obsessed Wink seems to be winning him over. A haunted house in the woods will force the characters to reveal who they really are.
Review: I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I got this ARC while at YALLFest, but the important thing is that I finally got to read it! I have been in a severe book hangover since reading The Raven King, but Wink Poppy Midnight was the perfect book to help me out of the dark depths of depression. It was a quick and enjoyable read with short chapters and fluid transitions that kept the pace moving. That being said, I was able to finish it in a matter of hours. Although the book was nothing like I expected (I thought it was going to be paranormal for some strange reason) it successfully accomplished capturing the extraordinary in the ordinary. The complex characters, the fairytale-esque setting, and the shocking end worked well together to pull the reader into the world of the novel.
I love a good book with a haunted house, and Wink Poppy Midnight truly delivered. Throw in a charming farm and a wooded area and you have the perfect recipe for a place where anything can (and does) happen. While the characters are somewhat ordinary high school students, this setting is an excellent opportunity to do more extraordinary things while away from the routine normality of school.
Another thing I enjoyed about this story was the complexity of the characters. No one is truly what they seem, and I love when characters defy the expectations of the reader. I thought Wink, Poppy, and Midnight were somewhat gray characters, and I think that complexity brought the story to another level. Watching them reveal themselves to each other threw me for quite a loop. Although I did not particularly like any of the characters, I still had a lot of fun reading about them. Yes, I know how very little sense that makes, but it’s true!
Surprise endings can be a hit or miss with me. My golden rule is that above all else, the ending must fit the characters, and I was very pleased to find that this one did just that! The pace of the novel kept the reader moving quickly, so the end is even more of a jolt (but in a very good way!).
All in All: Wink Poppy Midnight was a quick and enjoyable read. It is definitely not what it appears to be, but I thought that was what made it appealing. I didn’t find anything wrong with this book, but for whatever reason this book was not able to work its way into my heart. That being said, you should really give this one a try!