Book Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Tucholke

Hiya everyone! So, if you have me on Goodreads (@cierrasreads) you’d see that I am a part of a group called Bibliophile Academy! It’s a read-a-long group that has a book of the month each month and Wink Poppy Midnight happened to be the book for April. (Get it, the author’s name is April. Heh.) So here are my thoughts on the work!

Chapter length: ✭✭✭✭✭

Cover: ✭✭✭✭✭

Pacing: ✭

Cliche count: ✭✭✭✭✭

Overall rating: ✭✭✭

Synopsis

Every story needs a hero. Every story needs a villain. Every story needs a secret. Two girls. One boy. One summer. One bad thing. What really happened? Someone knows. Someone is lying.

Favorite Quotes

“The seconds ticked by and I listened to the trickling of the creek down by the apple orchard and the rustling sounds of my dad unpacking inside. I felt my shoulders ease downward and my posture soften. Being with Wink was somehow like being alone, except not, you know, lonely.”

“I’d put a trap out in the woods. I’d caught a wolf. And now it was screaming.”

“But heroes get revenge. That’s what they do.”

Chapter length: There are no real “chapters” in this book, it just switches points of view between Wink Poppy and Midnight, which can be a little confusing until you get it down. Nevertheless, “chapter” length is excellent in this book!

Cover: The cover is literal perfection and nearly everything on it is relevant to the story. It’s also very dark (#Isitdarkinhereorisitjustthisbook on IG) which gives off this magical vibe. When I looked it over before I bought it at Barns and Noble, it made me think: oh crap. Things are going to happen in this book!

Pacing: Okay, here’s where I’m a bit salty. The book is only 247 pages. You can’t have a beautifully written and suspenseful book that only be just about 300 pages!! I was left with so many questions, even after rereading. Pacing is a no-go for me.

Cliche count: There are no cliches in this book at all. Completely different than anything I’ve ever read, love it.

Spoiler-free Review Section

To start, this book rocks imagery like no other. If you’re looking for a book with a lot of scenery and a connection to said scenery, this is definitely a read you’ll enjoy.

Also: the character diversity is great. Everyone is their own person and it definitely helped me decide who I thought was the best character. (*cough cough* Poppy,) because she’s more complicated and relatable depending on how you look at her.

Spoiler Review Section

I’m not sure if this counts as a spoiler since you find out pretty early in the book but *beware* there’s a slight love triangle here. It starts off pretty subtle, with Midnight being “done” with his freshman year obsession with Poppy, moving next door to the quirky redhead, and getting to know her. But then when Poppy finds out this little news, she becomes insulting to Wink saying things like: “Don’t call her what? Feral? It’s better than Wink. Wink is like something from a children’s book.” Like alright Poppy, way to let that jealousy run rampant. Wink is so nonchalant about it though, so thankfully there’s no final stand-off between them on who gets Midnight or whatever.

Besides the slight love triangle, I have a few things to pick at about this book, beginning with how confusing it is.

From the beginning, I was puzzled simply by trying to establish who are the girls and who is the boy! (Wink and Poppy are the girls, Midnight is the boy.) And as for the whole thief, hero, villain thing… um..

I seriously still haven’t figured that part about this book. I understand it was kind of a connecting factor between Wink’s fairytales and reality, but I just didn’t get it.

She seriously tells Midnight when she first meets him that he looks like Thief from the book she’s carrying. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t know how I’d feel if some random girl next door came on my porch and said I looked like a thief.

To continue complaining, I’m very annoyed with the climax of this book. Y’know, the whole possession of Wink’s body by Poppy inside of the Roman Luck house. Okay, first of all, Poppy doesn’t even die. Why would you “possess” someone if you’re not even a spirit? It literally makes no sense. When I saw the preceding events I was just going oh no oh no oh no why! the entire time! And was it really necessary to burn the house down? The whole scene was just irritating and I ended up skimming a bit because it was such an eye-roller for me.

Lastly, the ending was so un-resolving and displaced. Midnight finds Poppy in her new home of wilderness, spends the day with her, goes back to Wink and confronts her, then packs up with his dad and goes to Paris (WITHOUT SAYING GOODBYE) to see his mom and Alabama. Oh, and Wink “keeps her promise to Poppy” and sends for Leaf to come back (which he does) after all that time.

None of this makes sense. If Midnight’s mom and brother have been in Paris for x amount of years and have made zero attempts at contacting, what logical reason justifies Midnight and his dad deciding to just pack up despite everything and go for a visit? And why doesn’t Midnight say goodbye to Wink? The same goes for the whole Leaf and Poppy situation. If Wink could’ve brought him back that easily, why didn’t she do it years ago when he first left? Maybe I’m missing something, but this definitely aggravated me.

So to conclude, although the diction in this novel is whimsical and great, it’s just overbearing and makes the plot seem like it was so much more than what it actually was. But since it was still attention-grabbing from beginning to end, it’s worth three stars in my book.

Did you read along with us at the Bibliophile Academy? If so, tell me your thoughts on Wink Poppy Midnight!

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