Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

wink poppy midnight

SummaryEvery 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.

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Fantasy, Contemporary, Thriller

Review: April Genevieve Tucholke is on my auto-buy list. Any time she publishes something, I don’t hesitate to read it. And this book was just what I expected from her. While it differs from Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea in a lot of ways, her style is clear and present. This book is eerie, consuming, atmospheric, and gritty. Full of mystery, it made you keep guessing at every twist and turn.

After learning what this book was based on (Les Diaboliques, a French film from the 1950s), I was completely hooked. The plot was just a bit of fantasty, just a bit of mystery, and just a bit of murder that combined into something completely original. The book built and built to one moment, and then changed your whole thinking afterwards. I loved the flip-flopping that occurred at every turn, which is really what made this book stand out, and why it’s so important to repeatedly mention. There was just a bit of romance to keep you engaged on one point, but that added to the intrigue of the plot, never overpowered it.

Every character was just as engaging as the others. I loved the split POV that changed in the middle of pages, and that there were no real chapters. You were continuously urged to keep reading with the short, intermittent chapters. I loved that each character was given a seemingly obvious cliche persona, but you never knew who they were. Either to themselves, or to others. By the end of the novel, what you thought you knew about the character types they embodied was completely wrong. You never stopped guessing about who these people really were.

Overall, this was a stunning novel from a stunning author. I can’t wait to see what Tucholke puts out next, as I’m sure it’s going to be just as gritty as her previous work. If you haven’t picked up this beautiful book yet, do so immediately.

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