Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Publication Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Dial Books
Reading Level: Young Adult 14+
Pages: 247 (ARC)
Source: New York Comic Con 2015
The intrigue of The Virgin Suicides and the "supernatural or not" question of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer coalesce in this young adult mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, no one is quite who you think, and everything can change on a dime.

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.

For fans of Holly Black, We Were Liars, and The Raven Boys, this mysterious tale full of intrigue, dread, beauty, and a whiff of something strange will leave you utterly entranced.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Oh, man. This book. This. Book. I don't even know what to say, so I am just going to start from the beginning. I knew I needed to read this book the second I saw this cover. This cover is one of my favorite covers ever to grace us. And then I read the synopsis and I was intrigued. Upon reading this book, though, I have to say that the comparisons to The Raven Boys, Mara Dyer, and We Were Liars are a little misleading to me. Sure, there's questionable magical realism and unreliable characters, but that's about it. This tale is entirely different than all of the aforementioned ones where good vs evil is severely blurred, narrators are intentionally withholding information, and you continue on at a lightning fast speed because you simply do not have a choice. Your brain won't let you stop.

The cast of characters in this book is amazing as well. As the cover states there is a hero, a villain, and a liar. Who is who? We must discover that for ourselves as we read this book and come to our own assumptions. One thing is for certain and that is that everyone is not what they seem. Tucholke builds this twisty turny world full of characters you either hate or desperately love, only to turn your own assumptions upside down and right-side up again multiple times as you read. Even after flipping the last page I find myself rationalizing certain things because of how Tucholke leaves us with so many certain uncertainties.

My one complaint does involve the characterization though. You have to suspend some serious belief for nearly every character in this book because certain happenings are so out there. And it's truly a shame because she knits this crazy, chaotic teenage world together so well that I wish that didn't have to happen. I wish Poppy wasn't so over the top at times, but the same could be said for nearly every other character at one point or another.

Tucholke's writing style is beyond compare. This story is so beautifully woven, highlighting the questionable, the crazy, and the quirkiness of all characters involved. Giving them names I'd typically dismiss, but building a world where such names are perfect. I just...I have no words to describe a story that is so expertly crafted I wouldn't even know how to explain it without spoiling it. Tucholke takes us on this amazing summer-long adventure in a single-sitting book that will literally take your breath away.

Read it. Breathe it. Bask in its beauty and mystery as your heart races. There's a hero, a villain, and a liar, and it is up to you to determine who is who.

4.5 stars


FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for this honest review.


  1. OOoh nice! Glad to hear this one was enjoyable! I'm really looking forward to reading it myself!! Great review!!

    1. Thank you, Jessica! I can't wait to hear your thoughts!