Wink Poppy Midnight
By April Genevieve Tucholke
Summary: 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.
Source: I purchased a hardcover
I enjoyed the author’s Between the Devil and Deep Blue Sea, though the sequel/finale, Between the Spark and Burn, fizzled and disappointed me. I was excited to read Wink Poppy Midnight because I think the author has quite the talent for writing and how she tells a story and I was willing to give her another chance to wow me.
So here’s the thing. The author is amazing at writing. She could take the simplest of tasks and write a gorgeous paragraph about anything, even how you unloaded the dishwasher. I’m convinced. The talent is THERE. The problem with her books don’t lie in the writing, but in the story itself and that is true for both of her stories, in my opinion. There wasn’t much of a true plot that made a lot of sense, so I feel distracted by the writing and left feeling vaguely tricked like someone watching a magic show and realizing the magician is using the glorious smoke and sparks to distract from his movements. He’s not really doing magic, it just SEEMS like it.
I wanted to love Wink Poppy Midnight, but I just don’t know that there’s enough of a plot or ending or reason for the story itself to exist for me to really like it. I’m frustrated because I know the author has talent and I know that one day she will blow me away and write a book I won’t be able to put down. It seems like such a strange problem to have.. A talent for writing but not telling a story worth telling. It’s certainly not as big of a problem as having a story to tell and failing in the execution, but it’s still a problem.
If you enjoy those weird what-is-actually-happening, lose-yourself-in-the-prose kind of books, Wink Poppy Midnight might do the trick for you, but I just wasn’t quite drawn in, which is exactly how her previous books have left me feeling. Read at your own risk. It’s a short book, so it certainly won’t feel like you’ve wasted much time at all, which is at least a perk.