Book Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

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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.


Let me sum up this entire book and review with one word: confusion.

I didn’t understand this book, at all. Zero understanding. I have no idea what happened or how I’m supposed to feel about it now. This was a book that I expected to enjoy much more than I actually did in the end, I was pretty disappointed.

I’ve never had such a hard time rating a book because “Wink Poppy Midnight” is confusing in itself and I was even more confused with how I felt about it. Ultimately I settled on 3 stars instead of 2 because I really liked certain parts without really loving the entire book.

What I Loved:

  • The writing: it’s absolutely gorgeous and lyrical.
  • The characters: twisted, messed up, and very well developed.

What I Didn’t Love:

  • The complete lack of plot
  • A more than confusing story and ending

So each thing I loved, I really loved and each thing I disliked, I really disliked. Thus my very confused state regarding a rating for this book.


Plot? What plot? “Wink Poppy Midnight” is more character driven with no real story to speak of and what story there is doesn’t develop until half way through the book. Then when that story really gets rolling it was confusing as hell. I mean seriously I had no idea what was happening, at all!

Which with this book is kind of the point, right? We can’t trust any of the characters but even when all is “explained” I still had no idea what went down. There was no climax, there was no build up to anything and it made reading through this book feel pretty pointless. Plus from reading the description, all the “every story needs a hero” stuff, it pretty much gives away any twists because you already know you can’t trust the characters and what they think they are. No shockers there.

Basically what “Wink Poppy Midnight” passes off for a plot is just the characters manipulating and screwing each other over.

Then there’s the writing, really the only thing that even kept me turning pages because it certainly wasn’t anything else. The writing is kind of used to cover up the lack of plot, it dazzles you for quite a bit before you realize that all you’ve been reading was pretty writing and nothing was actually happening. However, it is very pretty. I am a sucker for beautiful writing and Tucholke’s is exceptional, I’ve always liked it but it was a bit overdone in this case. By which I mean it was kind of smoke and mirrors: “hey look over here at this gorgeous-ness and not over there were fake-y nothingness is happening!”

Generally I love weird, unique books but this was a little too eccentric and confusing for me….


Since “Wink Poppy Midnight” is a character driven book of course all three of the characters are very three dimensional and well developed. It’s all very psychological we get plenty of insight into everyone’s thoughts and that’s what makes this book a book. Without these characters we’d have nothing.

Wink, Poppy, and Midnight are all untrustworthy narrators and that’s what I loved the most about reading this story, I loved how twisted and flawed they all were. Nobody’s perfect.

Wink was by far my favorite of the characters she’s just so quirky and has the wholeΒ  cute “girl next door” thing going on. She’s very independent and pretty strong-willed.

I despised Poppy and I know that’s what the goal was but I really didn’t like her, at all. She’s the “sexy, mean girl” and every time we got to her POV I wanted to skip it, which of course I didn’t but that’s how much I disliked her. Although with Poppy the dislike isn’t because she was poorly written, the point was to not like her after all.

Midnight……honestly the best way for me to describe him would be “a little bitch”. He lets himself be everyone’s plaything and even though he knows this he lets it continue. Midnight needed to man up.

Also there is a sort of love triangle except I didn’t understand that either because it was a love triangle and yet wasn’t all at once. Any romance in this book is just as confusing as the not-plot so I don’t have much to add on it except more words about my confusion.

in conclusion

Well I can only say how confused I was in so many different ways right? Great writing and well written characters but all of that just can’t make up for a lack of any sort of story. All it did was make me question my own intellect, “Am I just not smart enough to understand this book?” Who knows? I surely don’t.

All in all I just didn’t like the story enough to rate it anymore than 3 stars but I liked the writing and characters enough to not want to rate it 2 stars.


If you want a book that’s all pretty writing and fucked up characters, knock yourself out. If you like a little more substance and story with your books then I’d skip this one.

I just can’t really recommend a book to anyone that I myself didn’t quite understand.

It’s definitely I book I would borrow versus buy if you can, unless you want a beautiful cover to add to your shelves.

The Sassy


14 thoughts on “Book Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

  1. Kelly May 10, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    Fabulous review! I’m sorry you didn’t like this one more! I keep going back and forth as to whether or not to buy this book. I’ve seen so many mixed reviews and so maybe people saying it’s so confusing that I just keep putting it off. It sounds intriguing because the characters are so well written and there’s this huge mystery thing going on but it really sounds like it’s lacking the general plot to pull it off. I think I might be skipping this one after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 10, 2016 / 8:12 pm

      Thank you! It’s definitely a mixed review sort of book if that makes sense, you either love it or hate it. The characters are really well written but as far as any mystery goes it falls flat which is why the book gets to be pretty confusing because of that lack of plot. Taking books off the TBR sucks sometimes but it’s better than wasting time on something you may not like, glad my review helped you out even a little! πŸ™‚


  2. Emily | RoseRead May 10, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    Lol I love the term “not-plot.” I am interested to read this now; I haven’t really heard much about this book yet, but it definitely sounds interesting. I’m also a sucker for beautiful writing, but you are right that if that’s all it has going for it, it doesn’t redeem the other things. I feel like I will either love this book or hate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 10, 2016 / 8:05 pm

      Haha thanks I typed “not-plot” out and decided I loved it too.
      I’ve only seen a few reviews from people I follow on Goodreads (so not too many as you said) and they either love or hate it and I’m kind of in the middle but it is that type of book. If you love pretty writing though I think you’ll at least enjoy that but I hope you enjoy more if you give it a go! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Katie May 10, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Did you ever read her debut Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea? My experience with that book is exactly what you described. The writing was absolutely gorgeous and the characters were really interesting, but the book was really weird and confusing. I haven’t read this one yet, but it sounds much like her first. Great review! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 10, 2016 / 8:48 pm

      Thank you! πŸ™‚
      Yep I did and had mutual feelings on it. Although I can say Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was more enjoyable than this one just because it was a little less confusing and actually had a plot line.
      So I think it’s safe to say you may feel the same way about Wink Poppy Midnight as you did with that one.


      • Katie May 10, 2016 / 8:55 pm

        Good to know, thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews May 11, 2016 / 4:43 am

    Sorry this wasn’t enjoyable for you! I really want to read this one, because I tend to love books like this πŸ˜‚ I’m not even sure why, but something about them just appeals to me? I totally understand they’re not for everyone though. Fantastic review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 12, 2016 / 9:29 pm

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ I hope you have better luck with it than I did, usually I love weird and quirky books that are unique like this but something about it just didn’t click with me….

      Liked by 1 person

  5. youngadultfictionreviews July 9, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    Great review! I agree this book was confusing, so much that it was too hard for me to follow. I also found the ending to be a bit abrupt, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek July 21, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      Thank you! Glad to hear it wasn’t just me that found it to be confusing! It was all just a little too open-ended for me! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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