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 whole¬† 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