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Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Miss Shayne returns this week with a new review of a YA title!

“This has a bizarre cover,” I thought as I looked for something to read before I got my hands on the next book in the series I am currently invested in. As I paged through this book, I thought, “it doesn’t look like a long read, either. Lemme check it out.” Let this be a warning to book cover-judgers everywhere: don’t make the same mistake I did!

This story is about the complicated relationship between Wink, Poppy, and Midnight. They are all connected somehow, whether they show it or not. Wink is the imaginative girl who lives beside Midnight. Midnight is the awkward boy who is quiet and analytical. Poppy is the pretty blonde bully. Their lives converge, and their interactions lead up to an event that alters the lives of all three and uncovers some truths in the process.

What I like about this book was how introspective the characters are. Poppy in particular realizes the error of her ways and goes off to be happy by herself. Midnight learns that he shouldn’t let other people take advantage of him as often as he does. Wink learns that it is easy to manipulate people in order to entertain herself. Though I found that aspect of the book wholesome, it had many problems.

To me, characters that have their own personalities, mannerisms, and speech patterns make a good story. The characters in this story were too similar to each other. They started out different, each character with their own personality and mannerisms in their speech, but eventually they all sounded the same. They adopted one another’s speech patterns and habits and started to reference too many books that either didn’t exist or I haven’t read. I understand that another sign of a good story is characters that develop, but these characters just became the same.

I kept coming up with acceptable excuses for the characters’ behaviors; excuses that would make the book worth reading. First I thought “okay, something supernatural is going on here. I can get into that.” But that wasn’t it. Next I thought, “oh boy! This is great! This chick has a mental illness! I love reading about that!” But she didn’t. She was crazy, yes, but not mentally ill. Bummer.  She was simply too imaginative at an age where I found it to be odd. I ran out of excuses for the characters and decided to be disappointed instead.

I had a hard time figuring out what Wink’s motivation was. She didn’t have a good one. Maybe she wanted to bring a story to life? This seems like a very juvenile thing to do, but this teenager decided this would be her source of entertainment. Also, she is not credible. She seems innocent, the girl too invested in fairy tales, but she has a master plan; one that I had to read the whole book to uncover. And it wasn’t worth it.

The synopsis had a lot of promise as well. Too bad it had nothing to do with the story. It sounded like all of the events that transpired were leading up to a life-changing event, but nothing too noteworthy happened. This book was anticlimactic. However, I can understand how this story could appeal to someone. There were entertaining elements to it, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it again.

--Reviewed by Miss Shayne


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