Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.
What really happened?
Someone is lying.
Well. Just to start things off: the description isn’t exactly true. Everyone knows something and everyone is lying. This book’s protagonists collect secrets like retired old men collect model cars and cigars… it basically never stops.
There were a lot of things to like about Wink Poppy Midnight, but I’m not sure that Wink, Poppy, or Midnight can be included in those things. Wink is a bloody psycho with hidden agendas, zero conscious, and a thirst for blood that can be rivaled only by a vampire. Poppy is no better (in fact, she is much much worse) because she’s everything Wink is, except she doesn’t even try to hide her nature behind a love of fairytales and a whimsical family of myths and misfits. She is straight-up PROUD to be a raging witch with no true feelings for anyone but herself, her dead grandfather, and supposedly Wink’s brother whom is known to be an off-his-happy-pills hulk type bully, who uses violence to get what he wants, which is apparently a turn on to some people? I don’t really get that, but okaaaaaay. And then there’s Midnight, who is literally just languidly walking through this story, doing absolutely nothing he has thought of himself, and then wondering why everything around him keeps going contrary to the way he wants things to go. Like, uh, just get ahold of yourself, man. If you want something, you’re going to have to speak up and actually stand up for it for a change.
All of the characters are awful to each other, and I thought there were some parts of this book the were genuinely horrifying and hard to read. I generally fall for books with unreliable narrators, but I felt like this book took that concept to a whole new level of crazy, and it was very hard to follow for the first half. Like, I loved We Were Liars, and they do some messed up stuff in that book, but I felt I could at least relate to the narrator there, and she had a conscious. With the exception of Midnight (like 20% of the time anyway), none of the protagonists in Wink Poppy Midnight cared about the consequences of their actions or appeared to feel remorseful about them to even a slight degree.
But, I digress. Obviously (as told by the four star – really 3.8 stars if I’m being honest – rating), I did still enjoy this book. So now I’m going to talk about the good stuff, so that, having a clearer picture of this book, you can decide for yourself if you want to read it.
First off, that COVER. Oh my gosh, it is gorgeous and scrumptious and I just wanted to feel it up with my eyes. Yes, I was making eyes at the cover. Luckily, the cover wasn’t the only delicious part of the book. April Genevieve Tucholke’s prose was also quite poetic and lovely and I really did get caught up in the cadences and the curves and the twisty way she writes the narrative. The short chapters made the whole story feel more suspenseful, and in the second half I really felt like I was speeding towards the tumultuous conclusion.
I DID NOT SEE THAT ENDING COMING. I won’t give away spoilers here, but I just want to say that I love love when a book can surprise me, and this book, while wild and insane and sometimes terrifying, really did surprise me at least three times in the latter half. That’s something I respect in a book. And I mean, I guess it was kind of sort of a happy ending for most all of them maybe??? So that was kind of like the sweet at the end of a meal… it tied things up almost too nicely for such a wild book, but I sometimes like that… Sue me, okay?
Basically, if you like to feel like a book really screwed you over and then left you to kind of figure everything out on your own, I think you’ll love this book. If you enjoy being surprised a lot, and are willing to put up with some pretty unbelievable and/or messed-up stuff along the way, then I think, like me, you will find this book to be enjoyable. And if none of that appeals to you, this might not be the book for you.
Rating: 3.8/5 stars