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Atmospheric Mystery | Book Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Wink Poppy Midnight is as intriguing as its cover…

Book Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

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wink poppy midnight april genevieve tucholke book review

Title & Author: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary, Mystery

Release Date: March 22, 2016

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Penguin

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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.”

You Have a Weird Name? Let’s be Friends!

Wink Poppy Midnight is a tough book to describe and review. It pulled me in and repulsed me in turns.

It’s core plot centers on three main characters who’s names are in the title: Wink, Poppy and Midnight. Poppy is your classic vicious mean girl, only with ambition, and Midnight finally breaks up with her. He and his dad also move across town, which happens to be next door to Wink and the “orphans,” i.e. her siblings (they have a mom; Wink is just quirky).

These characters then play more involved and complex roles in each others’ lives, which I won’t tell you too much about to avoid spoilers.

What I love about Tucholke is her ability to make a story “feel” a certain way. Her other book Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea reflects that as well.

Wink Poppy Midnight was very atmospheric – there are scenes deep in the woods and along streams and in abandoned houses. It was slightly creepy but not in a frightening way.

I really enjoyed how this story began as threads and individual parts but then wove and pieced them together to create a bigger picture. The journey was odd but worthwhile.

I did have some trouble reading, though, and it mainly involved the main concept of the story. I wasn’t fully sold on it, so it was hard for me to feel deeply invested in the characters or plot overall.

It was like watching an thrilling football game. Sure it was entertaining, but I still don’t like sports.

There is one thing that is undeniable: Wink Poppy Midnight is beautifully written. I love when language is used in ways I wasn’t expecting. Stunning.


Fans of mystery and contemporary thrillers will enjoy this story. Wink Poppy Midnight wasn’t a book I can say I enjoyed because of the book’s overall concept, but I did appreciate its atmospheric setting and beautiful prose.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.