Review for “Wink Poppy Midnight” by April Genevieve Tucholke (2016)
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
A hero. A villain. A liar. Who’s who?
This book begins with the tagline above. There are three main characters–Wink, a wild child with tea-leaf reading mother and siblings she calls “Orphans,” Midnight, a beautifully misguided boy-child who’s mourning the loss of his absent mother, and Poppy, a spoiled, rich brat of a girl who gets anything she wants. To tell you anything about how or why these three become connected is to give away what little plot this book does have. The problem with this book is that we already know that people are villains, people are heroes, and people are liars. The characters are thin, and the main point of this story seems to be the all-too-common theme that people aren’t what they seem. The author goes straight into the narrative of the three characters right away, with short chapters narrated by each. About 70% of the way in you find out that there is some kind of conflict here, but you never had enough time in the beginning to figure out what the truth was anyway. When the so-called ‘twists’ are revealed in the end you could care less because you had nothing to work with in the first place.
And let’s talk about the writing here. It’s reminiscent of a style that you find in the fantasy genre, with images of cobblestone walks, twisting forest paths, the scent of jasmine, etc. But at about 25% in, the author’s schtick becomes repetition, repetition, and more repetition. Usually in groups of three. It’s awful.
“Clawing, scratching, scrape, scrape, scrape…”
“I hate that place, hate it, hate it, hate it.”
“Not again, not again, not again…”
“…I’d snap back, cruel, cruel, cruel, relishing every little lick of my tongue.”
“I’m bored with being mean. Bored, bored, bored.”
I wish I was making this up. In response I’m closing, closing, closing this book forever.
Thankfully this is a quick read. About the only good thing I can say is that it’s got a swell cover.