Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Dial Books
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. I had read and enjoyed Tucholke’s previous books (Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and Between the Spark and the Burn). I really enjoyed this book a lot. The writing style is amazing, very descriptive and really makes the scenes come alive. Tucholke has a very unique writing style that is just beautiful and amazing to read.
This story is about three characters called Wink, Poppy, and Midnight. The majority of the story is from Midnight’s POV but the story does switch between all three characters by chapter. Midnight is a boy obsessed with Poppy, he has always loved Poppy despite her ambivalence and meanness. However, he has finally realized that Poppy will always be mean and is ready to move on.
Poppy is the only child of two surgeons and she is mean, mean, mean (in her own words). She manipulates those around her and is constantly making everyone’s lives miserable. Wink the the oldest daughter of a large family and believes that everything is a story. And, according to Wink, every story needs a hero and a villain. She has made Poppy her villain and Midnight her hero.
Of course nothing is ever exactly what it seems. The roles of hero and villain may not be as clear cut as originally thought as the story unfolds. What unfolds is a story full of magical scenes and creepy ghost stories; it ends up being a unique and somewhat twisted coming of age tale for all these characters.
I really enjoyed the characters; especially Wink and Poppy. I loved the way Wink tries to turn everything into a fairy tale, even normal people’s everyday lives. These portions add a feel of magical realism to the story and really give the whole story a beautifully magical feel. I love the way Poppy embraces her meanness, while trying to figure out why she is so angry all the time.
I loved how Tucholke played with the personalities of these characters; making personalities have good attributes that could be twisted into bad ones depending on the scenario.
Overall it was a beautiful story and very well done. It’s hard to describe exactly what the story is about; mostly I would say a coming of age story full of magical realism. I would recommend to fans of artistically written contemporary YA and fans of Tucholke’s previous works.