Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Maybe it would have helped if I didn't somehow lure myself into thinking this book was fantasy, instead of some kind of contemporary...magical realism...surrealist...thing. As it happens, however, genre-busting is not to the benefit of Wink Poppy Midnight, especially not when one of the genres the book throws in is surrealism. As a result, the book, while bite-sized, is extremely difficult to follow. The nigh-indistinguishable triple POV's don't help either.
Surrealism, I think, works better in a visual medium, like TV. Hannibal, while plagued with a tendency to lapse into impenetrable navel-gazing, at least had gloriously dark visuals to keep the viewer engaged. Same goes for the compulsively watchable Mr. Robot and its often drug-addled stories that go nowhere fast.
Frankly, I couldn't make much sense of who's who and what's she between the three title characters (those were really their names?), if at all. From what I gathered, Midnight was the center of the story, a boy endlessly examining his self-worth relative to those around him, like his brother Alabama. Wink, however, mostly fades into the background and makes little to no impact, and Poppy wavers unnervingly between popular girl and Gone Girl.
But I'm pretty damn sure I'm wrong.
I really should have known better than to try and look at this book in the aisle at Target today. I thought I learned from We All Looked Up that even if a book is remotely genre, if it's on the shelf near the John Green books, it's a "Must Avoid." Once again, I've made the mistake of reading a book from the contemporary section - although this book is about as un-contemporary as contemporary YA can get. And not in a good way like More Happy Than Not. Speaking of which, Adam Silvera recently said something on Twitter about reading this book - the main reason why I picked it up, I think. Sorry, Silvera, but this time, your recommendation has failed me.
I'll think twice before picking up another book by this author.
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