cover image Wink Poppy Midnight

Wink Poppy Midnight

April Genevieve Tucholke. Dial, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4048-8

Tucholke (Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea) rapidly alternates among the perspectives of teenagers Wink, Poppy, and Midnight in a dark, unpredictable mystery that subverts literary conventions like the hero’s journey while shimmering with sumptuous descriptions and complicated psychologies. Midnight both loves and is infuriated by classmate Poppy, who seemingly lives to manipulate others for attention. In an attempt to get over Poppy, Midnight takes up with Wink, the odd, outsidery girl from across the street, who is surrounded by siblings and whose mother reads tarot cards and tea leaves for neighbors. Poppy and her entourage often congregate near a decrepit mansion in the forest, though they’re all slightly afraid that it’s haunted; the book turns on a fateful night when Poppy conspires to lock Wink in the house overnight. Poppy’s jealousy and Wink’s obsession with a heroic fantasy novel bring additional hints of intrigue to the plot, while occult accouterments, descriptions of the wild landscape, and a twisting-turning plot create an uncertain atmosphere that constantly shift readers’ perceptions of who is trustworthy. Ages 14–up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Mar.)