Review of Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

winkpoppymidnightWink Poppy Midnight
By: April Genevieve Tucholke
Release Date: March 22nd 2016
Publisher: Dial
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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.

My Thoughts:
I am always excited to read anything by April Genevieve Tucholke because her writing is always so emotional and atmospheric. I adore her descriptions and the creepy, gothic feel each of her novels has. Wink Poppy Midnight was no different. Overall, this book was a quick read that had me deeply immersed. I did, however, find the ending to be a bit of a letdown and came out of my reading experience feeling like I must have missed something.

This book tells the stories of three characters, Wink, Poppy and Midnight. We see the story unfold through each of their eyes and I loved how they were all very flawed characters. Each narrative was unique and very much distinguishable from the other characters (always so impressed when an author can pull that off). They all play an important role in each other’s lives and honestly- they mistreat each other pretty badly. I was most drawn to Poppy’s character due to how okay she was with all her nasty personality traits. To me, she felt like the most complex of the characters and though I couldn’t fathom liking her I loved reading her story.

As always, with this author’s work, the setting played a large part in the story. The reader is transported and you really feel what it would be like to live in these character’s lives. I adore how well I could visualize each of the locations- the barn, forest, and the old, haunted house.

I couldn’t help but try to guess where the story was headed as I read. I had all sorts of theories and none of them were correct! I though I saw all sorts of clues lying around but I was for the most part wrong. When the big reveal was shown I felt a tad let down. I wanted more! I wanted the story to go so much deeper and so much darker than it did. This makes me feel like I must have missed something. The entire last portion of the book felt sort of meh to me.

Final Thoughts:
April Genevieve Tucholke’s writing is like a dream or fairy tale. I never had a real grasp on what was happening or where the story was going (though I tried guessing). I loved the atmosphere of the story but I still feel like I didn’t ‘get it’ fully. Even considering that I still felt like it was well worth the read.

Review of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue SeaBetween the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
By: April Genevieve Tucholke
Release Date: August 15th 2013
Publisher: Dial
Purchase:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

My Rating:
star

Summary (via Goodreads):
You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery…who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

The Story:
I knew I had to read Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea immediately upon seeing the cover. I didn’t bother to look at the summary so went into reading with no idea what I was getting myself into. I have not read a lot from this genre so many of the gothic elements were refreshingly new to me. Tucholke infused the entire story with slow yet anxiety filled pacing, beautiful scenic descriptions and unforgettable characters. I was completely immersed into her story and setting- watching everything happen but unable to do anything as the story unfolded.

The most accurate word to describe BtDatDBS is atmospheric. I loved the town of Echo and the creepy, old house, named Citizen Kane, that Violet and her twin brother Jack lived in. The seaside estate was such a major aspect of this story I loved that I had a very vivid and precise image of it as I read.

The Characters:
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea introduced some very unique and complex characters. I really enjoyed reading from Violet’s perspective and especially enjoyed her memories of her grandmother Freddie. I felt every ounce of her loneliness and pain of being so isolated by her own family. Her nonchalance regarding life and apathy towards the people in her town, prior to River, felt very real. I understood her emptiness and empathized with her.

Jack handled his sadness much differently but also very realistically. His outward façade was horribly unattractive to me but I always sensed that there was something deeper, at least I hoped there was. Violet’s neighbor and pseudo friend, Sunshine, wasn’t a character I connected to either but she had a real presence and was remarkably realistic. Her highly sexualized self image and boredom with her day to day life seemed very accurate for a small seaside town with not a lot going on.

River was a perfect blend of mystery and unease. Violet’s uncontrollable urge to be near this stranger, though he most likely posed a threat to her and her town, was incredibly done. Though Violet was immediately drawn to River, her infatuation with his dark nature and newness was palpable.

Final Thoughts:
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea stood out to me because of Tucholke’s eloquent, rich descriptions and atmospheric writing. I loved the slow as molasses pacing and the ominous feeling that something horrible was going to happen on the next page. I will be waiting, impatiently, for the next book.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Book Trailer:

Teaser Tuesday #15

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week I’m reading Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke (thank you Stacee for letting me borrow it!). I’m more than half way done and am really enjoying it. It’s an odd book and nothing like anything I’ve read before. My teasers are the first lines of the book. I didn’t feel right about teasing from any other part of the book because really you just need to read it. BtDatDBS is not a book that can be explained very eloquently (going to be a difficult review to write!)

 “You stop fearing the Devil when you’re holding his hand.”
Freddie said this to me when I was little.  Everyone called my grandmother by her nickname, even my parents, because, as she put it, Freddie, short for Fredrikke was her name. Not Mother, or Grandmother. Just Freddie.

Summary (via Goodreads):
Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery…who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke will be available August 15th 2013 by Dial