Wink Poppy Midnight Review & Giveaway!

Spoiler alert: Wink Poppy Midnight is one of my top reads for 2017! So I have decided that I want to share more than just my thoughts on this beautiful story full of mystery and magical realism. I am going to ship a copy to one lucky winner. See the details following my review below 🙂

25810465

The Book

Wink Poppy Midnight
By April Genevieve Tucholke
Publisher: Dial Books
ISBN13: 9780803740488
Pages: 247
Genre: Magical Realism/YA Mystery

Synopsis:

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.


thoughts

Wink Poppy Midnight was a huge and unexpected win for myself this year. Within a matter of mere pages, this odd and compelling story found its way into my heart and made a lasting impression. Teeming magical realism and elegance that is shrouded in mystery, I easily surrendered to an experience incomparable to any I have encountered in recent reads.

Warranting the reader’s own personal exploration as it promises to provide a very unique and individualized experience, I find myself struggling to sum up Wink Poppy Midnight in one small review. Told through 3 alternating perspectives, Tucholke weaves a tale that borders the insane, yet invites the reader further in with a mystifying sense of comfort.  Each chapter serves a slice of one character’s part in what quickly becomes a  fantastic story of youth, love and revenge.

“Revenge. Justice. Love. They are the three stories that all other stories are made up of. It’s the trifecta.” 

Character development unfolds in a slow and steady process that contributes to the obscurity and mystery of the story. I feel that discovery is key to success here, so I will not be divulging too many details or opinions in terms of Midnight, Wink or Poppy or their story. They are young and full of intrigue but not without faults. I found it easy to appreciate the author’s manipulation of their growth to aid her story.

The world that is established relies on Tucholke’s descriptive and atmospheric writing. She turns the very normal into something enigmatic. Set within a small town and its traditional country side, the reader is drawn into a reverie that feels reminiscent of a summertime daydream.

“Leaf once told me that there was absolutely no difference between the Orphans’ fairy tales and the nose on my face, because both were only as real as I thought they were.” 

The writing is simple yet strangely intoxicating. An air of whimsy veiled in the unknown draws the reader in, creating an almost otherworldly experience. The author’s ability to center a mystery around a love triangle and have it feel like anything but is a testament to Wink Poppy Midnight’s worth.

Fans of Bone Gap and Vassa in the Night will most likely devour this one.The end result is fully engaging, calling upon the reader’s senses and offering something surreal and new. I would highly recommend this to fans of the unconventional and magical realism.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Learn more about the author at apriltucholke.com.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US  Amazon UK  Book Depository


giveaway

I will be shipping one copy of Wink Poppy Midnight to one lucky winner! This one is open internationally if Book Depository delivers to you. If the selected winner is located within the US, shipping will be through Amazon. Enter via the link below and have fun!

Please remember:

  • Must be 18 yr of age to enter.
  • This giveaway is not affiliated with the author, publisher or shipper.
  • The winner will be announced on social media and the blog.
  • You must be a follower of the blog to be selected (I will verify this).
  • The drawing will be held on 9/24/17.

Win A Copy of Wink Poppy Midnight

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

Buy Me A Tea

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

a-monster-callsthe-book

A Monster Calls
By Patrick Ness
Illustrator: Jim Kay
Publisher: Walker Boots
ISBN13: 9781406311525
Pages: 216
Genre: Fantasy/Magical Realism

Blurb:

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.


my-thought

A Monster Calls is one those rare titles that I feel awkward slapping a “YA” label on. So I have opted to simply leave it under Fantasy and magical Realism for the time. I would easily read this to my own children or recommend it to a coworker.

If I had to describe A Monster Calls with one word, it would be eloquent. I was not prepared for what happened as I read the story of Conor and his journey to uncover his own truth as he dealt with his mother’s battle against cancer. Struggling with recurring nightmares, Conor is visited by a monster who will share three tales with him. He only asks one thing in return. He asks that our young protagonist share his own story. But is Conor prepared to give up the one thing that will force him to acknowledge the truth?

“He didn’t want to go and look. But at the same time, a part of him wanted to look more than anything.”
-Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

This is an emotional trifecta that takes the reader deep inside of the human heart, exposing the reality behind love, fear, and anger. We are given an unusual glimpse of humanity at its raw core through the eyes of a young boy and his monster. But sometimes the monster is not always what we perceive. Sometimes nightmares conceal a reality we must eventually face.

Exquisite storytelling accompanied by extraordinary illustration weave together a tale of beautiful tragedy and healing. Powerful and resonating, there is a lesson here for all. We are presented with a harsh reality of life and death and what it means to grieve and accept. When faced with fear and loss, we often turn to anger. But underneath the surface there is a very human desire to be seen, to be heard, and above all to heal. Sometimes finding the courage to acknowledge those needs can be the hardest part of the process.

If you speak the truth, the monster whispered in his ear, you will be able to face whatever comes.
― Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

This is a voyage deep into the human heart and mind exploring an area they we do not often openly discuss. It is an emotionally charged experience that left me feeling tearful yet serene.  A Monster Calls is best left for the reader to explore on their own accord, as there is a fundamental truth and knowledge to be gained the has been presented in an unparalleled fashion. This is a recommended read for all.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Amazon US 
Amazon UK
Book Depository

Follow Me: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram

 

 

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

the-book

a-tangle-of-knots
A Tangle of Knots 
By Lisa Graff
Publisher: Philomel
ISBN13: 9780399255175
Pages: 230
Genre: Magic Realism/Fantasy

Book Blurb:

Told in multiple viewpoints, A Tangle of Knots is a magnificent puzzle. In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever. However, these encounters hold the key to Cady’s past and how she became an orphan. If she’s lucky, fate may reunite her with her long-lost parent.

Lisa Graff adds a pinch of magic to a sharply crafted plot to create a novel that will have readers wondering about fate and the way we’re all connected.


my-thought

A Tangle of Knots is a stretch from my normal reading choice, but with a charming cover and promising blurb, it was a an easy stretch to make. I have actually had this title in my “pile” for over a year after stumbling upon it on Goodreads. Having been in a bit of the dreaded slump due to multiple factors, at a mere 230 pages, the time seemed right for this book. I needed something light and refreshing, and that is exactly what I received.

I want to address that this book seems to be labeled as several different reading age groups within the community. The consensus seems to be middle grade so I am going with that. Again, not a typical read for me, but there is no concerning content. Middle grade seems like a reasonable placement. I would not classify this as YA, which I am noticing. Admittedly, I was misled by this fact when adding it to my TBR.

The complexity yet simplicity of what is happening within A Tangle of Knots is where the true beauty of this delightful tale will lie for many. While we have a series of intermingled events occurring, hence the significant title, that the author manages to articulate the story through a crisp and effective style of writing that flows effortlessly.

This is a story of multiple lives that will all cross paths, discovering their fates are all connected. Centered around several charming, and interesting characters the immediate focus appears to be on their talents or lack of initially. Each individual acquires a specific talent during their lifetime, and this is of the most importance to them. Those who have not yet learned their talent are referred to as “Fair”. Shortly into the story we discover that this is however, a tale of more than merely talents. Details behind each character are slowly divulged through alternating perspectives and chapters, revealing the circumstances that have unknowingly entwined each of the characters’ lives, expanding on the story.

“It’s the way we deal with what Fate hands us that defines who we are.”
― Lisa Graff, A Tangle of Knots

The characters are delightful and solicit just enough intrigue to keep you engaged. The events unfold at a fairly fast pace making for a pleasant, yet brief read. This is a book that is broken into quite a few small chapters. While there is a lot unfolding from multiple viewpoints, the author manages each transition between characters with great ease. The over all effect is a delightful story that is suitable for readers of all age.

Another element that added some additional flair to A Tangle of Knots was the addition of cake recipes throughout the story. The author cleverly plays on the fact that one of the main characters has a talent for not only baking cakes, but baking the perfect cake for every person she encounters, introducing those recipes throughout. This was a new experience for me. As someone who enjoys baking, I found this interesting, but was not actually drawn in by the idea. I appreciate a good recipe, but look for them in cookbooks.

“Life is the grandest adventure one can go on, isn’t it?’ said the giant kindly (he seemed to be a very friendly giant). ‘What else could a person ask for than just to be alive?’

Will knew exactly what else a person could ask for. ‘Monsters,’ he said. ‘And cake.”
― Lisa Graff, A Tangle of Knots

Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the characters and hints of magic, I struggled with the length of this story. I know that sounds contradictory since I opened with mentioning that the size of the story was one of the very reasons I chose it. However, when I realized just how much potential there was for A Tangle of Knots, I needed more elaboration. I would have welcomed additional depth and character building, as I was enchanted by each character. World building was limited, being that the story revolves around the lives of others. Not necessarily an issue though. There was definitely an open possibility for even more complexity and richness. However, the scale of the plot is  probably due to the targeted audience. The ending, while conclusive, had some predictability that slowly accumulated. It felt a touch too abrupt for my style.

Ultimately, this is a whimsical and engaging read that also serves as a recipe book. I am giving this one 3 stars solely based on my own reading preferences, as it was definitely outside of my accustomed reading grade level. So I struggled at times with the simplicity. I have no doubt though, that this will find an easy and welcomed home on the shelves of many.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Buy A Tangle of Knots

Book Outlet
Barnes & Noble
Amazon