Wink Poppy Midnight

256p. ebook available. Dial. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780803740488.
Gr 9 Up—In her follow-up to Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea (Dial, 2013), Tucholke showcases her talent for storytelling once again in a mystery challenging readers' perceptions. Seemingly innocent and story-obsessed Wink believes Midnight plays an important role in her life, seemingly heartless and self-obsessed Poppy might only love herself, and seemingly naive Midnight has feelings for both girls. These teen narrators offer up their version of events. But who's manipulating whom? And what kind of story are they weaving? Fairy tale? Antibullying allegory? Coming-of-age narrative? At times frustrating but always compelling, Tucholke's book has its fair share of liars, yet her prose is far from superficial. As with her previous writing, descriptive settings are easily pictured, sexual encounters are nongratuitous, and unique characterization turns archetypes inside out. Children with long parental leashes find trouble and ultimately realize that real people can play the dual roles of hero and villain, in their own stories and in others. Vague enough at times to be open to interpretation, this title will keep readers on their toes.
VERDICT A recommended purchase for public and school libraries, particularly those looking to prompt discussions on unreliable narrators and tricky storytelling.

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