I can see why people compare this novel to We Were Liars
. It has a very similar style. That's not a bad thing because I liked We Were Liars.
Wink, Poppy, and Midnight alternate narrating this story and all three have an interesting back story. Wink has five or six siblings and she calls them The Orphans. She lives with her mother and siblings on a farm and it actually sounds like a place where I would want to live. Her mother reads tea leaves and tarot cards and all that kind of stuff. The entire family is very superstitious and eccentric — they think certain foods and lotions will keep spirits away, give you pleasant dreams or whatever.
Poppy is an only child and lives with both of her parents. At first, I hated Poppy. She’s one of those narcissists who thinks she’s beautiful and perfect and everyone should worship the ground she walks on.
Midnight lives with his father, but his mother and brother live in France. Midnight was so annoying, mainly because he’s nonassertive and gullible. A few times I wanted to yell at him to stop acting like a little girl.
Some of the characters just sounded like props, like Midnight’s parents and brother, Poppy’s parents, and sometimes The Yellows.
The cover of the copy I read says “A hero. A villain. A liar. Who’s who?”
Throughout the novel, I tried to guess who was who. At one point, I was convinced that I knew. I wasn’t entirely right, but my intuition about one of the three was correct. The characters aren’t what they first seem. Don’t worry, I won’t give anything away. I hate spoilers.
This novel is written in a style that gives you the impression that the writer appreciates the art of writing. I have a strong appreciation for it too , but I preferred this kind of writing in adult literary fiction novels that have intricate plots and complex characters, not in a young adult novel with a simple storyline. The writing style seems a little out of place for this type of story.
Sometimes I'll notice a certain writing technique and if it’s used a lot, it jumps out at me. In this novel I notice that she uses triple rhythm a lot. I’m not exactly sure if that’s what you call, but that’s what I call it when I see it. For example, if she is describing three things in a sentence she will say, this and that and that
— instead of just listing the three things with commas. It makes the sentences sound very rhythmic, almost like a beating drum. I like that, but in moderation. I noticed that she uses the word and a lot even if she’s mentioning four or five different things. It almost felt like the word and was a character. Sometimes it just felt like overkill. It was a little bit distracting at times and took away from the story.
When I read a book, I always notice what characters are eating or reading. I don't know why, but food always sounds delicious when it’s mentioned in a book even if it's a common food. For example, Midnight and his father were eating tomato, mozzarella and pesto sandwiches. It sounds basic, but for some reason it just sounds more gourmet when you read about it than when it’s right in front of you. Wink was always mentioning what they ate and drank, some of which I’ve never heard of like pumpkin hot chocolate or yellow milk (warm milk with brown sugar, cardamom and turmeric.) In case you’re wondering, to make pumpkin hot chocolate, Midnight says his mom “put milk, vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup and chocolate in a pan, and when it’s hot, she’d whisk in a can of pumpkin puree.”
I love it when a book mentions other books. April Genevieve Tucholke
mentioned the Chronicles of Narnia
, which I love, but she also mentions fairy tales that I think she made up. I tried to Google one or two and couldn’t find them, so I’m guessing they don’t actually exist. I could be wrong. If anyone knows for certain, please let me know.
This is a very quick, entertaining reads, but I just wanted more to happen in the story. I wanted a bigger story, more suspense and a bigger twist at the end. I still recommend it, especially if you like YA novels with a little twist and a unique voice. Give it a try.