YVO’S SHORTIES #21: Wink Poppy Midnight & My Sister’s Keeper

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two books that didn’t turn out to be positive reading experiences, and both had something to do with a character and the way they behaved. Winky Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke and My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult… Continue to find out more about the why of the lower ratings.


Title: Wink Poppy Midnight
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Genre: YA, Mystery, Paranormal
First published: March 22nd 2016
Publisher: Dial Books
Finished reading: March 10th 2018
Pages: 352

“All the strangest things are true.”


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Wink Poppy Midnight was a tbr jar pick and a title I have been looking forward to read despite the mixed reviews. I mean, just look at that gorgeous cover! And the story itself sounded really promising as well. As soon as I started reading Wink Poppy Midnight, I was blown away by the writing style. So so beautiful, mysterious and intriguing! The writing style is by far what stood out most for me in this book and it’s the only reason I’m giving this story the benefit of the doubt. Because I absolutely loved how April Genevieve Tucholke tells her stories, and I can’t wait to read more of her work. Why the low rating, would you ask? I’m keeping things simple and give one main reason: Poppy. I understand we are not supposed to like her in the first place, but I absolutely utterly despised her character. This extremely negative feeling for Poppy ruined the reading experience for me and made it really hard to just forget about her and enjoy the other chapters. Wink Poppy Midnight is told from the POV of the three main characters Wink, Poppy and Midnight, whimsical names that alone set the right tone for this story. This multiple POV layout didn’t distract me, since I liked discovering new things and see how the personality of each character shines through in the writing and dialogue. BUT. While I absolutely adored Wink and liked Midnight as well, my negative feelings for Poppy were so strong the rest was kind of blurred out. Gone were my feelings for the fabulous writing, gone was my love for the whimsical and magical realism feel of the plot and incorporation of fairy tale elements (my second favorite thing of Wink Poppy Midnight!). What was left were the ashes of a story that could have ended up being one of my all time favorites… If it wouldn’t have been for Poppy dancing on its tomb.


Title: My Sister’s Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
First published: April 6th 2004
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Finished reading: March 14th 2018
Pages: 423

“It is the things you cannot see coming that are strong enough to kill you.”


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WARNING: Unpopular opinion review and rant ahead. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉

Trust me, I’m still shocked about this rating and reaction I had to My Sister’s Keeper, especially since I’ve read and enjoyed several of Jodi Picoult‘s other novels in the past. I fully expected to add this title to that list, but unfortunately it didn’t turn out to be the reading experience I was hoping for. I’m not saying the writing is bad, which would be a lie since it is just as strong as ever and of a quality I’ve become to expect of her work. And without doubt the plot is complex and well developed with many different POVs and angles to try and get a full picture of what is going on. BUT. What ruined this story for me and basically turned me into a giant red angry monster spitting out flames and throwing things at the wall (no actual objects were harmed during this read), was the topic and more especifically the views on that topic. As soon as I got a glimpse of what really was going on, I started to get very angry very fast. Honestly, I don’t think I would have ever read it if I would have known My Sister’s Keeper was centered around these views. Complicated and uncomfortable moral topic and unorthodox views? Maybe, but I couldn’t care less if they were represented right because I was just too angry to pay attention. People might be offended by this, but I’m totally on Anna’s side here. She should NOT be treated as a walking human donor bank and just being pressured to give up everything and go through all those treatments just because her parents say so… It should be her choice and her choice alone. And honestly, the whole reason they had her in the first place made me sick. This book and especially Sara were so SO infuriating! Her with her saying she ‘cares’ for Anna, but only thinks of Kate and having Anna as a spare ready to give up whatever part of her body they need next. And I’m not even talking about their older brother, completely ignored as well. I get that having a child with leukemia is horrible and kind of makes you forget about anything else, but still… It’s no excuse to treat your other kids that way, and definitely not to do those things to Anna, treating her like she’s some object and ignoring her when she’s not needed. Ugh. I’m feeling the anger rise again just as I type up this review… Simply disgusting. These strong negative feelings made it impossible for me to try and enjoy the other aspects and side stories of My Sister’s Keeper, which had potential on it’s own but lost its charm since I was seeing everything through a red haze. Oh yes, this book was able to provoke strong feelings, just not the positive ones I was expecting. Most people do seem to enjoy it though, so if you think you would enjoy it, don’t give up on it yet. Just don’t make me discuss this story ever again…


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BOOK REVIEW: The Fault In Our Stars – by John Green

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Title: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
First published: January 10th 2012
Finished reading: June 29th 2014
Pages: 316
Rating 4,5

“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

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I know, I’m probably one of the last persons on earth reading The Fault In Our Stars. This book by John Green has created quite a hype in the past, and now I’ve read it, I can understand why. I’m not sure if it was because of the tragic love story between two cancer-stricken teenagers. I’m not sure if it was because I was crying my eyes out as I was trying to finish the story. I’m not even sure if it was because of their trip to Amsterdam causing me to have a flashback of all the great moments I had in that city. But what I do know is that I loved it. And that I without hesitation would recommend The Fault In Our Stars to anyone that can appreciate well written YA novels and don’t mind getting ready a box of tissues before reading. Great read!

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Since most will know exactly what the book is about without me repeating all the details, I will keep the summary short. We start with meeting Hazel Grace, who has been fighting thyroid cancer ever since she was thirteen years old. And although she has been declared terminal ever since she was diagnosed and needs oxygen to help her breathe (since ‘her lungs suck at being lungs’), Hazel is still able to go to certain places. In The Fault In Our Stars, we follow her touching journey which is both about trying to live with cancer and trying to have something close to normal teenage life. Hazel is quite a loner, and most of the time prefers being at home with her favorite book An Imperial Affliction, which is like a personal Bible to her.

One day things change as she meets Augustus (or Gus) at the Cancer Kid Support Group. Augustus is currently in remission after having lost a leg to cancer, and goes to the meeting mostly to support his friend Isaac. When he meets Hazel, Augustus decides he has to get to know the girl better… And what starts as a simple friendship bound together by books, soon grows to something more intense. Hazel thinks ‘she’s a grenade’ and wants to ‘minimize the casualties’.  But Augustus doesn’t want to forget her and ignore his feelings, and even spends his wish on making hers come true: a trip to Amsterdam to finally meet the author of her favorite book. But life isn’t perfect and has some nasty surprises ready for both already suffering teenagers. Because ‘the world is not a wish-granting factory’… And life is just not fair.

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There has been a mayor hype around this book and the movie version; in this case I think it’s worth it. The Fault In Our Stars is a book with a strong message that is very likely to provoke tears. If you haven’t read it yet and like YA novels, this one is definitely worth reading!