- Title: Vassa in the Night
- Author: Sarah Porter
- Publisher: Tor Teen
- 296 Pages
- Release date: September 20th 2016
Synopsis from the goodreads page:
In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.
In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling away again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.
But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair…
This is a book that sounded interesting to me as soon as I heard about it, and while I did receive my copy in the September Fairyloot box (the theme was magic and mayhem), Vassa in the Night had been on my wish list before that ,and I would have wanted to read this regardless.
I went into this book knowing as little as possible and I have made sure to keep this review spoiler free. I try to avoid reading too many synopses and I was not familiar with the Russian folktales which inspired this book. However, having read Vassa in the Night, I will definitely be looking into reading some of the original folktales.
Straight off the bat the opening drew me right in, the language and descriptions of night were beautiful. From the very first sentence I knew that I was reading something special. From the very beginning I felt transported into a world where strange things can happen and magic could be a possibility. The contrast between the monotonous modern setting and the vibrant strangeness of a dancing convenience store is something that will stay with me for a long time. That is something that this book excels at, it takes the normal and the expected and twists it.
Vassa, our main character is relate-able through out in that she feels like she doesn’t really belong anywhere. She is sort of on the edge of the strangeness and gets dragged in without knowing whats going on or the rules of this world. At many times the world is incredibly surreal and it helps that, as a reader, I was experiencing it with someone who was just as confused. Especially as certain characters seem to know so much more about what is going on.
To sum up, this wonderfully strange story kept me guessing to the end, and felt like nothing I’ve ever read before. In fact I already want to reread it to see if I missed anything the first time and would love to read more set in this world. I highly recommend this book and I gave it 5 Stars.