by Sarah Porter
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Publication Date: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Retelling
Source: Review Copy
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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 out 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… (Goodreads)
When I first received Vassa in the Night in my mailbox, I was intrigued. The cover of the book is absolutely stunning, and the story interesting as well.I had the book on my TBR, but didn't start it right away. But, the more I thought about the book, the more curious I became, and I finally just HAD to read the it. I'm glad I finally did!
Can I first say that this is one of the weirdest books I think I've ever read? It's inspired by a Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful, a tale that I had not heard of before, but found to be quite interesting nonetheless. I seem to be reading a lot of retellings lately that come from tales I've not heard of before, and I like that! It makes me curious to get to know the originals.
I really liked the main character in the story, Vassa. She definitely not had an easy life, especially considering who her parents were, and what she had to grow up with. I like that she always thought of more than just herself, especially when she's thrown into the weirdest situation ever. Also, she has a magical talking wooden doll named Erg, who is a bit of a kleptomaniac and has a bottomless pit for a stomach, whom I absolutely adored! These are just two of the interesting characters in the story. There are SO many more as well!
The storyline for the book was fantastically magical. Seriously, you won't believe some of the stuff you read as you turn the pages, this is so serious fantasy and magic we're talking about. And while I thought it was weird at times, I still couldn't get enough of it. (A store with chicken legs, for instance.) The book took a little longer to read than I expected, because I had to go back at times to reread what I had just read, to make sure that I had read it right!
Overall; Vassa in the Night was definitely an interesting read! I can see why it has gotten such good reviews. It's the first book I've read by Sarah Porter, but it definitely won't be the last.