Posted in Young Adult

Vassa in the Night Book Review

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porterimg_1572

Published: September 20th 2017 by Tor Teen

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

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…

I got this in one of my Uppercase subscription boxes a few months ago, and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to finally read it! Although it did take me a few chapters to really get into the book, but once I did I enjoyed it immensely.

You don’t have to be human to be a person. I mean you don’t have to be human to be somebody. I don’t know you that well, but you seem like way more of a somebody than lots of humans I know! Really 

This story is based upon the Russian folklore Vassilissa the Beautiful, and after reading a few chapters I just had to go and brush up on what the folklore was all about. Once I did, I could see a few aspects lining up, and then I just tried to guess what would happen next and I was wrong on every account. This book is strange, and you think it’ll go one way but then the author will take you on a totally different path.

This book had talking wooden dolls (who was very sassy), dancing stores, moving hands, and strange dreams. It is also very dark at moments, sometimes gory, and just the right amount of snark. Sometimes I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Vassa and her situation, and other times I just couldn’t believe she did that to herself.

The book is centered around Vassa going to the convenience store to get light bulbs, only to be framed for stealing by one of the hands. Now she has to survive three nights in the shop to prove her innocence. While there she begins to solve the mystery of why night time seems to last so long, all while trying to keep her head attached to her body. The tasks that Babs puts her through are very ridiculous and for Vassa they all were very overwhelming. She makes friends along the way and they help her through each situation and to come to terms with certain truths she rather keep in the dark about herself.

If you enjoy retellings and weird, whimsical books, then I definitely suggest you check out this book!


I am currently working on my master's degree in Environmental Science. I am an avid reader as well as a movie enthusiast! I currently live at the bottom of Texas with my husband and three dogs.

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