Vassa in the Night
Genre: Urban Fantasy, YA
Publication date: September 20th, 2016
by Tor Teen
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. . . .
Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.
-A copy was provided by Tor Teen for review-
Here is the thing about this book, it would have hands down been a favorite of the year were it not so flipping confusing. I am not the kind of person that is immediately turned off from a book when something doesn’t make sense to me. In fact, I enjoy it when my mind is being twisted into a pretzel because everything is SO COMPLICATED but that isn’t Vassa in the Night. Vassa in the Night has beautiful writing, an interesting plot and a gorgeous atmosphere but the problem is that the world building needs a LOT of work. I don’t understand at ALL how the world works. This book is trying so hard to be whimsical and eerie that the bare bones are kind of just forgotten about. I need at least some things to make sense so I can get behind other things that don’t and that’s basically the problem here. NOTHING makes sense. NOTHING AT ALL. I don’t how how the story gets from point a to b. I DON’T KNOW THINGS and it is bothersome.
But I did say this book would have been a favorite of the year if it hadn’t been confusing and the reason for that is that this book is exactly the kind of fantasy that draws me in. It’s got so many things going for it. Vassa is a great character and easy to get behind, the book is structured like a fairy tale even though it is set in a more urban setting, so it basically wins (or would have won) and there are some great relationships in this book even though Vassa considers herself a lone wolf.
I really did want to love this book and I am not entirely sure that I didn’t not love it. There is just SOMETHING about this book that makes me want to cuddle with it and declare it a masterpiece even though I was unhappy with the amount of confusion I experienced. You could say that I am confused about my feelings 😉 (I KNOW I AM TRASH)
Whatever else I might say, I can say that I did enjoy this book and might even recommend it to an actual human who is willing to deal with all the confusion to immerse themselves in this beautifully written fairy tale. I also made a mood board for it because this is the kind of book that inspires lots of confusions and a mood board. This mood board has been approved by a friend who has read the book but is probably biased because she is my friend.
Check the mood-board out here: https://www.pinterest.com/rashikabahl/vassa-in-the-night/
[pin_board url=”https://www.pinterest.com/rashikabahl/vassa-in-the-night/” size=”custom” image_width=”200″ board_width=”600″ board_height=”400″]
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