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September 26, 2016 • Cee • Reviews


Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter •  September 20, 2016 • Tor Teen
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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….

Inspired by the Russian folktale “Vassilissa the Beautiful” and her years of experience teaching creative writing to students in New York City public schools, acclaimed author Sarah Porter weaves a dark yet hopeful tale about a young girl’s search for home, love, and belonging.


I received this book for free from Tor Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “When Night looked own, it saw its own eyes staring back at it. “

DNF-ed at page 143 (47%)

Ugh, I never like it when I have to DNF a book. Vassa in the Night had the stuff that had the makings of an awesome book—Russian fairytale retelling, enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, talking wooden dolls, mysterious motorcycler, and witch’s curse—but something about this book never captivated me. I wanted to be enchanted, but I wasn’t.

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