Review: Vassa in the Night

This book is my Book club’s August read. I first saw this book last year before it was to release and I remember wanting to read it. I thought it sounded really intriguing and who doesn’t like a good YA Fantasy Retelling?


Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

Vassa.jpgIn 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…


My Review

3 Stars

This book is probably a 3.5 for me. It totally gave me serial killer vibes with its grotesquely morbid weirdness. As a criminal justice major, and lover of all things morbid, I found this book to be so interesting.

The magic system didn’t make sense, and there were times that were downright confusing, but I couldn’t help smiling throughout listening to the audio. The characters are definitely what did it for me because the story was so weird. 

Vassa is this strange teenage girl who doesn’t really fit into the living situation she has been left in. She doesn’t really know much about her mother, her father left, and her stepmother, well that’s hard to explain because of how confusing the book could be at times. She has two step-sisters, one that hates her and one that likes her, who are definitely unique in their own right. Vassa is forced to spend three nights working at the convenient store where strange things happen to those who go inside. There is a strange romance, not romance, between her and a mysterious motorcyclist, and becomes friends with a bunch of swans.

Erg. Well, how to explain Erg. Vassa’s strange magical wooden friend who likes to steal things and blame it on Vassa. Sounds legit.

There were just so many strange elements to this book. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this as a YA because of how graphic and grotesque this book is. At one point it talks about Vassa having a gun in her mouth which I didn’t find to be very appropriate in regards to young readers.


Audio Rating

4 Stars

I would give it a high Audio rating because I thought the narrator did a wonderful job of narrating this strange yet intriguing read.


Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? 

15 thoughts on “Review: Vassa in the Night

Add yours

  1. I still can’t decide whether or not I want to read this! I’ve heard so many mixed opinions about it and I’m not sure whether it will be worth the time it’ll take to read. If I do end up reading it, I’ll definitely be picking it up from the library rather than buying it! Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found Vassa to be quite an odd tale. I enjoyed it in all it weirdness though, because I thought Porter’s writing was quite lyrical and I found the elements she kept from the original folk tale and how she incorporated them to be quite interesting. I just finished her new book the other day, and I think odd and twisted is just Porter’s niche.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Porter’s writing was very lyrical I will agree with you on that one. After our discussion last night about it at Bookclub I understood it’s relation with the tale a bit more. It’s still a strange one though! I’m getting the idea that Porter is a bit dark in all her writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Huh. I got this book in an OwlCrate box a long time ago, and I was super excited for it, but then it just kind of twindled. I was super excited when I saw you reading this, but now I’m a bit scared. It seems like there are some odd things. Definitely might have to put this on the super backlist with this review. Wonderful review, Sarah! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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