Title: Vassa In The Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 3 Star
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…
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
So how do I even begin with this book? I knew it wasn’t going to be something I would normally have picked up and if it wasn’t for Owlcrate I might not even have heard of it.
Really my emotions are so over the place with this one. Its magic realism story. I thought the magic was bestowed by a curse but in actual fact the magic had always been there and as sort of quietly acknowledged but ignored at the same time. Then it falls upon certain places of the world to make the nights last days, time dragging on, but the days would be of normal length.
Then this girl Vassa who is sort of part of the magical community makes the choice to enter the deadly magical BY’s (is that an American store i should know about? Or just a made up part of the book?) to prove something to one of her sisters, setting off a chain of events that she was always destined to set off.
I won’t go more into the plot because I feel like anything else might be spoilers. The part I think I have troubles wrapping my brain around in this book is that everything sort of is one thing, but isn’t that thing at the same time. Nothing is as it seems, and things seem very random but very organised. As you can tell I am having serious issues trying to describe this book! This was both the draw and I think the downfall to this book getting more than a 3 star from me. At times is was so disjointed or…. I guess you could say blurry in what it was trying to be or say that I was actually sort of pushed out of the story and was not as engrossed as I would have liked to be. These times I found very boring until I managed to weave myself back into the rhythm of the narrative again. In saying that though, the general arc of the story worked and I felt very satisfied with the ending.
Most of the main characters we are greeted with in this book are not human but something other. For the most part I liked the characters, even felt a bit sorry for ones that perhaps didn’t deserve that feeling. But because of this overall way this book was presented I never really connected with any of them other than Erg, Night or the Swans. Night was something I really connected with in this book. While I loved Erg for how she was and thought the Swans were beautiful in their love and in their own sad stories, Night sort of hit home on a more deep level to me. Moon was my first word as a child, and I think I have always had a love, even if at times a fear instead, of the night. The fact that Night was a sort of mythical energy with emotions and understanding was stunning. That Night could be lonely, or reach our to comfort Vassa in Night’s own way was just actually lovely to read.
Why did it take me so many years to understand that Night is something you can talk to, something that might even decide to watch over you or kiss you just when you’re about to crumple from loneliness?
I think that is where I am going to leave this review. I am pretty sure than no part of it really made sense. My thoughts on the book may become more clear as I sit with it more and not so sleep deprived but I think this is a pretty good representation for anyone considering reading this book of how it is going to make you feel once you are done reading it. I tell you, I feel rather weird and mixed up.
For those considering a read, pay close attention. THIS BOOK IS REALLY WEIRD. You read parts and have serious WTF moments over what you read. If you read the synopsis and think hell yeah! then you will probably be fine swimming in its depths. If you read it and think hmm i don’t know about that, then perhaps you should go with your instincts.
Till Next Time…