- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Tor Teen (Sept. 20 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765380544
- ISBN-13: 978-0765380548
- Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.8 x 24.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 522 g
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #459,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Vassa in the Night: A Novel Hardcover – Sep 20 2016
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“With a deft hand, lovely prose, and an eye for details, Porter reworks the Russian story of Vassilissa the Beautiful, setting it in an industrial Brooklyn where magic seeps into the mundane.... the end result is an ethereal, almost dreamlike fairy tale that generates a magic all its own." ―Booklist, starred review
"In this urban-fantasy take on the Russian folk tale 'Vassilissa the Beautiful,' Porter weaves folk motifs into a beautiful and gripping narrative filled with magic, hope, loss, and triumph." ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“[E]lements of traditional horror blend well with high-concept fantasy in this surprising and engaging tale.... A must-have for YA urban fantasy collections."―School Library Journal, starred review
About the Author
Sarah Porter is a writer, artist, and freelance teacher who lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two cats. She is the author of the Lost Voices Trilogy (Lost Voices, Waking Storms, The Twice Lost) in addition to Vassa in the Night―all for the teen audience. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from City College.
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One night, Vassa's step-sister tells her that she needs to go to the store to pick up light bulbs. The problem? The only store that is open that late is runned by Babs Yagg. The store is usually displayed with severed heads, to dissuade people from trying to shoplift the store.
Having never heard or read the original version, Vassilisa the Beautiful, I didn't know what to expect. When I first began reading this story, I was intrigued. The premise, plot, and characters all seemed rather...unique. Weird too, but mostly unique. After about 45% of the novel, I started to feel like the story was just dragging for me. There was nothing to really fascinate me or make me want to read more.The weirdness just continued to expand well the process with the plot began to diminish.
In the end, this was not one of the best books I have read. Not the worst either, but still nothing to really push me to read more. If you don't like fantasy novels with a lot of weird things happening then this is definitely not the best fit for you.
ARC was kindly provided by Raincoast Books. Thank you!
- I really liked Vassa as the main character. She was brave and interesting.
- I also really enjoyed Erg. I think the story wouldn't have been as good without her.
- It was nice that there was no romance in this book for a change. Usually I love romance but this story felt complete without it.
- It's always nice when I get to read a darker / more gothic story. Those are always my favourites.
- Normally I'm a fan of this kind of whimsical writing but I was so lost in this book. I didn't understand about 80% of what was going on and I was confused the whole time.
- I know this was a retelling of a Russian tale but I think more could have been done to make this story actually make sense. There were no motivations behind anything. The characters just did everything just because as far as we know.
- It also drove me a little crazy that all this magical stuff was happening and everyone was just like "oh cool, whatever". I don't know about you guys but if there were stores with giant chicken legs that dance around or the nights got longer and longer, I'd have some questions you know?
- The pacing to this story was a little strange. I had a really hard time actually finishing the book because it was SO confusing and random events happen all the time. There's a lot that could have been done to make it better and flow smoother.
Two sisters, step-mother, no father and the main character is exceedingly beautiful. At first I was getting Cinderella vibes, but then it changed and upended everything I knew. It was just so different and unique that I can't ever look at a convenience store the same way again.
Vassa in the Night was one of the most bizarre and well written books I have ever read. I actually don't even know what I just read, but the imagination and creativity to pull it off was incredible! I'm still confused, but the good kind because I was thoroughly entertained! The quirky characters, the creative magical realism setting, the plot.. They all worked out and what the result was? One charmed reader who will tell others how bizarre and odd it was.
Here's the one memorable example in the book:
"There is a convenience store on chicken legs. If you're caught stealing, they behead you and place it on a pike in the parking lot."
Vassa in the Night will charm reader's socks off! It definitely charmed me :)
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