Review: Vassa In The Night by Sarah Porter

16 August, 2016 Reviews 11 comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Vassa In The Night by Sarah PorterVassa In The Night by Sarah Porter
Published by Tor Teen on September 20, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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.

I am not a professional blogger. I don’t go to BEA, I don’t get ARCs or other goodies sent to me by marketing teams of publishing houses. And usually, I would be perfectly content to go on in this blissful fashion without worry. But when Steph sent me this ARC of Vassa In The Night to peruse, I knew that I couldn’t let the opportunity to tell you about this book pass by me.

This book deserves a review, so I will give it to you in the best way I know how.

For a great character who is just sort of your average girl, thrown into circumstances totally outside of her ability to DEAL, I give this book 5 Dancing Kimmy Schmidts.


Vassa has no idea what to do when she gets caught in a tangled web of like 4 other people’s making, she rolls with the punches, shrugs her shoulders, and does the best she can. Which in normal people world is not fucking much. This girl is all of us in a fairytale world and I was sympathetic to her.

For amazing, intense, detailed world building, I give this book 4 Thoughtful Dumbledores.


There was so much here. Vassa’s world is one that fits right in our own, which is honestly how I love a fairy tale to be told. She is your everyday girl in a world that should be everyday, but isn’t. It’s like reality, with a twist, though I don’t think I’d go as far as to call it magical realism. The lore was deep and craggy, the landscape very much like a surrealist painting.

For real world stakes and heart wrenching feels, I give this book 3 Crying Babies.


I spent most of the book feeling kind of bad for the main character (and not much more than that), but by the end I was all caught up in the emotions. This book had a hidden heart and it definitely opened up at the end.

For romance I give this book a single, dejected Vampire Edward.


Because this book is not about romance. It flirts with romance a bit, I guess? It kind of winks at it, standing across a room filled with people. But there are no smooches and no sexytimes. Not that I cared. I was too busy wondering how Vassa was going to survive in her new and outlandish world.

For sheer, unadulterated madness, I give this book 5 Soul Eating Hamsters.


Why? You may ask? We’ve got Babba Yagga of the “I cut people’s hands off and use the appendages as my slaves” fame. Then we have a dude that literally wants to be a dog and spends his life savings on a pelt to run around in. We’ve got a world where night is days long and day is hours. And where children turn into swans and fly around trying to speak to people.

Overall, I think, I give this book 4 stars. I mean, I really really liked it, but I wanted it to be about 100 pages longer. There were so many loose ends I wanted tied. Like the whole story of doggy daddy was just totally glossed over. Then there were the aforementioned swans. And don’t even get me started on Pangolin and Penguin. So yeah, for this to be a 5 star, I would have said, “Longer, please!” Other than that, it was a satisfying read.

In conclusion, it was fun posting a review on here.  If Steph wants to send me any more really weird books, I’m up for it. 😀

Kate Copeseeley

Kate Copeseeley

Buzz Worthy News Correspondent
Kate Copeseeley is the Buzz Worthy News Correspondent, occasional reviewer, and a bonafide bookslut®. She can be found haunting Goodreads, writing The 100 fanfic, and neglecting everything else in favor of burying her nose in a book. Visit her on Goodreads.
Kate Copeseeley

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11 Responses to “Review: Vassa In The Night by Sarah Porter”

  1. Morgan @ Gone with the Words

    Hahaha I LOVE this review! It’s so fun and I like how you rated everything 😀 I love romance in books so that’s a bummer but I’m glad it wasn’t shoehorned it at the expense of the story and the plot at least! And this sounds very weird and very interesting. I might have to pick it up at the library. Thanks for the informative review!

  2. Hannah

    I have heard both amazing and not-so-amazing things about this book. But Cuddlebuggery has yet to steer me wrong! And I’m all for books that bring on the weirdness, so I’ll definitely be checking this one out.

    • Kate Copeseeley

      As with most of the books I read (I have odd taste, I guess) this book is definitely not for everyone! But I did enjoy it and it was definitely not boring (which is pretty much the only thing I can’t stand in a book.)

  3. Carina Olsen

    But.. but.. no romance? 🙁 SOBS. I have traded for this ARC, lol, so getting it soon 🙂 Wish there was romance. Hmph. But ahh, the rest of the book do sound amazing 😀 Such a gorgeous review Kate. <3 I'm so glad you liked this book so much 🙂

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