Vassa In The Night – One Badass Retelling


Goodreads Synopsis: 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…

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

From talking dolls, to dancing stores wit chicken legs this retelling is one hell of a ride. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It’s not often that I can say I’ve picked up a YA book and loved it. Though it’s beginning to happen more often of late.

Vassa in the Night is a retelling of a Russian fairy tale, one that I happen to like, so I was super excited to read this book. I liked how well the author has adapted the story for a modern world, but still kept the weirdness. For example in the original Vassa or Vassilisa (which is her name in the original story)  encounters a man riding on a black horse who turns out to be night, in the novel the man is on a black motorcycle and ends up being something a little more complicated than just night.

Vassa is a great main character. Her backstory is sad without being cliche or too sob-story like. She’s also wonderfully sassy.  Her doll Erg is also just as sassy and the friendship between teenager and wood doll is just precious.  I also liked how the author made one of the sisters a likable character. It wasn’t just the cliche of a stepmother and two bitter and cruel stepsisters.

I love the writing of the story.  I liked that I ended up feeling for the strangest characters, in particular the walking and murderous hand slave of Babs Yagg named Dex.  Don’t ask me how it’s possible just read the book! 😉

In the end I gave it four stars, though honestly I’d like to give it a 4.5, but Goodreads’ rating can be a pain sometimes. 😛

Anyone else read this story? 


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