Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling. Young Adult
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…
Characters: 5 – The characters were great! I loved Vassa’s snarkiness and downright goodness. And Erg, well I want my own Erg. The supporting characters were all well thought out as well.
Plot: 3 – I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on for about the first quarter of this book. But once the plot got going I enjoyed it.
Writing: 4 – The writing was great. An easy read, though there were some flashbacks it added to the story instead of taking away from it as I’ve seen with some books.
Originality: 5 – I feel to say this was original is a vast understatement. It was VERY unique. It was truly different than anything I read, and I liked it all the more for it.
Predictability: 4 – It could have been because I wasn’t really sure what was going on for a lot of the book, but there was a lot I did not see coming.
Romance: 3 – To be fair, there wasn’t really a romance, Vassa has an inappropriate crush, which I love because she knows it’s not appropriate.
World-Building: 3 – This was maybe the weakest aspect of the book. I felt like there was a lot of stuff that I was supposed to know, and I spent almost the whole time wondering if I missed a section that explained it.