Hello and welcome to the Vassa in the Night Blog Tour, hosted by Raincoast Books! Today I have for you a small except from the book, as well as my review of the book! I hope you enjoy my stop, as well as the rest of the tour!
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Read: September 26th- 27th, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Format: ARC, 304 pages
Source: BEA 2016
Description from GoodReads:
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…
I've made myself empty.
At BEA 2016, there was talk about Vassa in the Night every so often that you'd have it stuck in the back of your mind for the rest of the day. Lucky enough for me, I was able to snag a ticket to the Vassa signing/ARC drop. So I went home with a signed ARC, that was eventually stolen by my sister, but she let me read the book when I was chosen for the tour!
The first thing I noticed was that Vassa is not like any other kind of retellings. When beginning the book, I had actually no idea about what the original story even was, even now, I still don't. The story bounces back and fourth between past and present for a majority of the story, for a benefit of knowing backstory. I found this to be a bit confusing, especially with such a unique storyline. Grocery Stores with legs, living hands, like you'd find in The Adams Family, and then there's the little talking doll, Erg. I think with such a unique story, it would be best to look into the Russian Folktale before picking it up.
Even with the interesting setup that was Vassa's family, I still enjoyed the sister bound between Vassa, Chelsea and Stephanie. Although Stephanie was a twat, at times. Chelsea reminded me, of myself and how I treat my sisters. Honestly, in all, Vassa's whole family just peaked my curiosity. Who leaves their family behind to become a pet?
Although Vassa in the Night was not what I was expecting, nor was the story always straightforward, and a bit confusing. I still enjoyed the craziness of it all, and look forward to hearing what else everyone thinks about it.
"I wish we'd finally cease to bleed."
Recommend to People Who Enjoy:
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Fairy Tales, Magic, Russian Folktales
There’s plenty of nothing in Brooklyn, but BY’s still hogs vacant space as if it was afraid of getting emptiness deprivation sickness. Not many stores in the city have parking lots but our local BY’s franchise is surrounded by a field of dead cement that takes up a whole small block, though cars never seem to park there. As I get close the stench is like sick sweet fur in my nostrils, and I try not to look— but who can keep from looking at that? The parking lot is ringed in by poles maybe thirty feet high, and on top of every pole a severed head stares down, some with eyes and some with just gutted pits. A few heads are fresh and still have humanish colors, just a little too gray or too white. With my weird pallor I’ll fit right in, I guess. Others have mossy patinas, verdigris mold, or purplish pockets of rot. I don’t want to recognize Joel, but I do. He’s spiked to my left and it looks like he’s staring off at the sky, dreaming of bleeding into the moonlight. His smooth black skin has gone ashy and sort of prickly, as if it’s covered in iron filings. I acknowledge that many intelligent people would say I’m exhibiting poor judgment, doing something so dangerous out of pride and rage, and, I mean, no doubt. But somehow looking at Joel gives me my first little shiver of hope that maybe I will go home tonight and fling the lightbulbs straight into Stephanie’s face. With any luck they’ll explode and engulf her in snow-white flames.
It’s only logical: BY’s can’t kill everyone who shops there. If they did, they’d go out of business.
At the center of the ring of poles, BY’s dances. Just like in the ads, the building hops and swivels on giant chicken feet, on yellow legs that manage to be at once wobbly and graceful. Its orange plastic sides glow with this relentless singeing shine that hurts to look at, and the beams lancing out of its plate-glass windows bow and scrape across the pavement. As if they were searchlights. Always looking for someone. The orange building bends with a dramatic forward swoop, a distorted trapezoid of light lunges toward my feet, and then I see that not every pole has its own personal head on top.
No: there’s exactly one that is empty.
I write stories that seem to me to be quite true enough for all practical purposes. Among them are
Represented by Kent D. Wolf of the Friedrich Agency.
Thanks for stopping by my blog for my part of the tour! I hope you enjoyed my review and excerpt!