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Vassa in the Night

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  6,288 ratings  ·  1,568 reviews
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
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Tor Teen
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Popular Answered Questions
Sarah Porter It is for now. There's a slight possibility that will change, though.…moreIt is for now. There's a slight possibility that will change, though.(less)
Solitaire Yes. It does. Not anything too bad, but some death and stuff.
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Average rating 3.44  · 
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 ·  6,288 ratings  ·  1,568 reviews

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Emily May
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I’m slipping, saying too much; in a night this deep and strange the boundaries start to blur.

This is one of those books that I absolutely loved but I'd hesitate before rushing out to recommend it. Because it's weird. No, seriously, it's REALLY weird.

I guess it shouldn't be that surprising. The book promises a fairy tale version of Brooklyn, NYC, with talking wooden dolls, a witch's curse and people partying on rooftops at sunset. A story inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beauti


I....uh...I don't really know how to rate this one, so I guess I'll settle for three stars.

Vassa in the Night reads like one of those dark, grim (see what I did there) fairy tales where the prince doesn't quite get to the princess in time and so she's eaten alive by a dragon. Only instead of a medieval or fantasy world, it's set in a part of Brooklyn that has managed to escape gentrification. A place where night lasts longer than it should, dolls can talk, and the local super market mounts t
3.5 stars

It's only logical: BY's can't kill everyone who shops there. If they did, they'd go out of business.

This is such a strange, odd book. Truly..there were so many elements that made me think "wtf?" But it's all really awesome in the most unique way. I had no prior knowledge of the fairy tale it is based on, Vasilisa the Beautiful, though I think that made me enjoy it even more. I lived for how bizarre certain elements were and I'm not sure it all would have seemed quite as bizarre if I
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.75 stars

This is quite possibly the most bizarre book I've ever read. But I actually ended up liking it a lot.

Vassa in the Night is a book I would have never picked out for myself, but I got it in one of my Owlcrate's and decided to give it a shot. I've been needing a change of pace with my genre's lately, so I picked up this one.

And my god, this book is weird. BUT the writing style sucked me into the story and I felt like I got lost in the pages of this peculiar tale.

“Why did it take m
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
“I wish that all of us together in this night could stop hurting. I wish we’d finally cease to bleed.”

2 1/2 stars. I'm so sad about how this book turned out. I was ready to love Vassa in the Night and accept it for its strange, glittery self. This book really was an oddball - beautifully written, but with one of the strangest plots ever. I'd read the reviews beforehand, knew what I was in for, and thought I could handle it.

At first, I just shrugged when talking dolls and walking hands made t
Before reading Vassa in the Night, I came across countless reviews that did not like it - purely for the fact that "it doesn't make sense".

Well I'm sorry (not sorry), but I could not disagree more. If you're the kind of person who'll look at a Dali painting and think "but animals don't actually have legs that long", then this probably isn't the book for you, but the gorgeous dream-logic at work through Vassa is both consistent and mesmerising; I never once found myself confused, only captivated
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-releases
This book was so bizarre. Magical realism in YA, at its finest. Bizarre, but intriguing.

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (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
Initial thoughts: Just under a 5 for a bit of a rush-job on the ending, but for the most part, lurved it. And really lurved Vassa.

Now, I’m going to say right off the bat, this story is certainly not for everyone. It’s weird and it’s odd (and somehow those are different things). The nights are getting longer and longer, even though the clock stays the same (weird), and there’s a talking doll who could eat several times her weight in…well, anything (odd). But more than that, it’s an occasi
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
I feel like this is a read that you either will adore or absolutely hate. There is no middle on it and I loved it.... It was so interesting and so unique. The characters were awesome, they were the kind that sticks on your mind for daya after you finish the book
An Advance Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change.

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 ev
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
I'm not really familiar with Russian folklore, though I had a brief introduction to this specific story earlier this year in Spells of Blood and Kin. Needless to say, I liked it . . . Kinda cool, kinda creepy . . . o.O

Here's hoping this one is even better . . .
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
Super bizarre and unique. I bet you haven't read anything like it before.... ...more
Tara ☽
"Night sees you, Vassa."

How do I explain what exactly this book is about? It is (I say, in a mournful voice) well nigh impossible. Is it a retelling of Vasilissa the Beautiful? A little bit, but not quite. Is it a fantasy story? A little bit, but not quite. Is it a story about magic, about a lost girl, about the beauty of the night, about the broken pieces of ourselves that we hide within us? That is how I can best describe it.

More than anything, though, Vassa in the Night is strange. Don't get
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Rating: OK

Urban Fantasy + Young Adult +Retelling

Very ambitious, sometimes funny and whimsical and other times confusing and boring!
This is a modern retelling of Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga by Alexander Afanasyev. We follow this strange story of the girl Vassa and her wooden talking doll Erg. I have picked up this book at a used book store. The beautiful cover attracted me and I had no idea what the story was about. When I read the synopsis then of a girl who lives with her stepmo
Taylor Knight
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm in love with Russian folklore so I extremely excited to read Vassa in the Night. It sounded amazing and I seen a bunch of great reviews so I had pretty high hopes.
I loved the modernization of such a classic Russian folklore and it was so bizarre and amazingly weird.
Vassa in the Night is set in America but I would have loved it if this was set in Russia.
The magic in this book is so insane and crazy, I loved it so much.
I didn't find this book to have much of a plot. No one was really doing
Elizabeth Gold
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-ya-books
This is what a YA book should be -- dark, specific, weird... Vassa lives in a dystopian futuristic Brooklyn with Erg, the doll who lives in her pocket. There is so much wonderful imagery. The perilous journey Vassa must take to Baba Yar's convenience store, the scuttling helpers there. The whole thing is like Tim Burton meets Judy Bloom in a Salvador Dali painting. Or maybe Madeline L'Engle meets Fellini. Whichever: read and love. ...more
Mar 27, 2017 added it
Fantasy? Magical realism? Wherever it falls, I so enjoyed the accelerating madness of this dark tale.
Ashley Daviau
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was so wonderfully weird, I was instantly hooked from page one and I was only drawn more in as it went on. Everything about it was so original, it was totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before and I couldn’t have loved it more.

Vassa was such an excellent character, something about her just clicked with me and I was incredibly invested in what would happen to her and how her story would turn out.

I also really loved the role that Night played in the story, it was just pure magic an
Nicay Magnate
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Originally posted at The Nerdy side of a Queen


“Night knows you, Vassa.”

In Brooklyn, the night was much longer than an ordinary night as the BY store appeared in their little town. Vassa was living with her stepmother and her two stepsisters after her mother died and her father leave them alone.

One night, when Stephanie – the step sister of Vassa instructed her to buy some bulbs in the BY store; she hesitates for a moment because the BY store was well-known for being the
May 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Vassa lives in an enchanted version of modern Brooklyn with her step sisters and step mother and her magical talking doll that her mother had given her when she was a child. One night when Vassa returns home her step sister tells Vassa she needs to head to the local store to pick up some light bulbs. The problem with this is the only store open late at night is the local convenience store that is run by Babs Yagg who has a policy of beheading shoplifters whether they are truly guilty or not.

Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it
too weird and too much obsession with the night. also at the end, the painting part with vassa was too confusing to me. it was more like vassa was stumbling in to things by chance rather than adventure during these nights. her toughness was just for the act, she was nothing more than a confused girl throughout the book. also i didn't understand what in the world picnic & pangolin said through the book. at least make the characters say something normal people can understand. no it does not make i ...more
This was such an odd but wonderful book. It is a Russian fairytale retelling set in modern day Brooklyn, New York where a magical convience store is open 24/7 and the shop owner beheads shoplifters and hangs their heads on pikes outside the store. The police become befuddled or confused whenever they go to arrest the shop owner so the store becomes a part of the community. Vassa, a teenage girl whose mother died and father choose to become a literal dog, lives with her stepmother and half/step-s ...more
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
A dark fantasy based on the Vasilisa the Beautiful fairy-tale. Strongly reminiscent of Catherynne M. Valente and Frances Hardinge, I would recommend if you like your YA fantasy to be dark and weird and beautiful.

Vassa is a 16 year-old girl living in Brooklyn with her step- and half- sisters, her step-mother and a creepy wooden doll that only she knows about. Night in this world has been getting longer and longer. Not in terms of hours and minutes, but in terms of experience. If you can wrap your
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Now Available!

3.75 Stars

Based on, or perhaps inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful this YA novel is weirdly wonderful as it introduces you to a view of Brooklyn like you’ve never seen.

Vassa has a tiny doll named Erg, which she takes with her everywhere; it was bestowed upon her by her mother right before she passed away. With her mother gone from this life, and her father gone from her life, she lives with her two stepsisters and their mother, her former stepmother. Vassa sh
Oct 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: retelling

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

You know how problematic the mathematics is. This book exceeds the level of complexity than the maths subject. I was perplexed throughout the book. I read the words but sometimes I couldn't make any sense of it. And this was a retelling of Russian folk story. I haven't read the original story, so I couldn't tell whether it was a good one.

I don't know what I feel about this book. Nah., may
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 4-star
I've been anxiously awaiting this book, with mixed expectations, since it was announced. As a Russian immigrant living in the US, the story seemed to call out to me, but Reader, I'm jaded. Mostly because I'm constantly on the look out for Russian based and inspired novels, but more often than not, I've been disappointed. So my approach to this novel was one of caution and reserve.

The story is very reminiscent of Deathless both in writing style and weirdness levels. But unlike Deathless, Vassa in
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

This is probably one of the weirdest books I have ever read and I can tell you it is so worth the read. Somehow Sarah Porter is able to add such depth and such strong human characteristics to characters that are not even human. Our main character, Vassa is human but some of the other characters are not human, but that doesn't mean we should see them as if they are inhuman (did that make any sense?). I had no idea what was going to happen while reading it. I don't even know how to tell y
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Vassa in the Night really surprised me. This is a magical realism story, but also a retelling of a Russian fairytale. The characters are very likeable (especially the talking doll) and the setting is so vividly described. I really enjoyed this one, even with no knowledge of Vassilissa the Beautiful.

I am a big fan of magical realism novels, which is probably why I enjoyed Vassa in the Night so much. In this book, there is a creepy convenience store that is actually
Starry-Eyed Jen
An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. However, this review is based on the audiobook version. This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

What a lovely, weird little book. It was so different and unique and definitely something you have to be in the right mood or frame of mind for. But it was definitely MY kind of book. :D I'm all about the weird. It's also a retelling of sorts, but as I'm not very familiar with the original story, I can'
May 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Pre-review: Ah, a book by the author who penned the Lost Voice trilogy! It deserves a closer look...

PS: but...what is the difference between magical realism and urban fantasy anyway?

DNF-ed@page 144: this book feels like a creative writing assignment gone terribly wrong.

I once enjoyed Lost Voice trilogy by the same author: the trilogy is no great literature but it is still an imaginative piece of YA story with a handful of good ideas. Therefore, when I discovered Sarah Porter wrote a YA novel bas
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