Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

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-siblings. Her mother gave her a wooden doll named Erg that came to life the moment her mother died. A mischievous doll, Erg, steals Vassa’s sisters possessions and causes trouble and drama but is Vassa’s only real friend. The nights start to become longer (like days long) and as people need grocery items in the middle of the night, the magical, beheading convience store gets more and more customers/victims. When Vassa’s half-sister sends her to the store to get light bulbs since all of the ones in their apartment mysteriously go out all at the same time. How will Vassa survive the night with her little thieving wooden doll?

There were beautiful descriptions and parts of the book that were written just like a fairytale but this is definitely a book you have to patiently read even if you don’t totally understand what is going on at the moment because everything will be explained. And I loved Erg so much despite all the trouble she causes Vassa.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.


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