I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my opinion of the book. The review below contains my open and honest thoughts.
Synopsis 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 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…
My Thoughts on Vassa in the Night:
This book was… odd. There’s really no better word for it. It was a seriously strange tale. Let’s start with the beheading shopowner, Babs. She cuts off anyone’s head who shoplifts from her, which is apparently everyone and then puts the heads on pikes outside her store. Um… okay?
So our main character, Vassa, goes to the dangerous store one night after getting into a huge fight with her sister. She gets accused of shoplifting but manages to talk her way out of it. But it cost her three nights of work in the store. And this is where things get really, really weird.
The store is full of magic. Not cool magic, though, strange magic. Disembodied hands. Money that has a mind of its own. Random swans. Oh, and did I forget to mention Vassa’s creepy talking doll? It was a bit much for me. However, I could have overlooked it had there been an interesting plot. But there really wasn’t. It was a confusing idea of night being trapped in a man and the entire plot was about releasing him. Maybe. Vassa doesn’t really know what’s going on most of the book so neither do we.
We get some backstory on Vassa’s mother and why this strange world of magic exists, but not as much as I needed. I just didn’t buy into this story.
And now we can talk about the romance. It wasn’t instalove because the two never admit their love for each other. But it certainly doesn’t feel like an actual romance when I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to. Vassa and the guy (I literally can’t remember his name) know each other for 5 minutes and with the way things turn out, I’m pretty sure we are supposed to feel way more chemistry there. I just didn’t care. I was much more interested in the night guy.
I did finish the book, but I’m not sure I should have. I probably should have put it down, because nothing about it ever made it better for me. It’s definitely unique if that’s something you’re looking for. But the plot and characters are lackluster and it was just a bit too strange for me to really enjoy it.
Have you read this yet? What did you think? I’m seeing a lot of good reviews for this book and it’s confusing me…