OwlCrate Unboxing + Vassa in the Night Review

It’s time for the unboxing of October’s OwlCrate! The theme of the box was “Once Upon a Dream” (hello, Disney!), and the book was Sarah Porter’s Vassa in the Night, which is a modern retelling of the Russian folktale, Vassilissa the Beautiful. Continue reading to see what awesome contents were in the box and to read my [unpopular] opinion of the book.

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So, what was in the box?

  1. An adorable, handmade, fabric button bookmark from My Heart My Tribe.
  2. A cute little notebook that says “Oz Passport” made by The Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild. I encourage you to check out their website, especially with the holidays fast approaching. There are so many giftable goodies on there!
  3. A pretty, delicate bangle charm bracelet inspired by Sleeping Beauty and made by The Geeky Cauldron. The bracelet has a charm of a spinning wheel and one that reads “Once upon a dream” on it.
  4. An awesome Peter Pan beanie made by Whosits & Whatsits. I am SO EXCITED to wear this in the winter!october owlcrate 2
  5. The book in the box was Vassa in the Night, which was billed as a “bizarre and beautiful read.” Bizarre is certainly one way to put it…
OwlCrate Unboxing + Vassa in the Night ReviewVassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Published by Tor Teen on September 20th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 296
Format: Hardback

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…

Unfortunately, I. just. couldn’t. with this book. There was way too much bizarre, magical realism for me. Perhaps I could have dealt with the shop walking on chicken legs whose owner beheads its customers, the pocket wooden doll that talks, eats and steals, or even the motorcyclists who drives in endless circles in front of the shop if the story wasn’t taking place in a modern day BrooklynPerhaps. But even then, probably not. I had to stop reading this book 20% of the way through. Life is too short to read something you’re just not into.

final star count
No stars. Because I couldn’t even finish it.

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chime in
Have you read Vassa in the Night yet? Did you like it? Do you like absurdities in books? If so, you might like this one!

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Leave a Reply to Kat Impossible Cancel reply

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    1. For sure! If you don’t like absurdities and extreme, incoherent bizarreness in books, you definitely won’t be a fan. I don’t know if it gets better (obviously, since I only read a fraction of it), but goodness knows I didn’t care! 😀

  1. UGH YES. I couldn’t get into this book either! It was just so bizarre to me! I mean, she just gets basically kidnapped for three days and just “oh well, that’s fine”. And heads are put on spikes and the cops and the ENTIRE CITY is just like “oh well, that’s fine”. WHAT IS THIS. Then add everything else that happend and just WHAT. I get that it is based on a folktale, but it doesn’t work as a modern story. meh haha

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

  2. I got Vassa in the Night in a book box too, but in FairyLoot instead of OwlCrate. I think I ended up giving it 3 stars, but I have no exact explanation why. It did not make sense AT ALL! There was just no logic to it and it was weird as heck. So, I definitely don’t blame you for DNFing it.