Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter book cover

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

Vassa in the NightTitle: Vassa in the Night

Author: Sarah Porter

Pub Date: September 2016

Rating: ★★★★☆


‘[…]I suddenly understand, I do want to be Vassa – or technically I want to make Vassa into somebody worth being. The only way to become that somebody is to live in a real, substantial world: a world that doesn’t follow orders, that’s just as willful and independent as I’m going to be. I can only become a whole girl in a place that offers resistance; a place that makes me fight for what I want.”

Vassa is living in Brooklyn that she describes as the most ordinary and boring place on earth, the only thing that is making her days a bit more colourful are her dyed purple hair. This world might seem very dull for Vassa, but it’s not your regular Brooklyn. She lives in a world with magic, even if she’s not exactly calling it that way. At the beginning of the book we learn that something happened to the Night, she lost part of herself and now nights seem to last much longer than normal. Vassa and her two sisters can go to sleep, wake up when it’s still night, have breakfast, watch some old black and white movies, go back to sleep and finally wake up in the morning. Night hours seem to drag very slowly, and no one knows why. Vassa also has a very close, special friend – a wooden talking doll! It’s a gift from her late mother. What is even more bizarre about the Vassa’s Brooklyn is that there is a shop that is located on chicken legs! Yes. You read that correctly.There is a grocery store that is sitting on chicken legs and it’s dancing, and if you want to get in, you have to sing a particular song that will convince the shop to kneel down and let you in. Also, in front of the store, in its parking lot are pales with heads on them. Real human heads, some of them decayed. Those are heads of people that were caught stealing in the shop…. Continue reading

My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger

My Favourite Manson GirlAuthor: Alison Umminger

Title: My Favourite Manson Girl / American Title: American Girls

Pub Date: June 7th, 2016

Honors:   

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆


It is a very average book. It is written as if it says about some major life dramas, but it is not. Some parts are very poetic or philosophical but those parts don’t make much sense in the story. The story is poorly constructed. Events and characters are presented in a mediocre way. You don’t really know them, in some books not truly knowing characters works, but not here. I felt like some plot parts were introduced and never really explored.

I think introducing part about the Manson Killings and Manson girls was meant to create some kind of twisted parade between those events and the current America and live of teen girls. I don’t see it, I don’t think Manson plot did anything for the book. Oh well, I’m wrong. It makes it sound interesting in in a blurb, the possibility of some thrilling story with Manson killings in the background. But it’s not it. Manson killings seem to just be an excuse to write the book, but after some thinking the author decided that maybe writing about then killing themselves was cliché or something, so she puts life of a teen girl as a main plotline.

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Dear Fang, with Lover by Rufi Thorpe book cover

Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe

9781101875773Author: Rufi Thorpe

Title: Dear Fang, With Love

Pub Date: May 24th, 2016

Honors: 

Rating:★★★★☆


Exceptional story. Something new, fresh and different. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The story captures so many issues and aspects of human life. Father and daughter trip to Vilnius, Lithuania. The father, Lucas was crazy in love with Kat, Russian girl that he met in a school, when still young they made a baby (“Let’s make a baby, baby”). With pregnant Kat, they went to live on a commune of free-living hippies, working on a farm. That was too much for a young Lucas, who called his mother and eventually disappeared from Kat, and his daughter lives. But now, year and years later he is working on his father – daughter relationship. The girl, Vera is seventeen, is a very insightful and unusual teenager. She has a psychotic breakdown, and is diagnosed with bipolar, but she’s’ refusing to accept this diagnosis. Those two are setting on a history tour of Easter Europe, where they can revisit the history of Jews – Vera is a Jew, and history of Lucas’ grandmother Sylvia that survived the war and spent some time in Vilnius and later in Poland.

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Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

Imagine Me Gone   by Adam Haslett

Title: Imagine Me Gone

Author: Adam Haslett

Pub Date: May 3rd, 2016

Rating:★★★★★


This is going to be on my favourite books of 2016 list. It is a fantastic book! Highly recommend it to everyone!

I like how the story is presented. Each part of the book is divided into chapters that are presented by each character. Chapters by Michael are perfection; they show his personality and suffering in a beautiful way, but do not focus on just that. They show how smart he is and how funny he is. Some of his chapters are illustrated in an alternative way, and I especially enjoyed them. The second favourite thing about this book is how the beginning of Alec’s relationship is shown; it’s amazing. It shows how Alec is afraid of love, of showing off his emotions, but how much he needs the love. The descriptions are tender and beautiful.

I liked how characters are shown through 30 or so years of their lives. We have a chance to grow with them, get to know them very well and see those children – Michael, Celia and Alec grow up. And how different is the story at the beginning from the one we are ending with? I think that is the thing that makes this book so amazing.

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Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman

hot little

Title: Hot Little Hands

Author: Abigail Ulman

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2016

Rating:  ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆


I did not enjoy that book. From around 20 percent in, I was just debating whether I should drop it or try to finish it. Eventually, I endured, and I read the whole book.

I enjoy short stories, but stories in this book didn’t have any power or message that was captivating. For some time I had an impression that the book was written by someone who’s English is not the first language. This is not necessarily a bad thing; English is not the first language for me. But in the book this impression I got means that the wording and the language were just lacking something, some ease of the text or the way sentences are built.

I was frustrated at the end of every single story. I would like them to finish with some message or leave me filled with emotions, or make me wonder about the story. Stories in the book were ending flat. That’s all I can say about them; they were flat.