Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Title: The Replacement 
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher: Razorbill
Hardcover, 343 pages
Date Published: September 21, 2010

Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Brenna Yovanoff’s debut is eerie, haunting, and full of ugly things that go bump in the night. But it’s also full of heart and love and the lengths we go to for those we care about. Mackie is an undeniably human character. He’s flawed and insecure, but human in all the ways that count. He has the biggest heart and cares so deeply for his sister Emma.

Their relationship was one of my favorite things about the book. They both know that Mackie isn’t the brother Emma was supposed to have, but she accepts him nonetheless. She loves him unconditionally and he loves her back.  Mackie’s friends also shine in the book. Roswell, Drew, and Danny accept Mackie even though he is more than a little strange. Then there’s Tate. I loved this girl, despite her bristly personality. She grew on me just as fast as she grows on Mackie.

I’ve seen quite a few reviews that say the townspeople accept the weird occurrences, stolen children, and replacements way too easily. The way I see it is that people never want to accept what they do not like. We explain away the unexplainable because that gives us safety. If we open ourselves up to horrors that may or may not exist, we open ourselves up to a fear that could cripple us. The people of Gentry know their town isn’t normal, that it isn’t safe, but to truly acknowledge that would open them up to a world that they cannot survive in.

Yovanoff has created the world of Gentry so vividly that I felt like the rain was dripping on my head and the clouds were rolling in my skies. Her unique take on the fae is so unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I’m not a big fan of faeries, but this story drew me in because, even though there are dark, ugly things beneath Gentry, there are beautiful things on the surface. This isn’t just a story about the monsters in the world.

The Replacement will grab your attention with its haunting cover and eerie tales of stolen children, but it will hit your heart with the emotional story of who Mackie Doyle is and where he belongs in the world. It’s heartfelt, honest, and shows the beauty that can be found in the ugliest of things.

Opening line: I don’t remember any of the true, important parts, but there’s this dream I have. ~ pg. 3

Favorite lines:
More than that, I was here because she’d spent years smiling and listening and protecting me. Because she loved me. I was everything because of her. ~ pg. 183
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it. 
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Melissa said...

Great review, Nikki! I really enjoyed this book, too, despite a few minor qualms I had with it. Definitely loved the eerie cover and dark story line though! :)

Alyssa@Teens Read and Write said...

I agree - I loved this book, the setting and especially the personal relationships. Great review!

Teens Read and Write

brizmus said...

First review I've read of this book by someone that really loved it. And now I want to read it.
Great review!

Lori said...

I really enjoyed this book! I can't wait to read more from Brenna in the future!! Great review!

Bere said...

Brilliant review, Nikki! You've really made me want to go out and get this book asap. I have to admit that I was first drawn to this book by its wicked cool cover, but now it is so much more than just that. Can't wait. Again, fantastic review. Thanks, Nikki! =)

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