Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret - he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants. A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world?

I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this book. The cover is quite disturbing, and, since the book is classified as horror, I was worried that it was going to involve brutal killings of children—while children do die in this book, it’s not shown in horrific detail. *huge relief*

I ended up liking this book, but I’ve had the worst time trying to articulate why. The characters were interesting, but could have been fleshed out a bit more. The plot was gripping, but confusing in places. So I ended up making a list of the pros and cons.

Cons:
-Some of the visual details were confusing. Or, maybe it was more that they were overwhelming. Either way, I sometimes had to re-read passages to get a complete image of a scene.

-I never did figure out why Alice was so interested in Mackie.

-Tate’s hot and cold mood swings are a bit disturbing. I understand that she’s upset and frustrated over her sister, but it pulled me out of the story when she threw herself at Mackie anytime he said something she wanted to hear.

Pros:
-Mackie’s family knows he’s a changeling, but they love him anyway. In fact, they go to great lengths to keep him from being discovered by the rest of the town. This is pretty unique—in most stories, the family thinks they’re raising another human (like in Tithe by Holly Black), and they love the changeling anyway because they’ve always loved him/her. But in The Replacement, Mackie’s family has always known, and they still accept him. I loved this.

-Because Mackie has been raised to not bring attention to himself, he tends to do exactly what everyone else in town does—ignore the fact that faeries steal children every few years. He lives in constant fear of discovery, and, as a result, feels like an outsider. He ends up finding himself and his place in the world through sacrifice. I loved this, too.

For me, the pros outweighed the cons, partly because I connected with Mackie through my own personal experiences. And I’m looking forward to more books by this author.

3 comments:

jmkirk said...

I've been seeing this about blogland. The cover is quite eye-catching if disturbing and the reviews are mixed but I think I'll give it a go!

Tabitha said...

It's definitely worth trying! I really enjoyed it.

Christina Farley said...

Yes, the cover was disturbing but maybe I should give it a go.