Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Mackie Doyle is not a normal teenage boy. In fact, he might not even be human, but everyone in his small town, Gentry, kindly avoids any conversation dealing with Mackie's biological background.

See, Mackie replaced a human boy when he was a baby. His older sister, Emma, who was 4, saw Mackie and stayed with him all night, just looking at him and trying to touch him, knowing he wasn't her real brother.

No other "kidnapping" has happened for 7 years, until one day, a classmate of Mackie, Tate, finds her baby sister dead in her crib. Except it's not her sister (Natalie). Instead, it's one of the creatures.

In the town of Gentry, the townspeople pretend nothing happens. They pretend that when their children die at a young age, it is really their children and not a creature from  underground. That's they way it's always been. When Mackie has to go underground for medicine to stay alive, he meets his kinspeople - the creatures he should have grown up with.

The things that make Mackie different from normal, human people is that he has a no tolerance for iron or steel. You could say he's allergic to them and gets a bad reaction, even to blood. Otherwise, Mackie tries to live a normal, human life with his human family.

When Natalie was stolen from her home and Tate was trying to find answers, Mackie decided to try and find out why the creatures take children and where Natalie was. After he found the answers, he had to decide if he should take action, or pretend everything was alright like he usually does.

My Thoughts/Reflections
This is a different novel. I've read paranormal and supernatural books, but this topic is one I've never read before. I liked it. It wasn't my favorite novel, but Brenna Yovanoff created a world where ignorance and oblivion was necessary to survive.

There were times where I yelled at the book, "Just TELL her!! Stop ignoring the problem!" But then there were other times where I cheered on Mackie when he was doing the right thing. I did enjoy the storyline and Mackie's bravery at the end of the novel.

One thing that did frustrate me at first was the nameless group that lives underground - the nameless group that technically Mackie was from. I like having labels so not having a label to call them was a bit disconcerting for me. I got over it though :-)

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It was different and interesting - another world that I was introduced to from a new author I've never read before. I would recommend this to both teen guys and girls (since it's a guy that was the narrator) and to anyone who feels out of place in school or the small town they live in.

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