The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff

This book was odd.

Have you ever been to a gathering and it seems like everyone’s happy and having fun; they’ve forgotten all their worries for the time and decided to take pleasure in being together and you know that something is being ignored? Something horrible has happened and everyone has decided to set aside this horrible thing and pretend that, for this day, everything is all right. You sit there getting more and more confused and angry and you’re sitting there pissed off and feeling exhausted because no one will acknowledge that everyone is hurting?



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That’s what living in Gentry is like. Mackie, our protagonist, is positive that something is wrong because he’s part of it. His entire family knows it (they don ‘t talk about it) and everyone else in the town has a good idea that he’s part of it but no one really wants to be the one to make it real.

And for me, as a reader, I felt really wrong-footed. In a good way. This is a YA book so I assumed that it would be the main character keeping himself quiet and secret and maybe his sister knew but no one else did and that would be a large part of the story. It wasn’t, though. Everyone in the town knows that fairies come and take children and leave one of their own in its place. The changeling can’t survive because of how much iron there is up on the surface and the child dies and the family is finally able to mourn the loss of this kid and the family doesn’t have to admit that their son, daughter, sibling, hasn’t been with them for a while.

This may sound weird, but I picked this book because it had to do with changelings. I’m intrigued by those types of stories and what the human children have to go through and how the fey children react. I’ve always been interested in them. This one didn’t disappoint. I’m happy, though, that Yovanoff took care not to make all the fey beautiful. Quite a lot of them are rotting, even. I’ll take that grittiness over otherworldly eyes/hair/skin/whatever.

The sisters were great for this story. The Morrigan and The Lady, even when being rather nice were just a toe from crossing the line into manipulative at any time. Until, of course, they cross that line completely.

I appreciated that Mackie and his sister have a very sweet and caring relationship and they are very close with their father. The mother is sort of distant but there’s a good, spoilery reason.

BUT

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The Cutter. Definitely my favorite character in the book. He was both completely normal and totally psychotic. The kind of normal psycho who likes to cut people’s faces. I would read an entire series about this guy and his past.

There was a romantic story woven throughout that I didn’t really care for and would have appreciated if it hadn’t been added but, yea…

I guess sex is the only reason to help a little kid.

Not sex with the kid but with her older sister.

Anyway, it was a main part of the story but not really time consuming and not very annoying so I just ignored that part.

So, I enjoyed this book. It had a creepy, eerie feel to it that I appreciate. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of Yovanoff’s books.