Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff

The ReplacementMackie has never been like everyone else in town.  Weird aversions to steel, blood, and consecrated ground suggest that he is, well, different.  But he had no idea just how different he was, until he learned that he was a replacement.  The town of Gentry has deep dark secrets, secrets that Mackie shares.  He is finally learning where he really came from, and that there are others like him.  Now, Mackie decides to fight the evil that looms underneath the town.

The best word to describe this book is hypnotic.  As I read the book, I was not really able to form a lot of opinions of it, until I read the last page.  Then I realized I loved it.  The book is so haunting, and echos the longing for acceptance that we all have felt at one point in our lives.

Brenna has woven a delicate, dark fairy tale, one that is brilliant and believable.  As a young adult book, the themes will be so familiar to those teenagers who feel they are on the perimeter of society.  The story is sort of heartbreaking; you pity Mackie, and Tate.  These characters are written so true to life.  You feel as though you are really mentally watching teenagers.  I find this realistic portrayal to be so rare and valuable.

The book is suggested for ages 12 and up, but because the themes are pretty dark, and there is a smattering of swear words, sexuality, and teen drinking, I would say the book is most appropriate for high school aged readers and older.  But if teens long for a story that does not sugar coat things, and is about teens they can relate to, this book is perfect.  I fully believe that adult readers, like me, can also fully appreciate the beauty in Brenna's story.

I am left with a numb feeling, and a sense of sadness that the book is over.  It is rare that I am at a loss for the appropriate words to describe how a book has made me feel, but this time, I truly am.  It completely appealed to the darker side of me, the side that likes horror movies and tires of happy endings tied by pretty bows.  All I can say is this book will stay with me, mentally and emotionally, for a very long time.  Brilliance, without a doubt.

A review copy of this book was provided courtesy of Traveling ARC Tours.