30 September 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?
This is one heckuva creepy book.  It took me several moments of contemplation to pinpoint just what, exactly, made it so hair-raising.  I'll tell you, most books are so straight-forward about what they  have to offer.  They tell you something is creepy--it's direct and it sucks the fun out of picturing the scene for yourself.  Brenna Yovanoff went about it a different way.  She just gave you what it was--straight up, without flourishing it around unnecessarily.  Then again, it's also what she doesn't say that gave me pause.  Reading this book, I felt like I was constantly treading around broken glass--and I was so screwed if I happened to stray.  So yeah, really creepy.

I love how the story progresses.  Most times, when I can't get a handle on a book within the first few chapters, I reject it out of pure frustration.  But there's something about this book...I slowly started to realize what was really going on as I continued to read the book.  I knew that there was something dark about the town of Gentry, but what?  I was left figuring it out as I read--and it was thrilling.

The Replacement is, in my mind, the literary equivalent of film Noir.  Or, if you want to get technical, it's very much like Gothic fiction.  It's very dark and progresses slowly, not continuing like you expect it to--it goes slow when you expect it to rush.  There isn't a lot of humor and you start to expect a sad ending.

The antagonists freaked me out.  Seriously, it's hard to write a creepy villain because it's difficult to keep it original--if you try too hard, it flops, but if you don't try at all, it still flops.  I think that making a villain creepy is similar to how you make someone funny--you make them surprise you.  If they don't follow the script, it switches your mind off and makes you more susceptible to buy in to whatever they're doing.  The antagonist in this book gave me shivers.

I liked the romance.  Going in, I wasn't sure what was going to happen.  What was Mackie going to do?  Who was he going to pursue?  Alice was the typical queen bee but I thought it interesting how Mackie reacted to her.  Tate was totally awesome, though she might come off as a creeper to some people.

Overall, I loved it.  It was a refreshing change from the stock cut-out books that flood the shelves nowadays.  This is a book full of originality and personality.  I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a break from the normalcy flood.  A stunning debut.

Quotes
I don't remember any of the true, important parts, but there's this dream I have.  Everything is cold and branches scrape the window screen.  Giant trees, rattling, clattering with leaves.  White rain gutter, the curtain flapping.  Pansies, violets, sunflowers.  I know the fabric pattern by heart.  They're a list in my head, like a poem.

I dream about fields, dark tunnels, but nothing is clear.  I dream that a dark shape puts me in the crib, puts a hand over my mouth, and whispers in my hear.  Shh, it says.  And, Wait.  No one is there, no one is touching me, and when the wind comes in around the edges of the window frame, my skin is cold.  I wake up feeling lonely, like the world is big and freezing and scary.  Like I will never have anyone touch me again. (p. 3)
Book Info
  • pages - hardcover, 352
  • published - September 21st, 2010
  • publisher - Razorbill
  • genre - urban fantasy
  • received via - Borders :)
  • rating - 5/5

More Info
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