Book Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff is one of the most fascinating, original stories I’ve read in a long time. I found it so fitting that I read this book over Halloween since the story also takes place around the same creepy time. Around Halloween you begin thinking about all the ugly, twisted things in the world, and this story delivers all that and more! 

From Goodreads:Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world. Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.


-Descriptions. The descriptions of the town (Gentry) and the twisted, dark underworld (Mayhem) were definitely the strongest elements of the book. In an eerie, fantasy based novel, the descriptions have to be strong for the reader to visualize and imagine the world in which the story is set.  Yovanoff did a fantastic job at setting the mood and backdrop.

-Storyline. The storyline is so intriguing and there is a fun genre mix of fantasy, thriller and romance that will appeal to a wide audience of readers.

-Sibling relationship. Although ‘replacement’ babies usually die at a young age, Mackie has made it to high school-largely due to his sister’s care and love. I really enjoyed that Emma is so prominent in his life.

-Take home message.  Despite all the dark and dreary elements, the main message of the book is that everyone wants and needs love—even if you aren’t human.

-Not a series. YAY- finally a good stand alone book. It seems like every book these days is being turned into a money grabbing series.



-Huh? Throughout the book, Mackie is described as being hypersensitive to loud noises, yet he can attend heavy metal rock concerts and be totally not bothered? 

-Lack of curiosity. I just don’t see how the whole town of Gentry could live with an oppressive cloud over their head and do nothing about it.  How can they just accept that babies go missing every couple of years? Also, I find it overly bizarre that Mackie himself lacks any real curiosity about what and who he truly is. Early on, he recognizes he is different, but instead of really questioning it, he tries his hardest to blend in and appear ‘normal’. Maybe it’s because he wants to be human so badly, but I just don’t buy it.


                                               I LOVE the cover- screams creepy!

Warning: Just so readers are aware- the book includes:  teen drinking, profanity, and sexuality.

Check out the youtube book trailer if you dare…

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