Thursday, July 22, 2010
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff: Book It Forward ARC Tours
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.
The Replacement is creepy, and let me tell you I mean that in the most praise-worthy way possible. It isn’t like scary movie, hide under the pillow creepy. No it is creepy in a way that draws you in and makes you part of the town so you can literally feel the rain and sense everything Mackie does. Brenna Yovanoff creates a world that is so creepy and realistic it actually made me uncomfortable at times because the descriptions felt so real. She manages to write beautifully about a very ugly world.
I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book base on the description, but I really did think it is an incredibly original and imaginative novel. The first thing I loved is that the protagonist is a male, which I find is so rare in YA (see this post for more on that) and he is a complex, well-rounded character and not some simple stereotype.
Another thing I loved is that Yovanoff created a truly original setting in the town of Gentry. I have never read a book with a setting quite like this town and she did such an incredible job of describing it that I could literally feel like I was in the world. She described every scene using all the senses, I could smell the woodsy leaves she constantly talked about and felt damp and soggy from all the rain. She did an incredible job.
Yovanoff also drops the reader right in to the world and it does take about 90 pages to really figure out who everyone is and how they fit in to the town’s very strange dynamics. There were times early on that I was frustrated and confused but it all came together and became a very cohesive narrative.
Mackie’s supporting cast are also incredibly well-developed and realistic characters, I love his sisters Emma who is so loving and compassionate, his best friend Roswell who is steadfast and loyal and Tate who pushes Mackie toward the truth.
With this complex, original novel Yovanoff has set the bar incredibly high for whatever she comes out with next. I’m convinced she is the female version of Tim Burton and he will jump all over the chance to make this in to a movie.
The Replacement will be released on Sept. 21, 2010.
I reviewed this book as part of the Book It Forward ARC Tour.
This book goes toward my Summer Break Reading Challenge and 2010 Debut Authors Challenge