The Replacement

The Replacement

by Brenna Yovanoff


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Mackie Doyle is The Replacement - left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. He has been raised among us. But he is not one of us. Now, he must face the dark creatures of the slag heaps from which he came and find his rightful place - in our world or theirs.

"Unsettling villains and intriguing moral ambivalence make this effort shockingly original and . . .breathtaking." - Booklist, starred review

"Even after finishing the book, readers will be left with the eerie sensation that . . . the true darkness has yet to abate." - BCCB, starred review

"Well-developed characters, a fascinating Fairy Court, an exciting story line, wicked cover art . . .this book has the makings of a success." - Publishers Weekly

"A fast-paced, dark delicacy." - Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595143815
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/06/2011
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 201,586
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Brenna Yovanoff is one third of the Merry Sisters of Fate along with Maggie Stiefvater and Tessa Gratton, whose flash fiction can be found at She lives in Denver, Colorado. The Replacement is her first novel.

Read an Excerpt

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 ear. 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.

They were sticking students in the cafeteria, over by the trophy cases.

They'd hung a curtain to hide the blood-draw station, and it came down almost to the floor, but everyone knew what was behind it. Needles going in, tubes coming out. A butcher-paper banner was stretched over the west entrance, announcing the blood drive in giant Magic Marker letters.

We'd just come in from lunch. Me, the Corbett twins, and Roswell Reed.

Drew Corbett was digging through his pockets for a quarter to show me how he could fix a coin toss. It sounded complicated, but he had a way of taking any trick or sleight of hand and making it look easy.

When he tossed the quarter, it hung for a second and I was sure I could see it flip over, but when he showed me the back of his hand, it was still heads. He smiled a wide, slow smile, like we'd just exchanged a really good joke without either of us saying anything out loud. Behind us, his brother Danny-boy was in this ongoing argument with Roswell about whether or not the only local band that was any good could ever get radio play or score spots on late-night talk shows.

From far away, you could look at the twins and get the idea that they were the same person. They had the same long, brown hands, the same narrow eyes and dark hair. They were good at the same things, drawing and building and fixing stuff, but Drew was more relaxed. He listened better and moved slower. Danny was the one who talked.

"But look at what sells," Roswell said, raking a hand through his hair so it stood up in messy tufts, rust colored. "What makes you think that the same people who get all frantic for power chords would even appreciate a rarified talent like Rasputin Sings the Blues?"

Danny sighed and grabbed my arm. "Mackie, would anybody really take something that fundamentally sucks over something good?" He sounded impatient, like he already knew he was winning this one whether I backed him or not, so why were they still talking about it?

I didn't answer. I was looking at Alice Harms, which was a habitual behavior, kind of like a hobby.

Danny yanked harder. "Mackie, quit acting like a complete stoner and listen. Do you really think someone would pick the bad thing?"

"People don't always know what they should want," I said without looking away from Alice.

She had on a green shirt, cut low so it showed the tops of her breasts. There was a yellow blood-donor sticker stuck to the front of it. She tucked her hair behind one ear and the whole thing was sort of beautiful.

Except, I could smell the blood—sweet, metallic. I could taste it in the back of my mouth and my stomach was starting to feel iffy. I'd forgotten all about the blood drive until I'd walked into school that morning and been greeted by the festival of hand-lettered signs.

Drew hit me hard on the shoulder. "Here comes your girlfriend."

Alice was crossing the cafeteria, flanked by two other members of the junior-class royalty, Jenna Porter and Stephanie Beecham. I could hear the scuff of their sneakers on the linoleum. The sound was nice and reminded me of shuffling through dead leaves. I watched Alice but not in any really hopeful way.

Girls went for Roswell, not me. He was tall and knobby, with a wide, straight mouth. He was freckled in the summer, the hair on his arms was reddish, and he never got his sideburns even, but he was likable. Or maybe it was just that he was like them.

I was the weird one—pale, creepy. Blond hair might have been a strong point on someone else, but on me, it just made it harder to get away with how dark my eyes were. I didn't make jokes or start conversations. Sometimes, people got uneasy just looking at me. It was better to stay in the background. But now here I was, standing in the middle of the cafeteria, and Alice was coming closer. Her mouth was pink. Her eyes were very blue.

And then she was right in front of me.

"Hi, Mackie."

I smiled, but it felt more like wincing. It was one thing to look at her from across a room and think about maybe, possibly kissing her. It was another to have a conversation. I swallowed and tried to come up with any of the normal things people talk about. All I could think was how once I'd seen her in her tennis uniform last spring and her legs were so tan I thought my heart would stop.

"So, did you give blood?" she said, touching her yellow sticker. "You better tell me you gave blood." When she pushed her hair back from her face, I caught a flash of something silver in her mouth. She had her tongue pierced.

I shook my head. "I can't do needles."

That made her laugh. Suddenly, her hand was resting on my arm for no good reason. "Aw, that's so cute! Okay, fine, you're off the hook for being a huge pansy. So, are your parents all completely freaked out about the latest drama? I mean, you heard about Tate Stewart's sister, right?"

Behind me, Roswell took a sharp breath and let it back out. The twins had stopped smiling. I fumbled around for a way to change the subject but couldn't come up with anything on the spot.

The smell of blood was sweet and oozy, too thick to ignore.

I had to clear my throat before I answered. "Yeah. My dad's been pretty cut up about it."

Alice opened her eyes very wide. "Oh God, do you actually know them?"

"His dad's doing the service," Danny said in a flat voice.

He and Drew had both turned away. When I followed their gaze, I saw they were watching Tate, who sat alone at one of the long tables, staring out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the sky.

I didn't know her. I mean, I'd gone to school with her my whole life, and she lived down the block from Drew and Danny, and I'd had at least one class with her every semester since junior high. But I didn't know her. I didn't know her sister either, but I'd seen them together in the parking lot at my dad's church. A chubby, smiling little kid named Natalie. Just this normal, healthy-looking kid.

Tate scraped back her chair and glanced in our direction. Her hair was dark brown and cut short, which made her face look strangely bare. From far away, she seemed small, but her shoulders were rigid as she stood up, like she was ready to take a punch. Until two days ago, she'd had friends. Maybe not the whispering, giggling, inseparable kind like Alice, but people had liked her. Now there was an empty space around her that made me think of quarantine. It was unsettling to realize that it didn't take much to make you an outcast. All you needed was for something terrible to happen.

Alice didn't waste any time on Tate. She flipped her hair over her shoulder and suddenly, she was standing much closer to me. "Just, you never think about little kids dying. I mean, that's so sad, right? My mom's kind of been going crazy with the saints medals and the Hail Marys since she heard. Hey, are you guys going to be around on Saturday? Stephanie's having a party."

Roswell leaned in over my shoulder. "Cool. We might stop by. So you guys got suckered into the blood drive, huh?" He was looking at Stephanie when he said it. "How was exsanguination? Did it hurt?"

Stephanie and Jenna both started to nod, but Alice rolled her eyes. "Not really. Like, it hurt when she was putting the tube in—but it wasn't bad. It actually hurts more now. When she pulled the needle out, it kind of tore and now it won't quit bleeding. Look."

She held out her arm. There was a cotton ball taped to the inside of her elbow, covering the needle mark. In the middle, starting under the tape and spreading out through the cotton, there was a red splotch that grew and grew.

Iron is everywhere. It's in cars, kitchen appliances, and those big industrial machines they use to pack food, but most of it's mixed with other things, carbon and chromium and nickel. It hurts in a slow, exhausting way. I can take it.

The blood iron was different. It roared up through my mouth and nose, getting in my throat. Suddenly, it was hard to focus. My heart was beating very fast and then too, too slow.

"Mackie?" Alice's voice sounded thin and fuzzy, coming from far away.

"I have to go," I said. "My locker… I forgot this thing and I need to…"

For a second, I thought one or two or maybe all of them were going to follow me. Alice started to reach for me. Then Roswell put his hand on her arm and she stopped. His expression was tight, like he was pressing his lips together to keep from saying something. He jerked his head in the direction of the hall, just barely. Just go.

I made it through the maze of tables and out of the cafeteria without stumbling, but my vision was starting to tunnel and I could feel my heartbeat in my hands and in my ears. It was better once I got away from the sweet, suffocating smell of the blood drive. I took deep breaths and waited for the dizziness to ebb off.

The lockers in the junior hall all looked the same—five feet tall and painted a light, flaking beige. Mine was at the far end, past the hall to the math wing and the doors out to the courtyard. As soon as I came around the corner, I knew something was wrong with it.

On the locker door, at eye level, there was a red smear the size and shape of someone's palm. Even before I got close, I could smell the blood. It wasn't as bad as Alice's puncture wound. That had been warm, horribly metallic. This was cold and sticky, just starting to dry.

I looked around, but the hall was empty. The doors leading out to the courtyard were closed. It had been raining all day and there was no one on the grass.

The smear was a dark, gummy red, and I stood with my hands against my forehead. It was a joke, some kind of mean, stupid trick. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to come up with it—you wouldn't have to guess. I am notorious for being the guy sitting on the ground with my head between my knees when someone gets a bloody nose.

It was a joke because it had to be. But even before I moved closer, I knew deep down that it wasn't. Someone had gotten creative with a paper clip or a key. They'd scratched the word Freak into the congealing mess.

I took my sleeve and scrubbed at it, feeling sick and out of breath. I got most of the blood off, but Freak stayed right there on the door. It was scratched into the paint and blood had settled into the letters so the word stood out dark against the beige enamel. Looking at it made the rush of static sweep in again. I backed away and almost fell. There was just my slow, stuttering heartbeat.

Then my hand on the wall, feeling for the door, the empty courtyard, the fresh air.

I was in kindergarten the first time my dad told me about Kellan Caury.

The story was short, and he told it over and over, like Winnie-the-Pooh or Goodnight Moon. When my dad told it, I could see the important parts like scenes from an old movie, flickering and grainy. Kellan Caury would be quiet and polite. A grown-up, maybe in his thirties.

He was like me. Mostly. Except that he had an extra set of joints in his fingers and I always pictured him in black and white.

He ran a music repair shop on Hanover Street and lived above it in a little kitchenette apartment. He couldn't tune pianos because he couldn't stand to touch the steel wires, but he was honest and fair and everyone liked him. His specialty was fixing violins.

When kids started to go missing, no one thought that much about it. It was the Depression, and no one had enough food or enough money, and kids were always disappearing. They got sick or ran away, or died from accidents or starvation, and that was too bad, but no one really got suspicious or asked that many questions.

Then the sheriff's daughter disappeared. This was in 1931, just before the end of October.

Kellan Caury had never hurt anyone, but it didn't matter. They came for him anyway.

They dragged him out of his little kitchenette apartment and down into the street. They burned out his shop and beat on him with wrenches and pipes. Then they hung him from a tree in the churchyard with a bag over his head and his hands tied behind his back. They left his body there for a month.

The first time my dad told me this, I didn't get what he was trying to say, but by the time I was in first or second grade, I was already starting to understand.

The moral of the story is, don't attract attention. Don't have deformed fingers. Don't let anyone find out how amazing you are at tuning strings by ear. Don't show anyone the true, honest heart of yourself or else, when something goes wrong, you might wind up rotting in a tree.

Everyone has a point of origin. A place they come from.

Some people's places are just simpler than others'.

I don't remember any of this, but my sister, Emma, swears it's true and I believe her. This is the story she used to tell me at night, when I would climb out of bed and sneak down the hall to her room.

The baby in the crib: crying, in that anxious, fussy way. His face is shiny between the bars. The man comes in the window—bony, wearing a black coat—and grabs the baby up. He slips back out over the sill, slides the window down, pops the screen back in. Is gone. There's something else in the crib.

In the story, Emma's four years old. She gets out of bed and pads across the floor in her footie pajamas. When she reaches her hand between the bars, the thing in the crib moves closer. It tries to bite her and she takes her hand out again but doesn't back away. They spend all night looking at each other in the dark. In the morning, the thing is still crouched on the lamb-and-duckling mattress pad, staring at her. It isn't her brother.

It's me.

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The Replacement 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 242 reviews.
Reading-Writing-Waiting More than 1 year ago
The entire town of Gentry knows that their human children are stolen and murdered by monsters, but they seem to be okay with the sacrifice in order to keep their town the happy place it is. This novel creates a intriguing world that is full of mystery. Mackie Doyle is one of the creepiest main characters I've come across in a while, but I will say he is very likable and he won me over very easily. Mackie has this venerability that makes you root for him even though he's not quite human and was placed in a crib to replace a human baby that had been stolen and sacrificed. While the creatures under the hill may be evil, Mackie isn't, and strives to just be "normal". Iron, even the slight amount in blood, causes Mackie to go into a toxic shock type syndrome, which adds to the struggle to live in the human world. This novel is a great YA mystery. The kind where you have to figure out exactly what Mackie is why these creatures under the hill suddenly want him back. If you like creepy YA told from a male first person point of view with a little bit of romance sprinkled in, this one's for you.
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
I loved every word in this book. The story was magnificently creepy.
LizTea More than 1 year ago
Based on the synopsis on the back of the book, I went into The Replacement expecting a cool, almost reverse Labyrinth. But alas, there was no magical David Bowie, and no dance numbers. All I found was the same problem I've been having with a lot of paranormal books lately. I end up liking the world, and a lot of the secondary characters, more than the main plotline and characters. For me, the world that existed below the ground was beautiful, horrifying, and absolutely fascinating. I could picture the House of Mayhem, and the Morrigan, and the living dead girls in such vivid detail, I found myself sorry to return with Mackie to the normal human world. I wanted so much more of this mysterious world. The Morrigan especially! She was so cute and childlike, yet adult and sinister all at once. Her snuggly closeness quickly made her, without competition, my favorite character in the whole book. As for the human world? Well, it was just a whole village full of scared people in denial. Nothing really appealing about it. The best advice you can give your kid is to not be unique, but blend in. However, for everyone so seemingly steeped in denial, it struck me as really strange when some of the characters didn't bat an eyelash at some of the weird stuff going on. Little zombie girl? I'd freak. Doors popping out of garbage heaps? I'd run the other way. A freaky queen who likes to eat babies? I'd check myself into an institution. But no one seems to question the strangeness of it all. Maybe the teens in Gentry are immune to the denial? Or, at least a select few. One thing I really did appreciate, however, was the realism of the way the teens spoke. I liked that there was a bunch of swearing, because it felt so much more real that way. In a lot of YA, it seems the intent is to be a "clean" read - no cussing, no physical contact beyond kissing. Well, The Replacement got it right. The kids swear when they're mad or confused, and there's quite a bit of inappropriate touching and staring. Most books from a boy's perspective (especially those written by women) tend to skim over some details about where their minds are. But no, the author just flat out lets you know Mackie isn't really paying attention to the teacher, he's staring at some girl's boobs. I laughed. And it made me feel like the characters were a little more real. As for the characters themselves? The secondary cast stole the show to me, especially "Them", the underground folk. Mackie annoyed me occasionally - he came off a bit whiny, weak, and pathetic in some scenes. I really found myself just honestly wishing he'd grow a spine and do something. Tate was likable enough, though I felt no chemistry between her and Mackie. She felt like a convenient plot point. No interest in her until her sister vanishes, then suddenly, it's all about her. Something just didn't click with that relationship to me. Roswell was an awesome best friend, though his lack of asking questions and demanding answers about all the weird stuff going on was a little strange. I would have actually liked a little more detail about him and his family, though. All in all, a pretty good supernatural read. The prose is elegant and haunting, and the world is beautifully creepy. I appreciate that this is a standalone novel, but I think I could have stood it to be a little longer. Some parts ended up feeling rushed. Mackie is a bit of a wimp, but a strong minor character cast make up for it.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Sixteen years ago in Gentry, the tattooed princess sent Mackie Doyle as The Replacement who took the place in a crib of a newborn human baby. He is not the only Replacement in the town, but the locals are unaware of the switches and besides the changes has proven profitable for the ignorant but blissful townsfolk, other nearby places have collapsed. Mackie leaving Gentry to go to the underworld tunnels of Mayhem is dangerous for him but by staying he has allergies to iron and blood that can kill him. The girl he likes Alice donates blood and has silver pinned on her pierced tongue; he also cannot walk on sacred earth though his dad is a pastor with a church. However, the strange death of Natalie has shocked every one. Natalie's family attends the church of Mackie's dad though the lad does not know her or her older sister Tate who attends his school. The grieving girl obsesses over learning the truth about her sibling's death, which places Mackie in the awkward situation of choosing life above ground or below as he comes to know Tate. This is an extremely dark horror tale that grips the audience from the moment the teens are introduced and never slows down until the final confrontation. The Gentry high school students makes the story line seem plausible as most behave with reckless abandon with sex, drugs, cigarettes and alcohol prevalent; the teens challenge the adult authority. This is a strong novel that uses the Doppelganger Replacement as the premise of an exhilarating novel that warns readers to look beyond the glitter to insure there is no monster; like Tate is doing with no allies until Mackie joins her quest. Harriet Klausner
rabidreaderWS More than 1 year ago
If you want creepy, goosebump inducing and a little bit of teenage angst, this is the book for you. Cover - Look at this cover! When I first received the book, I thought the cover was very horrific, I wondered why there were sharp instruments hanging like a mobile over the pram...then after reading the book I understood. There is a reason for this - to keep the baby-traders away. It totally fits the novel, along with the stark and gray background. One of the best covers ever for a young adult book - no dramatic face shot with pouty lips...I love this cover. Until The Replacement, I haven't ever read a book written from the point of view of a changeling (of the fair folk). It's an interesting concept, and not only does Ms Yovanoff write a changeling, but she gives us a teenage boy changeling - with all the mixed up feelings and desires that a young teen male can experience. Not only THAT, but this story is also about acceptance....and avoidance. The town of Gentry has been dealing with changelings for years, and Mack is the only changeling that has survived to be a teen. No one talks about it...I don't want to give too much away by saying more. This story gave me goosebumps and chills. There are some seriously creepy moments, woven in with the anger and resentment that some of the characters feel. One of my favorite moments is when a friend of Mack's (a girl) gets in a fight with another girl....getting hit and bloodied just makes her more determined to win the fight. For some reason, I love those kind of scenes...(bloodthirsty? Me? come-on...LOL). Anyway, the basic premise of this book is that Mackie is a changeling left in a crib to replace a baby stolen 16 years ago. This happens regularly in Gentry, only no one admits it. But usually, the replacements only last a few years. Mackie has lasted 16 years and his family has grown to not only accept him, but to love him. Unfortunately, Mackie doesn't realize how much his family loves him (something that a lot of teens have a problem with). When the book opens, Mackie is feeling pretty rotten. He's in pain, weak and feels like he's slowly dying. The replacements don't usually last as long as Mackie has because they all have allergies to blood, iron, and church grounds (consecrated areas). Mackie's father also happens to be a preacher. Things come to a head when Mackie's sister tries to help him by getting help from a fae, and at the same time the girl I previously mentioned, Tate, doesn't believe that the baby sister who has recently died is really her sister..... I recommend this book to anybody who likes a chilling fairy tale. There's just a few instances of kissing and one makeout session, a few mentions of blood and gory things, and yet the whole book had this creepy, scary feel to it. It's a great book to read around Halloween. The narrative is from Mackie's pov (first person) and the dialogue between the characters feels real. The dialogue from the Fae was good, arrogant and believably threatening. It's a good all-round novel.
ChelseaW More than 1 year ago
Malcolm (Mackie) knows he is not normal. In the small town of Gentry, he has to keep everyone else from knowing he is not normal too. His father is the local pastor, who tries his best to keep up appearances that nothing is wrong with the town. But things are about to get a lot more difficult to hide. Mackie's condition starts to worsen by the day, and he knows he will have to come to terms with the dark truths he's always known were there a lot sooner. Plus, a girl named Tate has been sniffing around, asking Mackie a lot of questions about her dead baby sister and who he really is. If Mackie hopes to save his town and get the girl, he is going to have to toughen up and go back to the ugly place he originally came from. I liked this book! Changeling stories are one of my favorites. It is both exciting and scary to think of babies being swapped for troublesome little creatures from another world! Mackie speaks and thinks wise beyond his years, a fact that made this book very enjoyable to read. I also really liked Tate. She was such a rough and tough girl, so assured of herself! Very refreshing and sexy! Mackie's older sister Emma was also a fresh character. A sister who loves and cares about her brother - imagine! And this review would not be complete without mentioning how awesome Mackie's friend Roswell is. We all should be so lucky as to have a friend like him. The changeling lore was fun and I liked that Brenna Yovanoff never actually named the other beasts. Honestly, I was expecting there to be a lot of loose ends, but all my questions were answered by the climax, and not in an overly rushed way. I am definitely looking forward to more from this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The concept of the book was interesting, but it was dull and quick to transition. It was a choppy wave, no flow. The end was expected, and very dry. But the concept was very original.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just grabbed a book off my shelf one day before school, out of my many from book sales, and ended up with the Replacement. Honestly i never really liked the book... but i think it may just be the genre for me... Mackie.i foind was way to.hard to relate to and the town of gentry was too hard to invision... the book overall seemed to drag on with the same details and happenings over and over agian. Its all aboit Mackie and his problems with being a Replacement himself and his trying to get back a.girl in his schools.sister from a dark underworld. I ended up giving it a three because.even though it didnt i dont want to completely discourage people who really like this type. Of book from reading it...the one thing id really warn you about is theres not that much action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Creepy but amazing!I also kinda have the same problem as him ) :
Owlmanafanatic16 More than 1 year ago
The Replacement is one weird, disturbing and beautiful novel. When i heard about The Replacement and the plot, i was a little bit happy and creeped out at the same time. The whole replacing a baby with another baby that is not human is kinda psychologically disturbing. The world of The Replacement is described as grim yet enthralling. You can't help but feel counfused and understanding of the town of Gentry. The book was creepy yet enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didnt get a chane to finish to finish this book.. but from what I read i loved it! This is so beautiful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You either love or hate the characters. A very original story line. If you like zombies id give this book a chance. :) #review by a 17 year old girl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a very picky reader. I either love a book and finish reading it within 2 days or I hate it and don't bother finishing it. I read this book in 1.5 days. I couldn't put it down. Well written, great description of characters. Nice flow in the story line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Read. Recommend To All.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dark.. but it was amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great mix of odd and magical and it was fantastic
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Mackie Doyle doesn't remember any of the true, important parts. But his older sister Emma does. She remembers getting out of bed one night and looking into her brother's crib only to find something else inside. It tried to bite her but still she stayed watching. The thing watched back. Sixteen years later, the thing would be called Mackie Doyle. Sixteen years is a long time to live in a place that's slowly killing you. Allergic to iron and blood, unable to step on consecrated ground, Mackie should have died years ago when he was first traded for that human child in the small town of Gentry. He's dying slowly right now. No one wants to talk about the strange things that happen in Gentry. Not Mackie's best friend Roswell, not his parents, not even Emma. No one except Tate Stewart. Tate wants answers about her sister's death. After years of trying to be invisible, all Mackie wants is to be left alone to play his bass and forget his troubles. But Mackie is dying and if he's willing to look at the ugly things that lurk beneath Gentry he might be able to find some answers about Tate's sister and about his own place in Gentry in The Replacement (2010) by Brenna Yovanoff. Atmospheric and sometimes horrible, The Replacement is a story about monsters and things that come out after dark. It is also a story of fierce affection where even monsters can find a place and, perhaps, earn redemption. Yovanoff's writing is haunting and strangely enchanting. Mackie is an unlikely hero but one that will charm readers with his breezy style and honesty. Everyone can tell you about how this book sets itself apart as a horror story. A lot of people will mention how cleverly Yovanoff interprets the changeling folklore in her debut novel. But what I really want to underscore is how much this story is about the power of love and friendship (even if the deliciously creepy cover with illustration by Jonathan Barkat and design by Natalie C. Sousa might suggest otherwise). The Replacement is a fantastic fantasy that is sure to be going places. Definitely one to watch (and one of my favorites) from 2010. Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, The War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, The Blue Girl by Charles De Lint, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, The Last of the High Kings by Kate Thompson, "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, "The Stolen Child" by the Waterboys
jenababy13 More than 1 year ago
An eerie, haunting story that will make you wonder why anyone would want to live in Gentry. We start off with Mackie Doyle, who knows he's different from his family and his friends. He has super dark eyes, can't stand being near any kind of iron, and is forced to keep a low profile. He's not the only thing off in his town though, and everyone seems to know that Gentry is a eerie place to live. When Mackie starts to get extremely sick, and his friend Tate's sister is pronounced dead, Mackie will have no choice but to dig into the twisted underground of Gentry. I have to say, I originally bought this book when it was first released, but I kept putting it off. As more and more reviews came out, the jury seemed very mixed on the story, so I kept putting it off. Well, I shouldn't have because I really enjoyed The Replacement! It's a very different story, unlike anything I've read before. It was eerie, dark, twisted, and intense. It also had amazing quotes, and that's a huge plus for me! I adored Mackie's character. He knows he's different, he feels like he's never belonged, and he tries not to stand out because the town would hate him if they knew the truth. In reality, Mackie always belonged, he proved that you can be different and still be normal. Mackie is so real for me in the way he pins after hot girls, hangs with a certain group of friends, plays bass, but ends up in love with one tough chick. I loved him and was rooting for him till the end. Tate... Oh man Tate is a tough little cookie. She's almost like a pitbull but still shows love to those who actully mean something to her. I also loved Roswell... Now he is a TRUE friend. One I would most certainly always want on my side! I also loved the scary town and mysterious underground that the author created. I personally would never want to live there, but it was oh so intriguing to read about! I thought it was a fabulous story and very unique. I love how there's romance, and it moves like a real love life, but it's not the main story. I also loved the darkness of it all, books like these fascinate me. If you're on the fence about this one, I suggest giving it a shot! :)
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Mackie's hometown of Gentry isn't like other towns, but he's not like other kids, either. He's not even supposed to be alive. Mackie is a Replacement, left in place of a human baby. He was supposed to die, like all of the replacements do, but he didn't, though he may not live much longer. When the baby sister of a friend is taken, Mackie finds himself drawn into the world beneath the city, a place known as Mayhem . . . his place of origin. Mackie will have to decide where he really belongs and which side of the fight for Gentry he wants to join. His choice will determine his future - if he has one at all. Yovanoff weaves a deliciously dark tale of love, betrayal, and acceptance no matter who (or what) you are. I couldn't get enough of this book. Mackie, Emma, Tate, and all the other characters, both dark and human, made this book a thrill ride from start to finish. Eerily creepy and intensely enjoyable.
YA-Addict More than 1 year ago
Mackie feels like a lot of high school kids do, a freak. Except in Mackie's case, he really is a freak. He is only there as a Replacement to the real Mackie that was taken from his crib as a baby. A fact that no one will admit, except for Mackie's sister. Mackie is also allergic to iron, a problem he has to try and hide from the town. Until reading The Replacement, I had no idea exactly how much iron we are surrounded by every day. Mackie also has to stay away from congregated ground. Not a big deal, right? Just stay away from churches. Except... Mackie's dad is the town's pastor. Mackie a was a character that I quickly felt for. He was the perfect mixture of normal teen and something else. On the outside, Gentry seemed like your average small town. But you could tell something was up with the town of Gentry from the get go. What I love about this story was you only knew that in the subtleties. The author didn't just come out and tell you, she added crafty little snippets for the reader to pick up. Like Mackie's neighbor, smiling brightly like the whole world is fine as she hangs up an iron horse shoe over her door. Little things that let you know something bigger is happening. I felt like Gentry was two worlds in one. You have the town of Gentry, then you have what's underneath it. Mayhem. Oh my God, Mayhem was one of the freakiest places I have read about. Seriously, I got shivers just hearing the descriptions of some of these underground creatures. But in some weird way, Mayhem was also a beautiful place. It sort of reminded me of The Nightmare Before Christmas in that way. Besides Mackie, Tate was my favorite character. When her sister supposedly dies and the whole town goes on excepting it, Tate doesn't. Her eyes are opened to this silent agreement the town seems to have. She fights for answers about what really happened to her sister. I always admire those characters who go against what they are told to believe and find truth. Overall, The Replacement has a solid and original plot, intriguing and likable characters (even some of the creepy ones), and fantastic writing. I really enjoyed this one, and I will definitely be reading more from Yovanoff. If you are looking for an original and creepy YA, you are going to enjoy this one.
jexball on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Replacement is your typical ¿trying to find my place in the world¿ storyline with a few twists. The book follows the life of a teenager who was never quite like the rest of the people in his world. He had replaced a boy named Mackie Doyle when he was young and had been raised in his place. Special circumstances keep Mackie on the outskirts of society since he can¿t stand the touch or smell of iron, he can¿t walk on the consecrated ground of the church that his father works at, and he just looks different with his blackened eyes and overly pale skin. When Mackie meets some mysterious people he finds that he is not of the human world, but a member of an underground society of creatures both alive and dead. After entering the House of Mayhem questions begin to surface in Mackie¿s mind, questions that were always there but now he may actually be able to get some answers. As Mackie attempts to figure out which world he belongs to, those above or below ground, he finds a new sort of belonging that he never thought he would be a part of.I can¿t say that the storyline truly tugged at my heart strings or scared me or really brought out too much emotion, but it was enjoyable. I thought Yovanoff had a very intriguing idea with her use of the living dead. While the story wasn¿t scary per se, there were definitely some creepy moments throughout. Some of the pictures that Yovanoff painted completely grossed me out in her descriptions of open gashes and cut arteries. It might be that I¿m just squeamish, but I definitely got the full effect of how gross and hard to look at some of the revenants could be. I thought the idea of the fighting sisters was intriguing. It took on a new approach to the age old argument of whether it is better to lead with love or fear. Altogether, the storyline had a lot of potential to become amazing with the creative turn on an age old story; however it never truly stepped up to its potential. Good read, but not super memorable.
eternal_synn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've wanted to read this book for a long time, but they never seem to have it at our local bookstores. One night, while trying to find a movie, I saw it sitting on the shelf at our local Hastings. And, to add wonder to merriment, it was on sale!! There was no way I could resist! Even though we were really strapped for cash, my hubby told me that we had enough to spend $7. w00t!The concept behind this book really caught my attention. I've always been interested in the faeries, the Celtic Otherworld (COW), the supernatural, etc. In some ways, teenagers already feel as though they don't belong. I felt that taking the Changeling story and putting it into a modern day setting with young adults was perfect! Also, the darker elements of the story caught my fancy as well. Although I'm not sure how you can have this type of story without that ^_~I felt that the author tried to stay true to the legends of the fae. It really struck me that Mackie had extreme issues with metal (however, I always learned that it was an aversion to iron not all metal, but, hey, I went with it). She really played it up, even having blood cause him serious issues.The way she portrayed the Morrigan was a little weird to me. The Lady kind of addresses the change, but never really goes into any detail. I'm used to the Morrigan appearing on the battlefields and such; however, in the book she appeared as a little child. When she crawled into Mackie's lap, I was completely weirded out! I also thought her requiring him to play with the band as payback for his sister seeking favors was a little weird.Along those lines, I really wish the author played with that a little more. I felt a big deal was made about the band, Carlina, Mackie playing with them, etc., but then it kind of dwindled. I also wonder how much she truly knows about some of the music she is writing about. For example, the words to Yellow Ledbetter are extremely controversial since Eddie Vedder changes the discernible lyrics at every concert, he has never been forthright with what the lyrics actually are (in fact, he jokes about whether there actually are lyrics to the song!), etc.Aside from some of my little soap boxes, I really liked the book. Admittedly, it has taken me awhile to get through it . . . Playing Arkham Asylum before Arkham City comes out *sheepish grin* But, on the whole, I think this book would be a pretty quick read. It's not complex, but it doesn't lack. I'm really excited about the author's new book, The Space Between!
_Lily_ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Replacement by Brenna YovanoffReviewed by Moirae the fates book reviewsMackie 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. (Synopsis provided by goodreads)I was really excited to finally read this book, I had heard so much good buzz about it over the past year that I was anxious to find out what all the fuss was about. For me, sadly I was a little disappointed. I was expecting something on the level of some of my favorites, but sadly I found it to be average. That's not to say it was bad, it wasn't the writing was great and I enjoyed the creep factor that Yovanoff portrayed in her book and her characters were well thought out.I did though think there was a lot of this book that could have been left out, there were times when it felt like it was dragging along at a slower rate, even though I read this in a day. I want to know more about the why of the House of Mayhem, I don't feel like enough information was given. However, I will read Yovanoff's next book it sounds really interesting, if you like paranormal books or books about Changelings, pick this one up and give it a try. * Reading level: Ages 12 and up * Paperback: 352 pages * Publisher: Razorbill (September 6, 2011) * Language: English * ISBN-10: 1595143815 * Author: Brenna Yovannoff * Cover art: Very creepy * Overallrating: *** out of 5 stars * Obtained: My personal book shelf
cattwing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this. I'd been looking for something like this for a long time, something dark, with a dark protagonist, so this was a treat. Full of drama and mystery and otherworldly strangeness. It certainly wasn't perfect however. The pacing sometimes felt akward, and the entire story was slightly confusing[. It is set in modern times, in a town called "Gentry." In the reality of this story, there are fairies, the dark kind. The confusing thing was that the people of the town at first seemed to not have any clue about the fairies' existence, and then later on they seemed to know all about them. Basically, the characters' reactions to the situations involving fairies always caught me off guard - I never fully understood what many of the characters thought was going on. Also beware, this book isn't for the faint of heart. There were a couple touches of rather gruesome horror elements which I could have done without, but that's just me. Otherwised, I enjoyed this. I devoured it in two days.
titania86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mackie Doyle is a strange boy, but no one around wants to admit how strange he really is. He¿s prone to fainting at the sight of blood, which isn¿t too odd, but he also can¿t stand being near steel or iron and can¿t tread of consecrated ground. He is a changeling, left in the place of the human child that was stolen. No one in the town wants to face that these children are stolen by creatures that they don¿t want to believe exist. The townspeople aren¿t above making Mackie feel like a freak and an outsider. Then two things happen: a mysterious man tells Mackie he¿s going to die; and Tate, a girl from his class whose sister had just died, keeps accosting him and asking him where her real sister is. Can he find her sister and save her from a horrific death or will he even survive long enough to try?This book came highly recommended to me by my sister. She said it was one of the best horror young adult books that has come out in a while and I completely agree. The overall tone of the novel is very dark and descends as it goes along into an inhuman realm of undead children, gruesome murders, and ancient supernatural beings. The city of Gentry is odd and disjointed: there¿s the normal, mundane world that regular people live in and then there¿s the sinister world of the fae that serves as a constant undercurrent to the normal one. The inhabitants of the town are aware of the fae world and children are stolen from them, but they don¿t really know why or for what purpose. It has to be horrible to live in a town where the truth is glossed over and denied while children are put in danger ¿for the greater good.¿ The way these two worlds interact and feed off of each other is fascinating.Mackie is an interesting character because he¿s relatable and interesting without even being human. He¿s pretty miserable throughout most of the book both because of the physical pain that comes with living in the human world and the emotional pain from being the creature that replaced his parent¿s real son. His relationship with his family is beautiful because even though he isn¿t really even related to them, they decide to embrace him and make him feel loved anyway. They all work so hard to protect him, especially his sister Emma. It would have been so easy for them to resent and hate him. Mackie expresses his feelings through playing his bass, which I can totally relate to. There¿s a scene where he plays in onstage with a band; the music, the way the band feeds off the energy from the crowd, and how the band members interact are described in electric detail. I really loved Mackie as a different kind of hero because he stopped being satisfied with glossing over the truth like everyone else. I enjoyed seeing his growth and change throughout the novel.The Replacement is a wonderful young adult book that creates a creepy, eerie atmosphere. The world Brenna Yokanoff has created is brilliant, yet disturbing. I would definitely recommend this to any fan of horror fiction.