The Replacement – Brenna Yovanoff

The Replacement – Brenna Yovanoff

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.

Edward Scissorhands meets The Catcher in the Rye in this wildly imaginative and frighteningly beautiful horror novel about an unusual boy and his search for a place to belong.

I wanted to like this book so much. The cover. The synopsis. The Edward Scissorhands comparison. The COVER. The super creepy excerpt on the back of the jacket. THE COVER (seriously, this cover gives me chills).

And then I read it and it was “meh”.

I saw a review on Goodreads where the person used the word “disjointed”, and then I yelled, “YES, THAT’S THE WORD I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR”. It was disjointed. I felt like I was missing something, but since it was Yovanoff’s first book, it wasn’t like I has accidentally picked up a sequel (this has happened – especially to Ro – on numerous occasions).

My main problem was the fact that sometimes other people seemed to know Mackie was a “replacement”, but then when he (SPOILER ALERT) revealed it to them, they were all


Which made me think that maybe they hadn’t known. But it seemed like they did. But in reality, they didn’t.

I was very confused.

My other issue was the “love interest”. The synopsis makes it seem like Mackie and Tate were a “thing” before her sister dies, but they weren’t. I couldn’t figure out if they had ever even been friends before, but Tate’s all “hey, you know what happened to my sister, right?” and Mackie’s like “I don’t know what you’re talking about *shifty eyes* but do you wanna make out?” and Tate huffs, “Not until you answer my question.” But then, eventually she goes “oh, alright, I secretly like you too” and then they’re suddenly a couple?

I didn’t buy their relationship at all.

I don’t want to go into too much detail and spoil the ending (even though it felt like it took 700 years to get to the end because holy slow pace, Batman), but let me just say that I liked this book better when it was called Tithe and it was written by Holly Black.

It wasn’t all bad, I guess. I liked Emma, Mackie’s sister, and thought their relationship was really sweet. And I also liked his friends, Drew and Danny, the twins, but that could be because I was picturing them like this:


Plus I really liked that the “others” gathered attention/affection (or whatever it was they needed to survive) by performing as a live band. As a music/concert-lover, I can totally get behind this idea.

There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about:

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