Brenna Yovanoff’s debut is eerie, haunting, and full of ugly things that go bump in the night. But it’s also full of heart and love and the lengths we...moreBrenna Yovanoff’s debut is eerie, haunting, and full of ugly things that go bump in the night. But it’s also full of heart and love and the lengths we go to for those we care about. Mackie is an undeniably human character. He’s flawed and insecure, but human in all the ways that count. He has the biggest heart and cares so deeply for his sister Emma.
Their relationship was one of my favorite things about the book. They both know that Mackie isn’t the brother Emma was supposed to have, but she accepts him nonetheless. She loves him unconditionally and he loves her back. Mackie’s friends also shine in the book. Roswell, Drew, and Danny accept Mackie even though he is more than a little strange. Then there’s Tate. I loved this girl, despite her bristly personality. She grew on me just as fast as she grows on Mackie.
I’ve seen quite a few reviews that say the townspeople accept the weird occurrences, stolen children, and replacements way too easily. The way I see it is that people never want to accept what they do not like. We explain away the unexplainable because that gives us safety. If we open ourselves up to horrors that may or may not exist, we open ourselves up to a fear that could cripple us. The people of Gentry know their town isn’t normal, that it isn’t safe, but to truly acknowledge that would open them up to a world that they cannot survive in.
Yovanoff has created the world of Gentry so vividly that I felt like the rain was dripping on my head and the clouds were rolling in my skies. Her unique take on the fae is so unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I’m not a big fan of faeries, but this story drew me in because, even though there are dark, ugly things beneath Gentry, there are beautiful things on the surface. This isn’t just a story about the monsters in the world.
The Replacement will grab your attention with its haunting cover and eerie tales of stolen children, but it will hit your heart with the emotional story of who Mackie Doyle is and where he belongs in the world. It’s heartfelt, honest, and shows the beauty that can be found in the ugliest of things.
Opening line: I don’t remember any of the true, important parts, but there’s this dream I have. ~ pg. 3
Favorite lines: More than that, I was here because she’d spent years smiling and listening and protecting me. Because she loved me. I was everything because of her. ~ pg. 183(less)