Mariel's Reviews > The Replacement

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
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's review
Jun 22, 2010

liked it
Recommended to Mariel by: changelings are my favorite fairy mythology
Recommended for: outsiders

I would have liked The Replacement more if the realizations and observations were made naturally, instead of told to the reader by the first person narrative of Mackie. Mackie is a changeling. His adoptive not by choice human family know what he really is. Their town has known for a long time that their kids die and are replaced by these things that are not their children. They look like them, only wrong. It could have been an interesting take on kids who are placed with other families for whatever reasons (switched at birth, kidnapping) and the nature of adoption. (The past couple of years it is a topic on the mind as many missing kids were discovered living in those homes. Almost all of the time in highly traumatic situations. Stockholm syndrome struck, and resettling into a new family was hardly easy.) I did like that Mackie's sense of what was dangerous to him (iron and blood) was like something he couldn't help but not notice. The impending threat was palpable. If only his notice of everything else was like that, something he couldn't help but be wary of, instead of just told to the reader. The nuances of those relationships with family and town aren't nuances if just stated in a rush. The history of the town was told to Mackie as a cautionary tale of what he faces. Told to us, as to him, not living in it. It could have been much better... The Replacement is Brenna Yovanoff's first novel. I guess making mistakes comes with the territory, but still. I can't help but get antsy when the view of what is happening is dictated to me thus. I don't wanna have to look over the shoulder of the narrator and ignore annoying movie-style voice-overs of what everyone else is probably thinking (yeah, YOU say they are thinking, I think).
Changelings have for a long time been some of my favorite tales of the fairy mythology. I love switched at birth stories. My mom and I had a blast making up different stories about how I couldn't really be her daughter. (My older sister preferred the baby-in-a-dumpster version for me, or anything about me maybe being a hermie.) For some reason we never did the changeling version.
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Mariel I laughed so hard when watching Easy A 'cause it reminded me of this book. The cliche of high school movies where the class reading assignment directly correlates to their current stories. Both film Easy A and this book it is... The Scarlet Letter! hahahaha.

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