The Replacement by: 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.
I really enjoyed this debut novel of Brenna Yovanoff. The town of Gentry was such a creepy and captivating setting that had me hooked right from the beginning, with some rough patches. The plot line was very original and I enjoyed most of the characters.
Mackie is a great male POV, which is hard to come by in young adult novels. He is a Replacement, a child left in the place of someone’s child. Being allergic to iron, blood, and consecrated ground is especially hard if you are the son of the preacher. When Tate’s sister goes missing, Mackie knows more about the nature of the disappearance than he would care to say. Tate enlists his help finding her sister. At first, he absolutely refuses to help, but then Tate gets under his skin and he relents. He becomes immersed in the underworld of Gentry and the House of Mayhem, where the creatures are better left alone.
The relationships were my favorite and the strongest part of the book. They were so well developed! I adored the relationship between Mackie and Tate. I think they had a great connection and I enjoyed how the romance budded. I loved Mackie’s friends. They were so great and never asked questions when he needed their help. But my favorite relationship in the book was between Mackie and Emma, his sister. His existence was possible because of the love that she showed him, despite him not being her real brother. I could have done without Alice though. She was mean and shallow and really had no feelings for anyone but herself.
The underworld of Gentry, or Mayhem, was especially creepy in all the good ways. The cover effectively shows the atmosphere of the town, which I loved. I even enjoyed the little gremlins and the Morrigan. The Morrigan turned out to be a pleasant surprise in the end, whereas the Lady was a known pain in my butt!
My only complaint about this novel is that I could put it down. It was very engaging and I really enjoyed it, but I did not absolutely have to read it constantly. If you like a touch of romance, a touch of mystery, and a touch of horror, you’ll love this book!