Sunday, January 2

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Razorbill and is used solely as an aide to the review.

Mackie has always been different. There has always been much unsaid about who - and what - he is, but he is determined to ignore his history.

When a little girl goes missing, Mackie is forced face the truth. He isn't the little boy his mother birthed sixteen years ago. He's the replacement.

I am only somewhat familiar with the concept of changelings, but I loved how the concept was presented in this novel.

Mackie is different and he knows it. Only he has never been able to properly acknowledge it. What I liked about his character was that he was very human. He is just like many teenage boys, but his life is weighed down by his inability to be near - or touch - any compound of iron (a bread knife, a tongue piercing, blood) without being sick or experiencing extreme pain. The author's depiction of Mackie's struggle through normal life is very effective and makes him easy to empathise with.

The secondary characters in the novel were all very compelling. I didn't feel as though I got an extensive insight into many of the secondary characters, but I attribute this to Mackie's alienation. Even his family and friends have certain ways of interacting with him, and because of the way they live - without acknowledging that anything strange is afoot in their town of Gentry - a lot of things go unsaid. Yet Yovanoff successfully portrays how very much everyone is aware and affected.

Mackie was and his first person narrative was my favourite aspect of the novel, but I also really liked the character of Tate, the girl whose younger sister is stolen away. She is a strong character who never gives up and challenges everyone and everything around her. She forces Mackie to grow in ways that he wouldn't have been able to without her forceful encouragement.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff is an eerie and enticing novel about humanity, fear and the things left unsaid.

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