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The Replacement

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Creepy, But Lovable Main Character

The entire town of Gentry knows that their human children are stolen and murdered by monsters, but they seem to be okay with the sacrifice in order to keep their town the happy place it is. This novel creates a intriguing world that is full of mystery.


Mackie Doyle...
The entire town of Gentry knows that their human children are stolen and murdered by monsters, but they seem to be okay with the sacrifice in order to keep their town the happy place it is. This novel creates a intriguing world that is full of mystery.


Mackie Doyle is one of the creepiest main characters I've come across in a while, but I will say he is very likable and he won me over very easily. Mackie has this venerability that makes you root for him even though he's not quite human and was placed in a crib to replace a human baby that had been stolen and sacrificed. While the creatures under the hill may be evil, Mackie isn't, and strives to just be "normal". Iron, even the slight amount in blood, causes Mackie to go into a toxic shock type syndrome, which adds to the struggle to live in the human world.


This novel is a great YA mystery. The kind where you have to figure out exactly what Mackie is why these creatures under the hill suddenly want him back.


If you like creepy YA told from a male first person point of view with a little bit of romance sprinkled in, this one's for you.

posted by Reading-Writing-Waiting on August 3, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Interesting supernatural twist (from The Tealeaf Review)

Based on the synopsis on the back of the book, I went into The Replacement expecting a cool, almost reverse Labyrinth. But alas, there was no magical David Bowie, and no dance numbers. All I found was the same problem I've been having with a lot of paranormal books late...
Based on the synopsis on the back of the book, I went into The Replacement expecting a cool, almost reverse Labyrinth. But alas, there was no magical David Bowie, and no dance numbers. All I found was the same problem I've been having with a lot of paranormal books lately. I end up liking the world, and a lot of the secondary characters, more than the main plotline and characters. For me, the world that existed below the ground was beautiful, horrifying, and absolutely fascinating. I could picture the House of Mayhem, and the Morrigan, and the living dead girls in such vivid detail, I found myself sorry to return with Mackie to the normal human world. I wanted so much more of this mysterious world. The Morrigan especially! She was so cute and childlike, yet adult and sinister all at once. Her snuggly closeness quickly made her, without competition, my favorite character in the whole book. As for the human world? Well, it was just a whole village full of scared people in denial. Nothing really appealing about it. The best advice you can give your kid is to not be unique, but blend in. However, for everyone so seemingly steeped in denial, it struck me as really strange when some of the characters didn't bat an eyelash at some of the weird stuff going on. Little zombie girl? I'd freak. Doors popping out of garbage heaps? I'd run the other way. A freaky queen who likes to eat babies? I'd check myself into an institution. But no one seems to question the strangeness of it all. Maybe the teens in Gentry are immune to the denial? Or, at least a select few. One thing I really did appreciate, however, was the realism of the way the teens spoke. I liked that there was a bunch of swearing, because it felt so much more real that way. In a lot of YA, it seems the intent is to be a "clean" read - no cussing, no physical contact beyond kissing. Well, The Replacement got it right. The kids swear when they're mad or confused, and there's quite a bit of inappropriate touching and staring. Most books from a boy's perspective (especially those written by women) tend to skim over some details about where their minds are. But no, the author just flat out lets you know Mackie isn't really paying attention to the teacher, he's staring at some girl's boobs. I laughed. And it made me feel like the characters were a little more real. As for the characters themselves? The secondary cast stole the show to me, especially "Them", the underground folk. Mackie annoyed me occasionally - he came off a bit whiny, weak, and pathetic in some scenes. I really found myself just honestly wishing he'd grow a spine and do something. Tate was likable enough, though I felt no chemistry between her and Mackie. She felt like a convenient plot point. No interest in her until her sister vanishes, then suddenly, it's all about her. Something just didn't click with that relationship to me. Roswell was an awesome best friend, though his lack of asking questions and demanding answers about all the weird stuff going on was a little strange. I would have actually liked a little more detail about him and his family, though.
All in all, a pretty good supernatural read. The prose is elegant and haunting, and the world is beautifully creepy. I appreciate that this is a standalone novel, but I think I could have stood it to be a little longer. Some parts ended up feeling rushed. Mackie is a bit of a wimp, but a strong minor character cast make up for it.

posted by LizTea on March 15, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Great book

    This book is great it gets kinda gruesome near the end but it is still a great book

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    Fantastic Read!!

    Such a great book! Beautiful prose, great characters, and a setting that feels incredibly real thanks to Yovanoff's excellent writing.

    If you want a fresh love story, this is it.

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  • Posted January 18, 2012

    Interesting Book

    I liked this book alot. It is very interesting and exciting

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    OMG!!! THIS BOOK!!!

    I LOVED this book. Holiday favorite and is ALWAYS worth reading more then once. I fell in love with the main character and loved all the people in it. There was never a dull moment. And the relationship Macky shares with his sister is amazing! love love love. It is a must read if you like the spooky and or weird stuff. Easy read and flows beautifully!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    soo sad!!

    i love this book. it is sad. read it and find out why.

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  • Posted May 11, 2011

    Excellent read!!!

    Being the teenager i am, I really enjoyed this book. It has a very unique story line and the characters are all excellently thought out. one of the better books ive read.

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    great read

    just finished it! it was a wonderful book! im kind of disappointed that the book ended.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    loved it!

    i found the story intriguing and it had a beautiful and eerie edge to it. Definitely recommended!

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  • Posted February 14, 2011

    Black Fingernailed Reviews

    There's a very wide range of opinions when it comes to this book, you either love it or hate it, so I'm just going to warn you right now that personally...I thought this book rocked.


    I'll admit that this book could be completely unrealistic at times. But that's probably one of the things i loved so much about it.


    The characters are a big part (as always) of what makes this book stand out for me.


    Mackie Doyle is just so lovable. I wish they made Mackie Doyle plushies that you could hug! Mackie is probably the most lovable monster ever to walk into the young adult world. You can't hate him, you can't be repulsed, you can't stay away, so the only alternative is that he's too cute to not love. His struggles with identity were relatable, even if his struggle was that he wasn't exactly human. His coming to terms with the world he came from but never knew is emotional and addictive.


    Tate was interesting. She had such a big heart underneath all that bravery. What she went through to find her sister was heart-wrenching. And that fight at the end where she hits the guy everyone is afraid of? Impressive!


    What can i say I'm music obsessed. So the fact that Yovanoff incorporated music in this book and made a monster band is so cool. I just can't get over how much i liked that detail. The scene where Mackie plays in the band for the first time is freakin-epic, i felt like i could feel the music just by reading about it.


    The writing is electic. If all else had failed, the plot, the characters, i feel like this book could still pull through because of the writing. Yovanoff had me under a spell, her writing in The Replacement is something that i couldn't shake off and i cannot wait to read more from her.


    Gentry is filled with monsters. Filled with mystery and secrets and lies. The Replacement is gritty, creepy, different, and all around weird-ball. I loved every single minute of it.

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  • Posted January 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An awesome read!

    This story sucked me in and wouldn't let me go! I've heard about changelings before, but never thought to wonder what life was like for the ones who survived. Mackie's older sister Emma explains that if the new mother loves the replacement and takes really good care of it, the changeling can grow up strong and healthy and normal. But Mackie knows the truth; mothers didn't love the hungry, scary things that replaced their babies. They couldn't. But sometimes, if the changeling was lucky, maybe sisters could. And lucky for Mackie, he had Emma.

    Mackie is an interesting character. He's spent his entire life trying to avoid notice and be invisible, as life can be painfully short for those who are different. As Mackie points out: people get beaten to death for being me. People have close, personal relationships with lynch mobs for being me. I am on the outside all the time, with no chance at a normal life, no way to be average or to fit in. That sounds so sad and lonely, that my heart really went out to him.

    Life is getting harder and harder for Mackie, as being constantly surrounded by iron has taken it's toll and he hasn't felt healthy in a long time. Emma comes to the rescue once again, trying to help, but unknowingly making things...complicated. Then one of the children taken is his schoolmate's little sister, and Tate won't let Mackie turn a blind eye any longer.

    Gave this book a 5/5 as I simply couldn't put it down. The writing drew me in, the characters were all engaging, it was fast paced, and I thought it was an original and interesting story. The cover was a little scary and I thought it would be more of a horror story, but I think it read more like dark fantasy. This book was so well done that I was surprised to discover that this is Brenna's first novel. She is incredibly talented, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next!

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    I couldn't put it down!!

    A must read, I was surprised by how fast I got hooked by the character. I couldn't wait to get to the next chapter to find out what happened next. Simply a delicious dark drama, sprinkled with a touch of amazing fantasy.

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  • Posted December 12, 2010

    Highly recommend!

    Great Book! I highly recommend this for adults and teens. Dark and wonderful. Dont miss this urban fantasy.

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  • Posted November 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic Read

    What can one say to sum up this novel?
    'When you cop a feel a church burns up?'
    Seriously people, this is one amazing read. From debut author Brenna Yovanoff comes The Replacement. A version of the fey changeling myth. Need some energy: swap a brat and bleed them out. (read for comprehension ) This story weaves a tale of the changeling that survived a swap, and makes a change in his town.
    The characters are amazing. Their interactions makes you feel for them. The main characters are awesome, the bad fey are just plain bad and rotten (harhar-read book) and the end is sad because I want more.
    The book flows great, you don't want to put it down.
    If you want a read that finished off nicely and makes you feel warm and fuzzy, yet wanting to dangle scissors over your crib and sleep with knives under blankies, then seriously: this is it.

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This World of Ugly Things Will Steal Your Heart

    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 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

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  • Posted September 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Perfectly Huanting

    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 loved Mackie, he is an amazingly compassionate person(human or not) who truly cares about the fate of the people in his life. His relationships are what shape this story and really makes it easy to relate to. The Replacement puts an amazing twist on the classic changeling tale and brings light to the dark and creepy places of the world. Mackie's adventures underground are scary, suspenseful, and the perfect book to pick up this month for your trick or treat bag.
    Written by Rachael@ bookloveteen.com

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  • Posted August 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great read!

    Mackie is not normal. And he know this. His family has been force to keep his secret and now the one that he loves needs his help. Mackie, leaving everything he knows behind, is finally stepping out of the dark to face his fears....




    This book is such an amazing read. I enjoyed it so much. I love how this was written. The writing, the plot, the characters were are so real and so emotional. The town of Gentry has been through alot. Yet nobody says anything about the werid things that go on in this town.




    Ms. Yovanoff wrote a letter to her readers in the beginning. She explain how she came to writing and how she wrote this story. Everything she said, she hit it right on. Perfect. The way she wrote this book was just....WOW! I love how the main characters were able to step out and finally do something. Mackie, was a great character that grew right before your eyes. He was so scared keeping everything to himself, and then for love, he stepped out. I was so excited reading this book. I love how he got brave. It just shows that with love, you can accomplish anything.




    There were some underage drinking, cursing, and a make-out scence. Nothing too much. Just typical teenage stuff. (Which btw, Ms. Yovanoff was able to do perfectly) The way she portrayed the teenagers and the voice she carried was great!

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    Posted October 19, 2010

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    Posted July 7, 2011

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    Posted December 21, 2010

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    Posted May 8, 2012

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