The Replacement
By Brenna Yovanoff
2010, Penguin/Razorbill
New York, NY
343 pp, $17.99 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781595143372;
OCLC: 496950249

Brenna Yovanoff, an up-and-coming young adult author from Colorado, recently penned the beautifully strange yet intriguing book, The Replacement. Yovanoff’s book follows a 16-year-old boy in a sleepy rural town which could almost be any small town in America – making the story even creepier! Here’s an overview from the publisher:

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.

The Replacement easily falls into multiple genres which gives the book great appeal for a wide audience of readers with different tastes: paranormal/supernatural fiction, fantasy, and horror. Subjects included in the book: families, monsters, death, missing children, conformity, changelings, and siblings. Depending on point of view, Mackie, the main character, could be classified as the archetypal Seeker, Hero, or Innocent Embarking on a Journey. Based on thearchetype portrayed, I believe that the teen reader will be able to relate and empathize with Mackie due to the fact that he doesn’t fit in and is attempting to discover his identity as well as find his place. School Library Journal recommended this book for grade 9 and up.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this eerie book and found it quite difficult to put down – as a result, I stayed up way past my bedtime! My rating: four out of five stars. This book would be a great addition to any public library’s young adult collection and/or paranormal / supernatural fiction collection. Award: Young Adult Library Services Association – 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults.

Also by Yovanoff: The Space Between
Read-Alikes: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and Ashes by Ilsa Bick