The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Source: ARC provided by the publisher, via Shelf Awareness
On Sale Date: 9/21/2010
Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret - he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants.
A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world?
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!