The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

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It’s been awhile since I’ve dabbled in some YA. At least it feels that way. But I felt like reading something short before I started the sequel to A Game of Thrones. They’re pretty lengthy books. Anyhoo, I’ve been wanting to read this for a long time now, mainly because of the cover. MAJOR cover love here. I love the creepy, sharp and dangling objuects over the cradle there. Unfortunately for me, I like the cover better than the actual book.

Basically, Mackie is a weirdo. The scent of blood and iron makes him freak out – like there can’t be any iron in his household cause he can sense it. And he’s a high school kid who doesn’t know quite how to fit in. And everyone knows that there’s just something off about him, but no one knows what. Well, as the blurb on the cover states, Mackie is not the real Malcolm Doyle – he’s something else. Switched into a crib in the place of a human child, he’s not quite sure what he is. Until he starts to run into a lot more people like him, and he finds out that he can live an almost-normal human lifestyle, if he does what the others want him to.

I don’t wanna give away more than that, cause you know, spoilers and all. But Mackie has a great cast of friends around him. Emma is his sister who has always known that he wasn’t her REAL brother, but she loves him fiercely and will do anything for him. She’s a cool girl. Plus she reads a lot, so she gets smart points too. And Roswell is Mackie’s best friend. He gets that there’s something off about Mackie, but he never asks questions. He just rolls with it, like the perfect BFF. Mackie himself was a little too emo for my taste, but you know. Personal preferences and all that.

When the book started to explain exactly what the hell Mackie was, and why he was switched out with some real kid as a child… it just seemed a bit far-fetched for my taste. And that’s coming from someone who generally likes fantasy and a little paranormal. But the explanation for everything seemed to always be “Because that’s how it is.” Just because. Great reason to get a girl flowers, not a great reason to go switchin babies out with fakes. Also, Mackie’s other friends – some twin scientists and a troubled girl named Tate – all seemed a little too okay when it came to Mackie’s big bad secret. They all just kind of rolled with it.

And, this may be a sign that I should stop reading YA because this was when I first started to get bored with the book – I think I’m getting too old for these cool music scenes in books. You know, like in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. These kids go to cool “underground” clubs and listen to un-famous bands sing about fighting the man and blah blah blah, and they just get so lost in the music and BLAH. I think I’m just over the age that this kind of scene is supposed to strike some chord within me. When I come across this in books now, I’m just like *YAWN* turn page.

Anyways, I can see why some might like this book. It definitely wasn’t bad. I think it’s just that I need to stop being lured in by pretty YA covers, because this sort of thing isn’t going to pass my taste test anymore. So I liked the characters, but the overall story for me really fell flat. Maybe 15-year old me might have liked it more, I don’t know.

Sarah Says: 2 stars

P.S. This book was hella dark, gloomy, and emo. So I’m gonna read something short and happy before moving on to the sequel to A Game of Thrones.

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4 comments

  1. >I thought this one was pretty meh too actually. There was a lot to like – eerie tone and exploration of deeper themes, but the story telling felt patchwork to me and in the end I wasn't really moved by it. That cover is brilliant though!

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  2. >Mm.. this one is on my wishlist somewhere but now I'm not so sure. I like YA fiction, but I don't like flat stories. Writing for teens is no reason to not develop things as much as you otherwise could.

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  3. >I love the cover as well! I'm sorry the book itself didn't live up to it for you. I was planning on reading it in the near future, but since we seem to have similar tastes, maybe I'll read something else first. Oh, and I hope you'll enjoy the sequel to A Game of Thrones, I haven't read it yet, but I need to really, REALLY soon!

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  4. >Fantabulous review – the book's been on and off my wishlist a couple of times but I think it might just stay OFF for now… Thanks for saving me a few pounds! πŸ™‚

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