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The Replacement

The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff Check out this review on Smash Attack Reads: http://smashattackreads.blogspot.com/2010/09/arc-review-replacement-by-brenna.html3.5 / 5 stars.Meet Mackie Doyle, a 16 yr old boy with a dark secret. He lives in Gentry, a town that harbors even darker secrets. Mackie isn’t all that meets the eye. He’s a Replacement, a changeling that is left in a crib when the human baby is stolen. He’s lived life as Mackie Doyle, but in reality, he has no clue who he really is. His family loves him unconditionally and is very protective of him. The relationship he has with his older sister, Emma, is enough to bring tears to my eyes. She has never once thought of him as other. He is her brother.Mackie’s life is difficult. Despite being different from every one else, Mackie (hate this name) has to maneuver life around the things that make him very sick – iron and blood - and he can never attend church where his father preaches because the moment he steps on consecrated ground, well…it’s not pretty. So who the bloody hell is this kid? And, an even better question is, who the hell is stealing human babies, and why?The book was eerie and bizarre. The story was oddly explained and a bit vague is some areas, which is why I didn’t give it a higher rating. One things really irks me, and maybe someone can explain it if I missed it: Why did Tate single out Mackie to confide in? I assume if she knew what he was, or just suspected it, she wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with him. But maybe I missed something there. Maybe she did think he was valuable because he was other. Just seemed odd. *shrugs* Because of this, I could have cared less if there was any romance in this story. In fact, romance really didn’t fit, IMO. On the other hand, the underlying themes of this story are fantastic. Us against Them. Unconditional Love. Identity. Judgment. Belonging. Inaction during Tragedy. Ohhhh, don’t get me started on Inaction! As a human rights advocate, I feel very strongly about how much the world sits by and allows such tragic and horrific events to happen in other areas of the world, and sadly, even in their own backyards. In this story, the town sits by, every 7 years, and lets a child be replaced by the changelings. The replacers somehow grant the town with prosperity (another vague piece) and so the townspeople turn a blind eye to the deaths of their children. These replacements don’t live very long, being exposed to iron, blood and the like. However, Mackie has survived and he becomes a pivotal point of change for Gentry.The story is ugly but it speaks volumes of truth. The moral of the story, for me, is not who you are now but who you can be become. Tomorrow is a new day, and while I believe this world doesn’t take the time to ever live in the present – No Day But Today! – we definitely have the option to change. “It’s never to late to be what you might have been.” – George ElliottI recommend this book to people who are up for the challenge. It is dark, ugly and different, but in all its fantastical glory, it speaks loads of truth about humanity and how we deal with those who are different from ourselves. This was a hot release for me, so I was so stoked to get my hands on an ARC! A major thanks to Tori from Book Faery for passing the ARC along to me! I really should share it with someone else, but I really love the cover…[I could not share any quotes from this book because I have an ARC and you are only supposed to quote from the finished product. Boo.]