Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Replacement-Review

The Replacement

I wish that I was a better reviewer. I've been thinking all day about this review, and how I could possibly do this book justice. 2010 has been a really great year for me book wise, I've read some fantastic books. I haven't been this enamored with a book since I finished Bree Despain' s The Dark Divine. I'm a book lover so its very rare that you find me not smitten with my latest read, but this book was different. As soon as I finished this book, I was like I have to put that on the list, I think I'm going to read that again, and lastly this should be a movie. I don't want to say that The Replacement was written beautifully because it wasn't, it was written realistically. It was emotional, and relevant despite being supernatural. Brenna Yovanaff wrote in my opinion with purpose, and urgency. Her writing style felt witty, and dark, but truthful. Mackie Doyle is not really Malcolm Doyle, he is something dark, if you were to line him up in a row with his classmates, you'd instantly understand how different he is from the rest. Its well known in most cultures that sometimes babies are stolen, and then replaced with something dark and sinister. Mackie is that dark creature all grown up, he can't be around iron, (faerie) thats what I took away from it, the creatures live underground, and are so beautiful but painful to look at or be around, startling beauty, that kind that makes you uncomfortable. Mackie spends each day of his life just praying he goes unnoticed, that a lynch mob hopefully will decide to not attack him. The insane thing is everyone in Gentry is aware on some conscious level that these things happen. Then Tate this scary, ferocious, yet gorgeous girl starts to ask why? Her sister Natalie was taken, and no one can figure out why she isn't heartbroken, and Mackie secretly knows exactly why she isn't upset. The greatest part  for me was Mackie's  thoughts, the things he thought in his head were hysterical, he indeed was not normal, he was different, but then painfully ordinary. He checks out girls, he worries about things, he is shockingly cavalier, but inside he's a mess. I liked Tate, she was lovely, and her character was layered, and important. However, I loved Emma, probably because I have a little brother myself, and could totally relate with her willingness to do anything to protect Mackie. That in order for those types of creatures to survive, someone has to love them despite knowing what they are, or that they are different. Emma did that for Mackie, she spent hours researching, reading, caring, just for him. I will be the first to tell you, I was throughly freaked out by The House of Mayhem, and The House of Misery, they were disturbing, that seems to be a running theme with the fey, they are basically macabre. I was happily surprised by The Replacement, it was a really dark book, it reminded me a lot of Holly Black to be honest. The relationship just seemed more contemporary to me though. For a minute I thought it was going to be like Ironside, but then Tate was real, more along the lines of an Elizabeth Scott MC, I know I'm comparing, but The Replacement really was good, and worth the lack of sleep. Let me know if you know of what comes next I didn't really see any news about that. This book was incredibly creepy, spine tingling, dark humored,  so honest, and again worth it. This book is also part of The Penguin Five, its the second I've read out of them, Nightshade was the first. The Eternal Ones, Matched, and Sapphique are the remaining. I usually don't find myself caring about what Penguin has to sell me, but so far Nightshade and The Replacement have proven to be actually awesome, and did in fact leave me breathless. That bodes well for me reading The Eternal Ones, which I actually own, but haven't read.

Good Scene 
Alice talking to Jenna about how Tate is reacting to her sister's death. Then Tate's reaction to hearing them discuss her.

"I heard that her mom won't get out of bed since it happened. Like, not even for the funeral
I can't believe she's acting like nothing's wrong. I just wouldn't even come to school."
Apparently, that one was loud enough for Tate to catch some or possibly all of it because she
stood up fast enough to send her desk screeching along the floor. Her gaze was hard, sweeping
over us, and I couldn't tell if I was dizzy from the screws and wires in the walls or from the way
she was looking at me. "Oh," she said, in a clear, challenging voice. "Was this what you wanted? Did you want a good look? Take a good look--I don't mind."And maybe no one had really been excited about Hester Prynne and her illegitimate daughter,but they were paying attention now. I kept my head down, hunching over my desk, trying to get smaller. My heart was beating so fast that I could feel it in my throat and I kept telling myself that everything was fine, that I'd imagined she'd looked at me, because I had to believe that. I had
to believe that no one in Gentry would ever hear the words child of the devil and then look at me.No one said anything.The room was so quiet that all I could hear was the buzz of the fluorescent light. I had the idea
that it was buzzing right over me, like some kind of signal or alarm, but no one turned to stare accusingly. No one whispered or pointed. Mrs. Brummel stood with her back against the whiteboard and the marker uncapped in her hand,staring at Tate. "Is there something you needed?"
Tate shook her head and kept standing. "Don't mind me. I'm just waiting for my big red A."
"This isn't funny," Mrs. Brummel said, putting the cap back on the marker.
"No," said Tate. "It's not. But we can all agree to smile anyway because it just makes things so
much easier." Mrs. Brummel retreated behind her desk and waved a box of tissues, even though Tate wasn't
crying. "Do you need some time to pull yourself together?" "No. Because I'm not unbalanced or grief stricken, okay? I'm pissed off."

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Faye said...

I know! <3 this book, I'm reading Nightshade now. Then Matched! Great review :D

Smash Attack! said...

You caught some of the great parts of the book, which is a hauntingly beautiful story. I enjoyed your take on it.

The more you write reviews, the more comfortable you become doing it. I have a notebook where I jot notes as I'm reading. It helps me tremendously because I don't remember all the points and emotions I want to write in the review. :)