Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Replacement: Co-Review Roll Call!

Today we are featuring one of the most creep-tastic books out this fall: Brenna Yovanoff's THE REPLACEMENT!  Seriously, this book is beautifully written, has a beautiful cover, and will possibly give you nightmares/make you want to date outside your species.  Read below to find out how it turned Frankie and I into drooling Brenna fangirls!

But first, maybe read the Goodreads summary (if you've been bad and haven't read the book already!)

And then mark your calenders, because tomorrow we'll be interviewing Brenna about moral ambiguity, raising books to be responsible adults, and kissing. ;)

But, without further ado, the co-review!
 Sara:  So.  Everyone has certain deal breakers in YA.  And I've always said one of mine was faeries.  And apparently, The Replacement is a faerie book.  But I loved it, so obviously Brenna is doing something really, really right, to make me a convert.

Frankie:  It's like a fairy book dragged through the graveyard on Halloween with a dose of cinammon and spice

Sara:  And, like, arsenic.

Frankie:  With some mud!

Sara: Actually, when I first started reading, I thought this was going to be some sort of twist on vampires.  Mackie's allergy to iron and sensitivity to blood was really interesting.

Frankie:  I'd read about Changelings before so I kind of knew what was coming and I was CREEPED out!  I read this back in the summer when it was 1,000 degrees and chapter one--one of the most perfect chapter ones ever--gave me goosebumps!

Sara:  The cover ALONE gave me goosebumps.

Frankie:  Ok, let's dissect our hero, Mackie (with non-iron based equipment)

Sara:  I'm getting out my plastic knife.  Mackie is kind of emo.  But also sort of courageous at the same time.

Frankie:  Mackie was a little emo, but dude, if I had to use a plastic spork all the time, I'd be emo too.

Sara:  Haha.  It's true.  Brenna did a really good job of creating internal and external conflict and consequences for Mackie.

Frankie:  Well a lot of the story was Mackie finding his courage.

Sara:  He's trying to fit in at high school, which EVERYONE is trying to do, and then there's that whole slag heap thing.  I like that Mackie's courage was linked to love, but not only romantic love.

Frankie:  I LOVED how courageous he became.  Not to mention when the faeries from down under start showing up at parties--really makes it hard to have a social life.

Sara:  True.  This book was, in one way, entirely a love story, but not a romantic love story.  It was about loving and protecting family, and family history, and faith, and friendship too.

Frankie:  Oh yes! That's a great way to put it

Sara:  It was way deep. I love that Mackie learns to be courageous through the women in his life.  And Emma, his older sister especially, was awesome.  She was so freaking bad-ass that I think it brought out the badassery in Mackie a little bit.

Frankie:  Emma was exceptionally awesome, though what she did was beyond brave and amazing--to have seen what she saw as a little girl, to know what she knew and to still love Mackie with all her heart and protect him--WIN! I don't know how she did it. I wish she was my big sister.

Sara:  And I loved that, even in his most emo state, that Mackie knew that about Emma, and returned that love so fully.  I'm pretty sure Mackie and Emma could conquer the world together.

Frankie:  Can we talk about Mackie's love interest,Tate? Because I LOVE Tate!

Sara:  Yes.

Frankie:  Tate kicked butt!

Sara:  Dude.  Tate was awesome.  But kind of broken, too.  I have a thing for broken people.  And her and Mackie didn't fit perfectly together, which I loved.  It wasn't instant-soulmate-love.

Frankie:  But she had this amazing strength the entire time--she knew what she felt, and knew what she'd seen  as far as Changelings go and she stuck to her guns--even when the rest of the town wanted to be in denial.

Sara:  So much so that even Mackie thought she was a little crazy at first.

Frankie:  Which was so ironic--because HE was the very thing she was claiming existed! 

Sara:  Note to teenage self: Find inner truth, save girlfriend's family.

Frankie:  Stay away from blood drives! (Mackie's allergic)

Sara:  And tongue rings!  Dude, I LOVED the whole tongue ring thing.

Frankie:  Oh yah THAT was cool! I was so glad when he finally stopped crushing on whats-her-name-snotface who didn't deserve his love!

Sara:  It was just...god.  I knew girls who had tongue rings in high school.
And some of them were seriously poisonous.  And then the tongue ring was ACTUALLY poison!  Genius!

Frankie:  LOL

Sara:  Can we talk about Mayhem now, the underground world?  Because you know I love a well-built world.  And Mayhem is like, off the charts creepy. Mayhem is like what you imagine is hiding under your bed when you're a kid. But in an awesome way.  Mayhem reminded me of one of those carnival mirrors.  The kind that distorts everything.

Frankie:  Yes! And the characters were like an extension of the world. One of the scenes that really sticks with me is when Mackie can't leave without a kiss and he has to kiss one of those dead decaying girls....and it's so repulsive, but he does it and he lingers and the girl says "that was nice" because it was probably the only real touch she ever had.  There was such a sadness to the place too!  Almost a haunting beauty that sat on top of the creep factor

Sara:  I really felt for the people/creatures of Mayhem.  Which is I think what really brought this book from really good to amazing for me-- that Brenna really hands the readers a big bag of WTF.  And then makes us love it.  And I'm totally down with that.

Frankie:  Me too! I seriously cannot wait to read more from her!

Sara:  Because also, her language is gorgeous.  Her writing sings off the page.  And I know that sounds totally dorky, but it's true.

Frankie:  Well that's how good The Replacement is---it's morphed us into drooling dorks.  Brenna! You're awesome. *drool*

Sara:  Haha.  Classy.

Frankie:  I know--I went to charm school:)

Sara:  Alright, to recap. The Replacement is:  finish the sentence.

Frankie:  The best way to get the chills when your nights are hot!

Sara:  The Replacement: The creepiest loveliest love horror story out there! Anything else you want to add?

Frankie: Read with the lights on!  And lock your windows!

Sara:  And check under your bed and in your closet first!  And maybe, like, buy a suit made of iron.  Unless you want to be BFF with Mackie.  Then forget the suit of iron.

Frankie:  But if you resort to hanging scissors over your bed (you'll see why when you read) and they fall on you, the FNC cannot be held responsible.  Also, go read it.  Because The Replacement is AWESOME!


  1. I am soooo buying this book at 9am tomorrow morning!

    The cover is already giving me nightmares, plus I love a good changeling story :-)

    I stopped reading the review for fear of spoilers, but now I'm dying to read the book!

  2. I couldn't WAIT to get this book. I'm reading it now and I'm really enjoying it! It's so creepy but also sweet at the same time.

  3. Sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read it. And it just made the New York bestseller list. How cool!

  4. Brenna is such an incredibly talented writer and I'd agree in saying her words sing off the pages. I've never been a fan of faeries either, but this book was so much more than that. I loved Mackie, Emma, Tate, Roswell, and even some of the creepy, ugly creatures of Mayhem.


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