Monday, November 22, 2010
High School Thriller: The Replacement
by Brenna Yovanoff
Razorbill (Penguin Group), 2010
The cover art and spooky title font should attract teens to this debut novel. Maggie Stiefvater, author of Shiver ,writes on the front cover, "I loved this eerie and beautiful story of ugly things. It should be read after dark, at a whisper." She's right!
There is something evil and menacing under the town of Gentry and it waits until once every seven years to claim its bounty--a child sacrifice.
Mackie knows he's not normal. He can't be around blood or anything with iron or steel. His family covers for him and his pastor father tells him to fit in--don't bring unwanted attention on yourself--stay in the shadows. His sister Emma loves him fiercely even though she knows the darkest of all secrets--Mackie isn't her brother at all--he's a replacement.
This novel is creepy, gritty, and downright slithery. Think of all things grimy, seedy, nasty, damp, dark, dank, rotten, moldy, and you have the The House of Misery and the House of Mayhem--two equally evil desolate places beneath the slag heap on the outskirts of town. Is Mackie brave enough to enter the darkness? Will Mackie be able to save the town from the seven year payment?
Young readers will stay up late under the covers with a flashlight to finish this novel. Very creepy and edgy, yet fascinating. An unputdownable show-stopper of a read. The Replacement is the best ya novel I've read this year--think Stephen King at the top of his game.
Highly, highly recommended for grades 9-12. Recommended for mature readers grade 8--with caution.
Language. Violence. Light petting.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I bought this novel for my library. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review. I will add it to my shelves with caution to readers--I would recommend it to grade 8 mature readers.