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The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff Before I start talking about the book itself, I want to talk about the impressions that I had about it before I read it, which includes the cover and blurbs on it. First, right up front, I want to mention one thing that bothered me, which is that the cover indicates that the recommended age group for this book is for 12+ readers. If it was just about the scare level, I'd say 'yes sure fine', because I didn't think that there was really anything that was overtly scary, or too scary for adolescents. But there was quite a bit of cursing, with more than a couple F-Bombs thrown in, drinking, references to drug use, sex, touchy-touchy stuff. I have no problem with this, and probably wouldn't have any problem with my own kids reading it (had I any), but some people are more concerned about this kind of thing, and I just thought I would mention it, just in case. :)

Back to my impressions pre-read, I expected this one to be a lot like the cover art: creepy, half-seen, antique and dirty and just all around eerie. With the rusting file, the knife and the scissors hanging over an antique baby carriage, with a background of grayish fog, this is what came to mind. And especially when I read the quote from Maggie Stiefvater that says {paraphrasing here - I don't have it in front of me} "...This is a story of ugly things that should be read in the dark at a whisper..."

So, I really enjoyed this one for what it was, but I have to admit that it was not what I'd expected at all! One doesn't usually expect this type of story to be told from the point of view of the scary creature, going on the assumption that in order to scare us, the mystery and the unknown and the fear of these things must be left intact - and showing us right off the bat how fearful and vulnerable it is definitely detracts from that. I'd also expected it to be more surreal and eerie and clammy and dark, but it was surprisingly real and modern. Maybe this took a little away from the scariness for me as well, but I can see how this very aspect would increase the scare-factor for others... IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU! ;)

I really liked Mackie Doyle, and liked him for his vulnerability and his knowledge that he was different in all manner of substantial ways, but still he tried to fit in, to be normal. I couldn't always identify with him, but really, who could? He's caught between two worlds, one of which is twisted and demented and mythical, and so he doesn't really belong anywhere, but still he tries to find a place for himself, so that he can carve out a little happiness and stability. He's somehow managed to find a group of some of the best friends anyone could have, let alone someone as uncommon as Mackie. Roswell (which I thought was an awesome name) is probably one of the most interesting and unswerving friends a guy could have. He collects cool pens and rebuilds clocks. That's pretty cool. Drew and Danny are twin inventors and are also solid-like-the-rock friends who just generally accept life as it comes and Mackie as he is. Tate is interesting as well, and I really liked her fire and her passion and unwillingness to give up for what she believes, even when she doesn't really know what that is. Emma of course is awesome, and shows the kind of sibling love and devotion that knows no bounds.

I was surprised by the musicality of the story, and how music played an integral part in not only Mackie's life, but in the town and in the story. I LOVED that he played bass, which is my favorite "rock band" instrument. I love the deepness and the range of feeling that it can evoke. I love that he used it in this way as well, that it wasn't just a hobby or something to do to clear his mind - he actually used it as an outlet for his emotions and thoughts. I loved that. :)

I really liked the unique take on the fey (I'm assuming here, because there was nothing that ever named them), and I liked the way that ancient lore was brought into the new millennium and kept modern. Overall, I really liked the story, and the feel of it. It was a very quick read and kept me turning the pages to see where it would go. I liked it quite a bit. :)