Growing up can be quite a memorable experience. We struggle to find ways to fit in, find out who we are, and find where we belong. Growing up in a small town comes with its own challenges, and Mackie Doyle’s little town of Gentry is no exception. The people of Gentry have always known that something was different about the way their little town works but nobody wants to talk about. Mackie has always felt a bit strange and out of place but what teenager doesn’t, but with Mackie’s allergies to iron, strange dark eyes, and his sister’s story of him being exchanged in the middle of the night, it’s hard to not feel that you don’t belong. Mackie’s encounter with a stranger on the side of the road launches him on a journey to discover himself and open the doors to secrets that the town of Gentry would rather keep inside.
Let’s start right off by saying that the cover of the book is awesome. There’s just something cool and creepy about the intricately detailed baby stroller with sharp tools hanging over it. There was a lot of confusion for me at the beginning of the story, which I hope was intentional (give it 90 pages or so). The journey was muddy and paralleled the experience Mackie was having in trying to find his own answers. The book trucked along well after I let go of the confusion and just dwelt in it along with the characters. It was the little details that were difficult at times, especially the iron allergy (struggle for a science teacher because of the prevalence of iron in our surroundings). Apparently this is a common knowledge trait to faery stories, which I never picked up from the book that this was. This book is ultimately a story about Mackie finding out that where you come from does not define who you are. This book is a must read when it comes out. It kept me trying to figure it out long after the last page. The Replacements is an intense novel and is a great launch for debut author Brenna Yovanoff. The book is set to release in 9/10.