Imagine you were some sort of zombie that didn’t have decaying flesh, could speak coherent English, and had a bass to play like the modern version of the phantom of the opera. You would be living with a family that didn’t even belong to you and the life you remembered before was a blur of images or scenes that didn’t really make sense. If you haven’t had a chance to imagine, you will get that experience through reading The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff.
Written in the first narrative, this book takes place in a small town called Gentry where most families live in homes with white picket fences and a hushed secret under the floor boards pertaining to the town. Nobody wants to talk about it. But for Mackie, the main voice of the novel, those secrets are the essence to his existence. Left with vague memories of his past and a weird reaction to iron, Mackie is stuck being the weird kid of Gentry until things start shifting after the death of a baby who was also the little sister of one of the girls at school.
It can be said that this novel is like a remix of Hairstyles of the Damned and Alice in Wonderland in certain cases. With the voice of Mackie, any reader can get a chance to see how it’s like to be literally a weird basket case in an uptight town. However after a few chapters, it becomes more than just your teenage angst story once he steps down the rabbit hole or rather, deep hallway.
The whole novel is a bit of a depressing adventure since most of the time Mackie is bemoaning not belonging in his family or in the town he lives in. The ending was disappointingly average and stereotypical. Didn’t frighten me, but did impress me with the whole suspense and literary twists. If you are into being taken aback by unpredictability you can take your chances and pick this book up.