THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff

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Mackie Doyle’s father has always taught him to avoid attention.  If he keeps a low profile, no one will notice his unusually dark eyes, or his severe allergy to iron, or his inability to set foot on the consecrated ground of the church.  No one will notice that he is just a replacement, a changeling left by the faerie folk when they stole the real Mackie Doyle from his crib and offered him up as a blood sacrifice.  Of course Mackie’s parents and his sister Emma realize the truth, and others certainly suspect, but the people of Gentry are used to turning a blind eye every seven years when another child is taken.  It is just the way things are.

Unlike most replacements who die in infancy, Mackie has survived to the age of sixteen, but as his allergic reactions and difficulty breathing become more acute, he doesn’t know how much longer he can live.  When his sister Emma takes a terrible risk to save his life, Mackie finds himself suddenly caught up in the world of the “others,” the creatures he once belonged to and the only ones with the power to save his life.  Unfortunately, it is the year for the blood sacrifice, and they have stolen his friend Tate’s little sister.  When Mackie learns that young Natalie is still alive, he must decide where his loyalties lie, and how much he is willing to risk to protect those he cares about.

This book is exciting, incredibly creepy, and brilliantly imagined!  Yovanoff combines the world of Celtic folklore with the world of modern high school seamlessly and believably, with a great balance between the fantasy conflict and Mackie’s struggles with friendships, love, and identity.  I enjoyed every minute of this book, and highly recommend it to fans of dark fantasy, or just creepy gothic literature in general!

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