The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Mackie has always known he was an outsider in his small town of Gentry. He’s tall, pale and creepy and his father has drummed into him to never draw attention to himself. He’s fatally allergic to iron, made physically sick by blood, and cannot step onto “hallowed” church property without feeling like his feet are burning and blistering. To top it off, he feels like he’s slowly dying. His whole town seems superstitious, hanging horseshoes everywhere for good luck, and making special rock arrangements in the garden to keep away spirits. Probably the children that mysteriously disappeared even seven years might have had something to do with that. But ever since the disappearances started during the Depression, Genty has always fared better than the other local towns. Not prosperous to the point of being obvious, but people tend to stay employed and able to pay their home mortgages, even during the economic downturns experienced in the last few years.
But now another toddler has disappeared, the little sister of Tate, who Mackie’s known forever. And Tate’s not going to let it go. “It wasn’t my sister in that box (casket), it was something else,” Tate tells Mackie. “I know my sister, and whatever died in that crib, it wasn’t her.” Secretly, Mackie knows what it was: a replacement for her real sister, just like he is a replacement for his parents’ real son. Mackie becomes intent on solving the mystery his life has always been, as well as finding Tate’s real sister Emma. Expect lots of plot twists and dark, underground journeys to visit some pretty creepy creatures.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to horror fans, people who like Tim Burton (The Corpse Bride) movies, and anyone looking for a late night read guaranteed to give you the shivers.