Brenna Yovanoff’s The Replacement is about a kid who isn’t normal. Oh sure Mackie has friends at school, but he also has severe reactions to the sight of blood and reacts badly to stainless steel and he has to stay out in unconsecrated ground when his father preaches at their local church. Mackie tries to keep a low low profile because his parents have always taught him about what awaits those who are different in the town of Gentry. But when Tate’s sister dies, Tate forces Mackie to quit not looking at the things that make him and the whole town weird.
I liked this book better than Holly Black’s Tithe which is an obvious comparison. It was interesting to read a faerie book where the fae person was a guy, and his relationships with both his male friends and the girls in the book were excellent and believable. There was angst but it wasn’t overpowering, ominousness that went somewhere. The only thing that felt a bit weird to me was the dropping of the musical subplot. It fed into the larger issues Mackie was going through but I’d hoped it would tie in a bit more. But that’s just quibbling. This is great, creepy YA stuff (probably a little fluffy for adult readers who want something dark about stolen children though).
Yesterday I decided at the last minute not to bike to work. There were Environment Canada thunderstorm watches on talking about hail and stuff. I figured I wouldn’t want to be out on a bike in the middle of that. Plus, 60km/h headwinds aren’t my most favouritest things.
It was cloudy and lightningy when I walked to the bus stop. And as I waited. Then when the bus got to the set of lights just before my stop, the heavens opened up. I didn’t get too wet running the four steps between the shelter and the embarkation point, but if it had been eight steps I’d have been soaked through. By the time the bus arrived down at the branch, the rain had slacked off a bit and I could run all ninja-like dodging droplets and getting in without undue soakitude.
And then I learned that there’d been incidents at the library that day. A bunch of kids (four or five? I wasn’t there) were in unattended, the oldest being a 6 year old girl (at least two of her siblings/cousins were 3). At first they’d been fine, quiet reading and going on the computers. Then later they’d left. Just before that torrential rain. As it’s pouring the kids come back in, dripping wet, and now two of them were missing their shoes. Now they’re not so quiet and they’re soaking wet and cold. They don’t know their last name they don’t have a number to call. A couple of the librarians put the kids under the hand dryer in the washroom to get them a little less sopping. And Child and Family Services gets called. Before CFS gets there though, (but after the rain had stopped) their older brother (17ish?) shows up and takes the kids away with a “They weren’t supposed to come this far” kind of comment. CFS doesn’t show up, we aren’t quite sure of anyone’s last name and everything is weird and unsettled for the evening as my coworker wrote it up in the incident report.
Those kids had been in the night before too and a coworker and I had to get them to quit shouting at each other a bit, which neither of us really liked doing. It’s obviously not their fault they’re there without parents or any of that knowledge you think of as being essential for getting along in society. But you also can’t just let them run wild. Gah.
Happily, last night was really quiet and I was able to get a bunch of stuff done. Including helping some kids who were in looking for books to read instead of for a place to be while Mommy’s at home drinking.