ABOUT THE BOOK: It's about a boy named Mackie, who is not really the real Mackie. The real Mackie disappeared, and he took his place. His friend Tate's little sister, Natalie, is stolen, and Natalie's replacement dies and is buried. Everyone, except for Tate, thinks it's the real Natalie. So Mackie has to go to the House of Mayhem to get help to save Natalie. (Mackie has a crush on Tate.)
WHAT I LIKED: Stories about how people used to keep fairies, demons and other dark creatures from taking their children; Mackie's friend Roswell helps him keep secrets; Mackie's family making sure there's no iron in the house; and the House of Mayhem versus the House of Misery.
MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Emma, Mackie's sister. She's the reason he survives, because she does everything she can to keep him alive, like getting him medicine and cutting his hair with aluminum scissors, instead of iron ones, so he doesn't have to go to the barber (which has lots of iron, so it's important for him not to have to go there). She talks to him, because he doesn't have very many friends.
MY FAVORITE PART: When Mackie goes to the House of Misery to talk to the Lady about returning Natalie. (The Lady is a baby-stealer, and she steals a baby every seven years.)
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The Lady stealing babies. (She needs to get her OWN life.)
CHARACTER I DIDN'T LIKE: The Lady, she steals babies and takes them away. Sometimes, she keeps them as toys.
THE BOTTOM LINE: You should read this unless you think it might be too scary or horrible for you.
MOM'S TAKE: Parents of pre-teens are going to want to read this before deciding whether to let their child read it. It could be frightening for younger readers. Many of the adult characters in this book figuratively look away from some of the terrible goings-on in the Slag Heaps, and, in turn, the town of Gentry is prosperous. The teenage characters rebel against "going along to get along."
FIND IT ON THE WEB: Brenna Yovanoff's website.