Learn more about WriteOut, a writing camp for teens founded by Ally.

the penguin five: guest post from brenna yovanoff and giveaway!

And today…a guest post from Brenna, AND one of two chances to win a hardcover copy of The Replacement! I haven’t had the chance to meet Brenna in real life, but she has an awesome blog and also writes flash fiction at Merry Sisters of Fate and I have high hopes that we will meet in the future.

Hi, everyone,

I’m really excited to be guest-posting here on Ally’s blog and can’t wait ’til November, when I’ll be hosting her over on my blog to celebrate the release of her own debut novel, Matched!

As some of you may know, my novel The Replacement will be out on September 21st, and I’m here to tell you a little bit about it. Even though The Replacement is about a town plagued by fantastical creatures, it’s also about feeling like an outsider. A large part of Mackie’s attention, especially at the beginning of the book, is focused on just getting through high school. Because of where he comes from, he spends a lot of time convinced that people are going to learn his secret and discover that he’s not who everyone thinks he is.

In the interest of full disclosure: I was homeschooled until I was fifteen, whichโ€”let me tell youโ€”it definitely shapes you. School was such a foreign environment that at first, I didn’t quite know how to act. I started writing down everything, because that seemed like a good way to learn the customs of the land, so to speak.

Now, with this in mind, it might seem obvious to assume that Mackie represents my own experience, but what I discovered was that outsiderness was not remotely limited to outsiders. One of the things I noticed while I was writing down what happened was that a lot of people felt the way that Mackie does (although with more normal origins). And when I say a lot, I mean like . . . everybody.

Because I was quiet, the other kids talked to me. I liked listening to them, and I recorded what they said in my notebook. I didn’t have any sort of logical reason for doing this. At the time, I just felt like it was important to prove that someone was paying attention.

Since then, I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that people could be trying to grow into who they really are, while at the same time, trying very hard to appear just like everybody else, and I wanted to find an angle that would make it concrete. Mackie’s supernatural origin seemed like a perfect metaphor for that anxiety, because it means he’s always so worried that people are watching him, waiting for him to reveal himself as an outsider, when in some of the most basic ways, he’s still just like them.

Thanks for having me, Allyโ€”I’ll be seeing you on my blog in November!

Thanks for visiting, Brenna. And for writing such a fantastic post!

For a chance to win a copy of Brenna’s book, please comment here. Followers get another entry. You have until midnight MST Thursday. Come back Friday for an interview with Brenna and a chance to win the second copy of The Replacement!

Also, today is my first blog at Throwing Up Words. Come on over and check it out.

+ comments (41)
  • Becky B
    September 15, 2010

    Sounds like a great book! I am definitely adding it to my “must read” list!

  • jpetroroy
    September 15, 2010

    I’ve heard such good things about this. I’d love to enter!

  • Tasha
    September 15, 2010

    What a great idea! Will add to to read list now…

  • Llehn
    September 15, 2010

    I can’t wait to read this book!

  • Jenny
    September 15, 2010

    I’m really excited about this book! I really want to read it.

    narcissia [at] gmail [dot] com

  • Samantha Rowan
    September 15, 2010

    Sounds like a great book. I’m going to check it out!

  • Ambur
    September 15, 2010

    This book looks so amazing, and from the reviews I’ve read and recommendations I’ve heard, it’s sure to be amazing too! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Thanks for the chance to win it! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Ambur (ambiepie_6@hotmail.com)

  • Jess
    September 15, 2010

    I can’t wait to read this! Yay!

  • Jackie
    September 15, 2010

    Sounds great!

  • Jasmine Stairs
    September 15, 2010

    I did not know that Brenna was homeschooled! Fascinating!

    Now I want the book even MORE! Can I win it please?

  • Jasmine Stairs
    September 15, 2010

    Oh, and my contact email is jasmine at littleknown dot ca, btw. *cough*

  • Emilie
    September 15, 2010

    I’ve heard so many great things about this book and have been looking forward to reading it for a while now.

  • Ash L
    September 15, 2010

    I’m really excited about this book! The cover is so dark and twisty!

  • becca
    September 15, 2010

    Ooh. Could she be cuter? How fun for you to be all connect-y with these great storytellers! Sign me up.

  • Liz
    September 15, 2010

    Hey Ally, the book sounds really intriguing!

    I’m enjoying reading about the books and authors that you’ve been hosting on your blog. So fun!

  • LunaLouise
    September 15, 2010

    I am a fan of Maggie Stiefvater and it’s so nice to hear about Brenna and her book both on Maggie’s and your website, Ally !

    I look forward to reading Brenna’s book very much, it has such an intriguing premise and sounds like a good read.

  • AbundanceofBooks
    September 15, 2010

    I’ve really been looking forward to this book. The first time I saw it I couldn’t find any information – just the super creepy book trailer.
    I am so ready for this book!

    Please enter me, I’m a follower and I’ve tweeted the contest.

  • KM
    September 15, 2010

    This book is definitely on my TBR list – I mean, her name’s Brenna, which is my sister’s name. How can I NOT read it? Plus, it sounds like an awesome book! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to enter!


  • melissa@1lbr
    September 15, 2010

    This is the only one of the Penguin Five I haven’t had a chance to read or get a copy of yet. I’d love to read it! I am a follower as well.


  • Jen@MakeshiftBookmark
    September 15, 2010

    I’d love to be entered to win! I love the creepy cover and it sounds like an extremely interesting book.

  • Jessy
    September 15, 2010

    I switched schools alot and I was also very quiet. I know exactly how it feels to feel like an outsider.

    I follow

  • Madie C
    September 15, 2010

    This book sounds awesome! I would love to win a copy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Julie
    September 15, 2010

    This book sounds so amazing! I can’t wait to read it, and Brenna’s interview.

  • Jamie WIlson
    September 15, 2010

    Such as cool interview amazing thanks so much i love penguin five look forward to all of them ๐Ÿ˜€ including nightshade especially replacement my friend said it’s good and matched i love dystopia ftw

  • Donna S
    September 15, 2010

    Sounds really good. Thanks for sharing! I am a follower.

  • Ekta
    September 15, 2010

    Homeschooling seems really interesting. I have no idea what it would be like but the idea intrigues me. Anywho, great post and I can’t wait to read The Replacement! Thanks for the contest, I’m a follower ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Karen_St_Louis
    September 15, 2010

    That’s what good sci-fi/fantasy is all about, isn’t it? Using a fantastic setting to highlight a universal truth about “ordinary” life (like the fact that all of us feel like outsiders when we’re teenagers.)

    Sounds interesting!

  • KellyDaniels
    September 15, 2010

    Enter me please! I’m dying to get my hands on this book!

  • I keep hearing how amazing this book it & the cover is stunning.

    AllThingsUrbanFantasy AT gmail DOT com

  • Cass
    September 16, 2010

    Nice guest post! You had some good, insightful things to say, Brenna! Thanks for the giveaway. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m an old follower.

    cc932005 at hotmail dot com

  • AnneRoyce
    September 16, 2010

    This book is on my wishlist! 8D Please enter me if this is international!

    isabookwhore at gmail dot com

  • Sylvia
    September 16, 2010

    That was a really nice post:) I’m more excited to read The Replacement now, I think I’m going to like the protagonist:D Thanks for this contest!

  • Kare
    September 16, 2010

    This book has been on my wish list for a while! I’m a follower!!

  • Brooke
    September 16, 2010

    Thanks so much! I can’t wait for The Replacement. I’m a follower.

  • julie
    September 16, 2010

    I’ve heard all good things about this book and already following you.

  • Sandy Shin
    September 16, 2010

    I’m very, very excited for THE REPLACEMENT; it sounds eerie and absolutely wonderful.

    (I’m also a follower. :>)

  • IReadBannedBooks
    September 16, 2010

    This book has been on my radar for months. When I saw pictures of the ARCs being handed out at ALA….I thought I would pass out. Problem? I wasn’t at ALA.

    Can’t wait to read The Replacements!

    ~Jen Bigheart
    I Read Banned Books

  • Llehn
    September 17, 2010

    Forgot to add that I’m a follower.


  • Kulsuma
    September 18, 2010

    I cannot wait to read this book! It sounds like a real winner.

    Please count me in if this is international<3

  • Kulsuma
    September 18, 2010

    Oh and I am an old follower!!

  • Hannah
    September 30, 2010

    Really looking forward to reading this book!
    (old follower)

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *