Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blog Tour: The Replacement by Rachael Wade

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Replacement by Rachael Wade, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.  You can follow along with the rest of the tour here.

The Replacement by Rachael Wade
Publication date: January 27th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

*Contains sexually explicit content and mature subject matter, including language and elements of abuse.*

A gritty New Adult drama about a young woman’s self-destructive quest to find purpose, self-worth, and love in a broken world.

My name is Elise Duchamp. I’m twenty-three years old and I’m known as the town whore.

No, not the kind who exchanges sexual favors for money. The other kind. The kind who gives it all away for free, whenever and however she likes. I am that girl. The one everyone whispers about and the one none of the girls seem to like, because all of their boyfriends either want to sleep with me or already have. Promiscuity is my thing—the kind that slowly, violently turns my insides black, but gives me something I need.

All things considered, I’m not completely reckless. I’m safe, and contrary to popular opinion, I do have a heart. I live in a world of careless choices, and with those choices come careless people. I cannot judge them, because I am one of them. I too bow down to the altar of the self-serving. I am not a good friend. I am not and never could be anyone’s girlfriend. I’m convinced any goodness in me shriveled up and died long ago.

But I am a replacement. That is something I know how to be, and this is a story of the lengths I’d go to in order to keep it that way.
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The Replacement really worked for me for the same reason that a lot of readers will probably be ambivalent about the novel, at least at first: main character Elise Duchamp.  Author Rachael Wade throws us right into Elise’s world as a girl taught by her parents’ behavior that a woman’s only worth is her appearance and her ability to attract men.  Elise has grown into a young woman who sleeps around—primarily with men already in relationships—in both a desperate attempt to find validation, and as a sort of self-punishment because she doesn’t believe she deserves better.  I think many readers will have a hard time understanding Elise and/or forgiving her behavior, but even so, there’s a can’t-look-away aspect to the book that may keep readers going till Elise begins the slow, painful process of change.  Me, however?  I totally identified with Elise and understood her self-sabotaging decisions from the very beginning.  I don’t know what this says about me, but I do think it speaks to the author’s ability to create a realistic character who could truly exist in the world.  I also appreciated the way Wade was so blunt in her language and descriptions, refusing to sugar-coat things, showing us how utterly broken Elise is.  My favorite quote to that effect:

“The door opens and closes with a quiet click, and all of my hopes for being someone’s something follow Natalie out, reminding me of my true identity.  I am a substitute.  A misfit.  A liar, a thief, and a whore.  I exist to be used, not to belong.”

In terms of plot, The Replacement is a fairly quiet story focused on character growth and relationships, although there were a few twist moments that really surprised me.  I liked a lot of the minor characters, especially Natalie and Jay.  The obligatory “good guy” who sees real value in Elise, Ryder, was definitely dreamy but maybe a little too perfect for my taste.  Still, I think most readers will be happy to see Elise allowing a guy like Ryder in, even if her transformation is a hard-earned one, with plenty of mistakes and unwise decisions along the way.

Just as Elise is a gutsy heroine, The Replacement is a gutsy book.  This was my first read by Rachael Wade, and I’m impressed—the writing was smooth and vivid, the characterization full of depth.  I definitely recommend this one, and I encourage readers who have a hard time identifying with Elise at first to stick with it till the end!
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Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade.

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  1. This does sound like a gutsy book but these are the kinds of stories i really enjoy so I'm def intrigued by it all. I'm not for cheating at all but I'm curious to see Elise's POV. Glad you liked it, Steph!

  2. Hi Stephanie, thanks for such a well thought-out, honest review. I appreciate you being a part of the tour and for taking the time to give Elise's story a read!

    Much love,

  3. Your review was very helpful, as I hadn't heard of this one before. It sounds like a book that will make me think because from what you said the main character draws you in. I have added this one to my list. :)