January 30, 2014

Book Review: The Replacement by Rachael Wade

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

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*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.

The ReplacementThe Replacement by Rachael Wade

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, this book really messes with your mind and your emotions. But in a good way (I guess), because I can't stop thinking about the main character, Elise. She was so broken, so effed up, it was literally hard to read her story. She made such bad decisions, time after time, it was like she was purposely trying to destroy her life. And in a way she really was. She didn't feel like she deserved happiness, or love, or any of those things that most people take as their God given rights. I'm kind of getting ahead of myself, but this book has left me feeling kind of raw - like I need to purge out my reactions as quickly as I can.

I'll skip the synopsis, because you can read it yourself, and get to the good stuff. Elise is such a complex character that I feel like she's going to stick with me for a while. Even though Rachael Wade wrote her in such a way that should make her utterly unlikeable, I couldn't help being pulled in to her psyche, into her damage, into her spiral of destruction, and feeling real empathy and sympathy for her. And in a messed up way I really did understand why she felt the need to ruin her life. I didn't like it, but I understood it. Thank God she had someone like Jay in her life to act as a substitute father figure, because if not for him I think she would have been a true lost cause.

But mostly, Elise's redemption can be attributed to Ryder. I feel confident when I say that Ryder is a gorgeous, caring, too-good-too-be-true figment of Rachael Wade's imagination, because surely guys like this do not really exist!! Not only does he try to see through Elise's bullshit and all of the rumors that surround her, but he really gives her a chance to show him who she really is.....or who she really can be.
"Don’t run from this. Stay. Let me fuck you and adore you at the same time. ‘Cause I can do that. I can give you both. I’ve never wanted anything more"
And he pushes and pushes her until she breaks. When she does, it's not pretty, it's not romantic, but it's exactly the way it has to be. But just by accepting her as she is and letting her know that he will never walk away, it's almost as if Ryder gives Elise permission to forgive herself, or at least a chance to try and see herself in a different light.
"Go ahead. Give me all you’ve got. Rip my fucking heart out if that’s what you need to do. But it won’t change this. I love you and I know you love me."
Ryder really does prove himself too-good-to-be-true, but I was so invested in the story that I bought it, and I wanted it to work out between the two of them. Enough to overlook the fact that deep down I don't think any self-respecting man would take the kind of rejection and hurt that Elise hit him with over and over. But somehow he stuck it out, and I loved him for it. And eventually, so did Elise.
“You’re not the other woman, here. You’re the woman.”
Fair warning: this book may not be easy to read for a lot of people. It presents a very controversial view of what it's like to be the "other woman." Elise calls herself the town whore several times, and seems to embrace that about herself. She is rather unapologetic about it, for the most part. But, it's not because she has some radical idea of super feminism or of acting like "one of the guys." Her actions and attitude about sex and cheating originate from a very dark and painful place. So be prepared - I warned you!

I really enjoyed this book. I was needing to read something a little darker than the typical New Adult book, and this was exactly what I was searching for. If this sounds like a story that would interest you, you should definitely check it out!

View all my reviews

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. I love these kinds of raw, dark, gritty stories that really takes it all out of you. This is probably not normal of me haha. But really these become the most memorable to me. Wonderful review, Jessica!

  2. Jessica, I am so incredibly blown away by this review - seriously, wow! I'm glad that Elise's story stirred up so many different emotions for you. I know her story is very difficult to read; it was certainly difficult to write. But I felt cleansed by the time I'd typed THE END. It left me feeling drained, and the fact that it seems to be affecting readers in a similar way is truly rewarding and humbling at the same time.

    Thanks for giving this book a read and for being a part of the tour. I appreciate it so much!

    Much love,


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