Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Yes. #1
Pages: 321
Genre: Young Adult. Mystery. Fantasy. Paranormal.
Published Date:  January 22, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Rating: ☕☕☕☕½
Summary: Goodreads

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

My Thoughts:

First, I have to start this review off with two big thumbs up, and a little party dance thrown into the mix. This story was beautiful and inventive. Schwab's writing style was wonderful and such a joy to read. The only reason I can't give this book a 5/5 star rating is because for me, personally, the beginning of the book was a tad bit slow. It took a couple of chapters for me to become completely engrossed to the point where I couldn't put it down. Seriously, I read the majority of this story in one sitting. I loved it, the plot was intriguing, the characters were very well created, and I always wondered what was going to happen next or how a certain play of events would turn out. Another thing I loved about this book was the fact that I couldn't just guess what would happen, or assume that a specific character was to blame for anything, cause I could never be too sure. The plot twist at the end totally threw me for a loop, though looking back on it I probably should have seen it coming, but I didn't. This story really was so amazing and Schwab's writing style makes me want to pick up a copy of all her books. If only I had The Unbound

(Do NOT read unless you've read the book!!)

Reading the little excerpts of Mac's past with Da was really cool. I liked seeing how she ended up growing into her life as a Keeper and they also helped me understand her personality a lot more. All her little rules and decisions made a bit more sense in the end. Then we move on with Mac and her family moving into the Coronado. It's a gloomy kind of setting because Ben's death is still sort of fresh and plus the Coronado is really old and rundown. Mackenzie's mother and father are clearly trying to keep what they're truly feeling buried down, both for their own and Mac's sake, and vice-versa when in reality everyone is the exact opposite. It's such a sad start but I instantly found myself drawn to the three characters because I could sympathize with their grief. I really enjoyed reading how Mackenzie could so easily lie her way through each situation she needed and no matter what her resolve never wavers. Though I felt bad for her because I could imagine how lonely it must be to have to lie all the time.

I was really happy when Wesley came into the story. His character was so fun and happy that I always found myself smiling whilst reading his dialog. I loved his quick thinking and smart remarks, but I also loved how easy he was able to read Mac. In my opinion, I don't think anyone could understand her better than he can. He's able to teach her things that even Da couldn't do, he can help her connect with her parents a little better; her father adores him after all. And one of the biggest of all in my opinion... Wes is always honest and there for Mac. I actually got irritated at Mac once because she wouldn't just confided in Wes. I knew she could trust him, I knew that she should, but she just kept friggin' avoiding it until it was too late and he had to find out the hard way. Oh, that was a sad moment, it was like I could really feel Wes' hurt. I mean, really, when is he ever not smiling? Hardly ever. Exactly. It also bugged me when she started making out with Owen, but honestly, the guy had me fooled too. I should've guessed it, I really should have, but there was just something about him that I couldn't not believe. It was so deceiving. A complete sociopath if you ask me, his two persona's were entirely different, and he switched between them so easily. It was honestly a bit creepy to me, made me feel like no one can really be trusted. Especially if he's a good looking blonde.  

Okay, now I must discuss the Librarian's for a second. I was so surprised when I found out that they were actually dead. I thought they were just immortal people... not dead people. Roland talked about retiring in a way that sounded like he was going to the Outer and starting life anew, but then I find out what retiring really meant, and then started bawling my little eyes out. As a matter of fact, for a good chunk of the book I had tears falling down my face. But of course, I cry at almost everything. I think my worst moment was when I thought Wes was going to die. That... was bad. I still haven't decided if I like Agatha or not. For some reason I have this gut feeling that tells me no. I'm not certain why though. I also don't know why the Archived felt the need to erase Wesley's mind after the battle. Yeah, yeah I get the whole "secrets keep us safe" bit, but why Wes? It's not like he's a threat. He works with them. I just didn't get that, but it was okay cause Mac told him anyway. Ha! 

This story was brilliant and I'll be so upset if this series doesn't get finished! #TheArchivedNeedsAThirdBook

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