Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

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Ever since I saw this book’s hype reach immense proportions in the book community, I have been dying to get my hands on it. Especially when I heard snippets of the premise and it sounded right up my alley. Sadly, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I’ve been thinking all of last night about the ‘why’ and I have narrowed it down to it being mainly because this was a YA. I would have loved the author to tackle this premise and drop it on older, more intriguing characters.
The main character, Mackenzie, was fine enough but far from being a favorite. I loved that she always stood her ground but of course, most of her actions made me irritated with her.
We are constantly being shown memories between Mackenzie and her grandfather (Da) that were irritating in the beginning. I was more interested in the present story than the past so I found them to be a big hassle. Although I did see why the author did it, it still wasn’t fun to get through. In the end it became tolerable, I didn’t like them more or less, but I just acknowledged that they were there and moved on.
The character that stood out to me the most was Roland and that’s because he was older and I could sense there was so much we could’ve learned from him if he was showed more than he was.
Wesley, a guy with a family that lives in the building Mackenzie just moved into, was a close second but that’s not really saying much. He was funny and charming but I didn’t believe the other ‘feelings’ blooming between him and Mackenzie for one second. I would much rather them be friends since their friendship is about the only thing I believed.
I read this book in one sitting even after finding so many flaws that would’ve otherwise turned me away completely. Why? Because most of the dialogue was fresh to me. I’ve been seeing lots and lots of similarities in dialogue with so many books lately that these characters made me proud by not falling under that category. Also, I loved the slightly-darker-than-usual ambiance this novel seemed to encompass.
With that said, I still found so many things to be predictable and it exhausted me. Because of that exhaustion and lack of caring, it took my brain a little while to get used to this worlds’ rules but they eventually did. I wasn’t majorly surprised by anything that happened in this story and that wasn’t fun either.
This book left a lot to be desired. I wanted… more. Just more of everything. But since it was YA things were glossed over and not given the attention I would have wanted them to. I would’ve like more grit, more romance (if you can call what happened here romance), more action, more terror, despair… just more. I feel so ‘meh’ about this, I just hope the sequel answers my prayers.

3/5 stars.

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