The Archived by Victoria Schwab book review (spoiler free)

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.
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4.5 of 5 stars

There has been a lot of hype surrounding The Archived recently, especially in the "booktube" community. Because of this, I went into this book hoping for the best. And thankfully, I wasn't disappointed. 
The writing style in this book reminded me much of my own, which made me smile throughout the novel. It had a very clear voice and was just descriptive enough to allow me to visualize what MacKenzie was seeing, but it wasn't too much to the point of being overbearing. It was refreshing to see this type of writing, as I've been reading many stream-of-consciousness books lately. 
The premise of this book was incredibly unique. Keepers, like MacKenzie, make sure Histories don't escape into the Outer, or the real world. The Histories themselves really interested me because they weren't zombies, but they weren't people either. They were more like files full of memories. I really couldn't believe such a world was created by one person. 
The characters in The Archived were very well thought out as well. MacKenzie, our protagonist, though sometimes making rash decisions, had such a saddening backstory that you couldn't help but feel for her and understand the reasoning behind her rash actions. Her inability to touch people without being bombarded by noise added to the sympathy I felt for her. Thankfully though, MacKenzie does succeed in making a friend to lighten the mood of this book. Wesley Ayres is a character with such an intimidating exterior (black clothes, nails, and hair) that you would expect him to be anything but sweet. But he defies the stereotype by truly caring for MacKenzie, becoming one of her closest friends, and adding a element of humor to this book.
The romance in this book was the one thing that truly bothered me. A love triangle was the last thing I wanted to see in a book this world and plot driven and sadly, it was what I saw. Granted, MacKenzie and one half of the love triangle weren't technically together, but a girl can ship! However, the way the love triangle was "resolved" in the end made up for it being there in the first place.
Overall, The Archived was filled with many twists and turns that I honestly did not see coming, hilarious and noteworthy quotes, and wonderful characters that I've grown quite attached to. If you haven't read The Archived, I would really recommend picking it up along with it's sequel, The Unbound.


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