Awesome YA is awesome.

A while back I read and LOVED the wonderful and amazing ‘The Archived’ by Victoria Schwab and then last November for my birthday I was gifted the second book in the Archived series, “The Unbound” which is JUST AS WONDERFAB!

It’s taken me forever to get around to writing a review for ‘The Unbound’ because life and also thieving children, but finally and with much fanfare, here is my review:

‘The Unbound’ picks up pretty much where ‘The Archived’ left off. After a crazy summer of chasing down Histories, working with and finally trusting Wes, and fighting to save both the Archive and her own life, Mackenzie Bishop is ready to try something resembling a normal life. A new school and a new group of friends gives her the chance to start over, but Mac is haunted by the events of her past and when dreams start to feel more like reality, she knows she’s in trouble. When people start to go missing, Mackenzie realizes that there is something bigger going on, and all the evidence points straight at her. If Mac doesn’t figure it out fast, she’ll lose her place as Keeper, her friendship with Wes, and the most precious parts of her memory.

With ‘The Unbound’, Victoria Schwab delivers AGAIN!  Mac and Wes are wonderful characters (yes fans, there’s lots of Wes in the 2nd book) and the story is unique, rich and engaging. A little darker in tone than ‘The Archived’ be prepared for a rather thrilling adventure.

Why did I mention thieving children? Well, my eldest daughter occasionally moans and whines that she has nothing to read, and I sometimes (rarely) dare to recommend to her something from my own bookshelf. I’ve been trying to push books her way since before she could read (hehehehe) but when she was around eight years old I realized that her stubborn streak was so incredibly wide, that if I was TOO enthusiastic with my suggestions she would refuse to have anything to do with them. I did recommend ‘The Book Thief” and that was the last I saw of my copy, she later bought me a replacement copy, having fallen so in love with the story that she couldn’t part with it.

But I digress.

In passing I suggested that my daughter might enjoy ‘The Archived.” She didn’t bite. I walked away. Then one evening,  I was cooking dinner one handed while reading ‘The Unbound’ and she asked me if it was really that good.. I told her yes, and that she should read the first book. After dinner I handed her my copy of ‘The Archived’ and went back to reading ‘The Unbound’ and the following morning she explained how she had stayed up MUCH later than she had intended because she simply could not stop reading!

Two days later she asked if I had finished reading ‘The Unbound’ because she “needed it” – if that’s not a glowing recommendation for a YA book, I don’t know what is!

My daughter has since informed me that ‘The Archived’ and ‘The Unbound’ are now HER books, she is never giving them back, and that I should contact the author and make sure the third book is published ASAP.

Victoria Schwab has written quite a few other books including “Vicious”  and her brand new release “A Darker Shade of Magic” which I really think my daughter should buy for me.


A review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

This book is going straight to my ‘Favourites’ shelf on Goodreads! It is just that good. No lie. It is a thing of beauty.

Sixteen year old Mackenzie Bishop became a Keeper at age eleven, when her grandfather passed his key on to her. Her job is to return the Histories – ghostlike copies of those who have died – back to the Archive. The Histories are supposed to stay asleep, stored safely on shelves like books in a library, but every so often some awaken and escape into the Narrows as they attempt to make their way back to the real world. Mac must patrol the Narrows, long intersecting hallways filled with doors, and hunt down the Histories before they slip, before their fear and confusion turns to anger and violence. It’s a dangerous job, and even the best Keepers have scars. It’s also a secret which Mac must keep even from her family.

When Mac’s little brother dies she feels more separate from the real world than ever, and life becomes more complicated when her mother insists on moving the family to an old hotel turned apartment building. The Coronado is old and crumbling, and it’s history (small h) is filled with secrets.
As Mac struggles to keep up with an increasing work load – more Histories are making it into the Narrows – and the ever stronger pull to disappear into the Archives and sit beside her brother’s shelf, she meets two very different boys – Wes, a fellow Keeper, who wears eyeliner (I mean guyliner!) and fills her with rock music, and Owen, whose quiet presence gives her peace. And if that’s not enough to keep her busy, there’s also the small issue of the Archive – something is clearly going wrong, someone is breaking the rules and Mac doesn’t know who to trust.

‘The Archived’ is beautifully written and so original. The characters, especially Mac and Wes, are so real and the mystery they find themselves wrapped up in is a definite page turner. I shall recommend this lovely tale to all that cross my path.

The only teeny tiny thing that annoyed me about the whole book, is that Mac’s grandfather is called ‘Da’ and for the first couple pages, before the exact relationship was revealed, I thought ‘Da’ was Mac’s dad – I probably made this mistake because I know the author is partial to all things Scottish and in Scotland ‘da’ is slang for dad.