Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab (A Recipe?)

April 10, 2014 Review 64 ★★★★½

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab (A Recipe?)
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 328
Release Date: January 22nd, 2014
Series: The Archived #1
Genres: Fantasy, Friendship, Horror & Ghost Stories, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Paranormal, Young Adult
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.


I had never planned on reading THE ARCHIVED,
and yet here I am now, reviewing it. Positive reviews and hype surrounded this one, which always lures me in even though I say it does the opposite. As soon as I finished this one, I picked up THE UNBOUND immediately, and if that isn’t a testament to how much I liked the book, I don’t know what is.

“Because the only way to truly record a person is not in words,
not in still frames, but in bone and skin and memory.”

THE ARCHIVED is a dish that has something for everyone. In fact, let’s break it down and look at the ingredients that make this so amazing.

A Recipe for Blueberry Pie The Archived:

  • Crust: A tantalizing mystery surrounding a completely unique concept
  • Sugar: Familial relationships and friendship (3/4 cup)
  • Blueberries: Gorgeous writing (4 cups)
  • Butter: Grief (1 Tablespoon)
  • Salt: Romance (Just a dash)

Mix them all together haphazardly because as long as you have these ingredients, you are bound to bake magnificence. Bake at Fahrenheit 451. (Ah, literature humor) Anyway, the finished product should look something like this:


Do not be alarmed if your pie turns black, it is s a side effect of the grief/pains/feels you will experience while reading and reflects the condition of your soul.

 On a more serious note, this book is a definite must read if you find yourself getting dragged down by all the tropes and cliches of YA because THE ARCHIVED is a really creative story. There is a lot of information thrown at you at once, but if you roll with it you will catch on easily. My best advice to you is to just give it a shot!

Rating Report
Overall: 4.5

64 Responses to “Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab (A Recipe?)”

    • Alise

      I definitely agree. Especially with so many overused plots and things in YA now, it’s so nice to have something new. Yeah, I think I would have been really disappointed if I didn’t like it after the hype, if not more so. Thank you :)

    • Alise

      Thanks! Yeah, that happens to me a lot too. It’s a great feeling when you realize the hype is well deserved!

    • Alise

      Haha, thank you! I was pretty late to the game because of all the hype too, but I’m almost positive you will enjoy this one :) Sure! Followed back!

    • Alise

      Good. That was my grand plan. ;)

      Right? Nothing even similar has been done before. Love it!

      HA, I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one laughing at that!

  1. Summer/Sunny

    I LOVE how you did this review! Recipe is genius and now I really want blueberry pie. I have The Archived on my shelf and still haven’t gotten around to it. But everything you mentioned sounds like MY KIND OF BOOK. Oh, the hype.
    Summer/Sunny recently posted…The Comparison Game

    • Alise

      xD It would be kind of cool if authors could follow the winning ingredients more, mostly just writing a unique plot, you know? There’s some sad feels but more good feels :D

    • Alise

      And you saying this reminded you to read Vicious just reminded me that I need to read Vicious as well :D

  2. Tanja

    LOL! What an amazing review girl. I have been planing on reading this one for a while but then because of all the hype that SURROUNDED this one I kinda of was afraid to read it. Now I need to get to it soon and I am so happy you loved it. Great review, Alise! :)
    Tanja recently posted…Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine

    • Alise

      :D Thank you! Yeah, this one was everywhere which definitely made me push it back but I can say the hype was deserved, in my opinion!

    • Alise

      Haha, thank you! Pie is the best.
      I do that a lot with books I tend to see everywhere. It is! I hope you can read it sometime.

  3. Anya

    HAHAHA love the recipe :D Also reviews like this kill me because I 100% know that I need to read these two books and I even own both already, I just haven’t been able to find the time! I think this is going to be the first on the list once I feel slightly less guilty about avoiding ARCs >.> Or maybe I’ll be lucky and get a review copy of the third book so that I have to read the first two! This is my strategy for catching up with series, haha.
    Anya recently posted…Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {SF/F Reviews and Giveaways}

    • Alise

      Thanks xD
      Baha, I have books like that too. I find it kind of humorous when I read reviews and I see the book sitting on my shelf right across from me xD
      Right? ARCs can be serious downers sometimes. Haha, I’ve totally done that too!

    • Alise

      That’s awesome because that’s what I was hoping for since so many reviews are out for this already. Haha, thank you!

    • Alise

      Haha, thanks! No, sadly I did not. Found it black and white on a clipart site, just colored it with paint xD

      Yeah, definitely! It only goes up from there too so I’m pretty sure you will love it!

  4. lectus

    I don’t know… I!ve been dabating over this one. I looooved her other book, Vicious, but I’ve read this one is not so great; especially the second book in the series.

    • Alise

      I can only speak for this one and I absolutely loved it. Reading the second right now and it has a completely different feel so I’m not sure about it yet. The first can be thought of as a standalone if you don’t want to continue.

  5. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    Oh my goodness. BRB…got to put this on hold at the library…

    I think this is one of the most original and creative reviews I’ve ever read! I love it! This definitely sounds like something I’d love, with the mystery and beautiful writing, and the great romance and dash of grief.

    Anyways…Alise, you’re hilarious! (“Bake at Fahrenheit 451…“) ;)

    Thanks for sharing! Definitely going to have to get a copy of this ASAP – I love original stories!
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…Splintered

    • Alise


      That’s awesome to read, thank you so much! It really does have something everyone can enjoy, along with the a unique premise.

      Aha, thank you, thank you. I’ll be here…everyday actually xD

      I really hope you like this one whenever you get around to reading it :)

  6. Joy (Joyousreads)

    Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the creativity of Vicious by this author, so I don’t refute how wonderful the writing and merits of originality of this book. I haven’t read it yet (here I go again), but with your recommendation, I’ll be scouring several TBR piles at home for my copy. :)

    Tasty review, Alise! Ha.
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…Freak Boy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

    • Alise

      That’s still on my TBR but everyone seems to love it! I’m pretty excited to read it. Haha, that’s great!

      ;) Thanks!

    • Alise

      Thanks! I know what you mean, I always go to bookstore and buy books that I didn’t want and have to put back the ones I DID want, ha! Yay!

  7. Brooke

    I love this series so much. Sucked me right in from the first 9 chapters I read when Disney released it to Net Galley. I can’t wait to see how Schwab ends it all, but I’ll be sad because of it because I love this series so much! Schwab’s writing is awesome!
    Brooke recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday

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