Written by: Victoria Schwab
# of pages: 321
Average Rating: 4.05/5
My Rating: 3/5
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Read in July 2014
Summary according to 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 she 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.
I went into this book with high expectations because of all the hype surrounding it. However, I also went into this book not knowing what it was about and I think that led to a slightly negative view. I was expecting to be blown away by this novel, and unfortunately I was not.
It took a little while for me to get fully enveloped into the story, but I had been told to keep going with it. I am glad I did because although it started off very different, it started to make sense and get more interesting. This novel is unlike anything I have read, and that made it more difficult to get through the beginning because it was so weird (in a sense). This author did a good job of world building, and creating a picture of the Archive and the Narrows for the reader.
Throughout reading this novel I wasn't sure who I should be in favour of, or who I should be trusting, because new information would arise causing me to start overthinking everything. I have a younger brother so I was very empathetic to Mackenzie and her feelings about what happened throughout the story, but I felt that her parents idea of leaving everything behind didn't help the healing process for anyone.
The more I think about it, the more I want to give this book closer to a 3 or 3.5 stars. There were some parts I had issues with, and the biggest one being the course of the novel. It is not very clear what timeline in which the story unfolds, and that made it harder to get a grasp on what is happening. On the other hand, nearer to the end of the novel, there was a page in particular that I felt was almost a waste as it was repetitive and didn't really provide any enlightenment to the story.
Although this is a young-adult novel, there was not a strong focus on romance. What romance there was bothered me because it didn't really make sense and it was weird, and if you've read it then you probably now what I'm referring to. All in all it was generally put on the back burner and I could really appreciate that considering everything else that was going on.
The sequel to this has already come out, and although I do not yet own it, I plan on picking it up relatively soon. Overall I felt that this novel was longer than it needed to be, and some parts were not necessary. The longer I sat and thought about this book, the more issues I found I had. Therefore I had to lower my rating from four stars to three.