A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Archived explores what possibly happens to our bodies and our souls when we die. Readers will learn how various characters, including protagonist Mackenzie, deal with death and grief. Before to the novel's opening, Mackenzie lost two important people in her life: her younger brother and her beloved grandfather, whom she affectionately refers to as "Da" in flashbacks. She holds both of their memories close. Her brother and her grandfather are a guiding force for her throughout the course of the novel. Mackenzie also learns the value of trust, honesty, and friendship.
Grief and how we deal with it is an important theme in The Archived. Mackenze learns that we all grieve in our own way, as she sees how her mother copes with Ben's loss. Although, she pushes her parents away as she struggles with her own grief.
Positive Role Models
Mackenzie Bishop is a strong heroine who loves her family, especially her late brother, Ben. She misses him terribly and will do anything to have him back in her life. She's independent and fiercely protective of her job as Keeper, and often relies on her grandfather's words of wisdom to keep going and push through even though she feels as if the world is crumbling around her. Mackenzie's grandfather, whom she calls "Da," passed his job as Keeper on to her and she wants to make him proud. Her love interest, Wesley, is kind, caring, and confident. He makes Mackenzie feel important and loved. Another positive role model is Roland, who works as a librarian in the Archive. He stands up for Mackenzie and also protects her.
Violence & Scariness
There's heavy fighting in hand-to-hand combat and two people are stabbed. No one is killed, and it's not scary or upsetting.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's flirting and some mild but somewhat sexy kissing scenes.
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Products & Purchases
Roland wears Converse sneakers, which are referred to as "Chucks."
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Da smokes in the novel, which bothers Mackenzie, who questions why he smokes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Archived is a thrilling and highly imaginative novel that breaks away from the current trends of vampires, angels, witches, and zombies in young adult fantasy and paranormal books. The first in a two-part series featuring a likeable and heroic protagonist, it has mild violence, no swear words, brief kissing scenes, a swoon-worthy romance, and a fantastic mystery.
Is It Any Good?
THE ARCHIVED is fresh and original, a cut above the typical paranormal stories found on YA bookshelves. Filled with lyrical and haunting prose, likable characters, and dastardly villains, Victoria Schwab's novel will leave readers turning the pages late into the night and eagerly awaiting the second book in the series.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.