***I’ll be honest here. I have been putting off writing my review of The Archived for weeks. And it’s because I absolutely adored this book. So please forgive me if this review is more like a rambling list of things I loved about The Archived than a ‘serious’ review. These days it seems almost every second book is labelled as being completely different to other YA books. Let’s face it: most of the time that claim is crap. However, I truly felt The Archived was something fresh, exciting, and completely unique. In a very crowded YA marketplace this is no mean feat. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see authors like Schwab writing amazing, imaginative books rather than just jumping on the latest genre bandwagon. I think one of the reasons I loved this book so much was the writing. Schwab is, quite simply, a fabulous writer. Her prose is lush and atmospheric without being overbearing and distracting from the story. Every time I read this I was completely sucked into it; the writing was both beautiful and utterly compelling. I also really liked the way the plot was structured. Although it seemed a little slow to start, I found that I actually enjoyed having more time in the beginning to learn more about Mackenzie because I felt like I was more connected during the action-packed final chapters. In terms of the mystery, it was absolutely superb. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book every time I put it down and I loved the way it was slowly pieced together throughout the novel. One of my favourite things about this was the ending. Firstly, it’s absolutely thrilling. Secondly, it’s doesn’t end on a cliffhanger! Yes. A series which doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. It makes me want to dance with joy. Although, I am still desperate for more. The characters in this were all fabulous. I say this a lot, but I really do love a fully fleshed out family in YA. I enjoyed the family relationship aspects of this, as Mackenzie and her family struggle to come to terms with the death of her brother Ben. This was a really interesting component, but wasn’t overpowering. I really liked Mackenzie and, although she made some silly mistakes, she was dedicated to her family and her job and it was interesting to see the way she struggled to find a balance between the two. This is why I also really love the flashbacks to her conversations with Da, which added more depth to the story. On a side note, I loved that the flashbacks were in bold, it made it so much easier to distinguish between the past and present. And of course I loved Wesley! He brought a bit of humour to the story and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in the next book. The Archived was a wonderful book to read. Schwab’s writing is absolutely gorgeous and atmospheric, as was the world she created. There was just enough humour amongst the eerie and the mystery was absolutely thrilling. I definitely recommend this to all YA fans and am very excited to read more of Schwab’s work.