The Archived

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Archived
by Victoria Schwab


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.

My Review

Right from the moment I started reading the summary, I was intrigued by the idea that this book presented: a world where the dead were stored like books, their memories to be read like words. I loved its originality, and the fact that the author could have thought up such a concept is really cool.

The beginning of the book was a bit slow, but it got more interesting as the story progressed. It was the kind of novel that kept me asking questions and always had me on the edge of my seat, and I like that. It never grew short of plot twists. I liked how Mackenzie was portrayed as a strong heroine but also showed a softer, more emotional side when it came to her brother. I appreciated the flashbacks that gave us glimpses of her relationship with Da, as well, and it was sweet how much she looked up to him and he believed in her. Wes was also a great character for me, because he had a more easygoing attitude that helped Mac find some peace amidst her grief. Lyndsey was also good, and even though she only played a small role, I think that her being Mac's best friend gave Mac some sense of the normalcy that she sometimes dreamt of. And now, Roland. I think I can safely say that he was my favorite character. I loved how he was so protective of Mac and acted as her father figure despite their having no blood relation at all, and I loved how he always wore red Converse (!). Finally, I liked how it ended with the Bishops somewhat being able to accept their loss of Ben and start moving on with their lives.

Overall, I found it a brilliantly imagined book with a wonderful set of characters. It's a pretty great read, and I fully recommend giving it a shot. :)

Quotes I Like

"Lying is easy. But it's lonely."
"What do you mean?"
"When you lie to everyone about everything, what's left? What's true?"
"Nothing," I say.

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

"Things only hurt more when you can see them."

The Hunger Games Trilogy

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Hunger Games Trilogy
by Suzanne Collins


Hunger Games

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender.

If she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Catching Fire

Katniss is the spark to a revolution, and the Capitol wants revenge. She won the Hunger Games and returns alive with District 12 Tribute partner Peeta. But he and longtime friend Gale both reject her. On their Victory Tour of all the districts, locals riot but the winning duo must appear lost in their love.


Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Kat, her family, friends, and entire District 12.

My Review

I have this unwritten rule of always reading a book before watching the movie. I read The Hunger Games one week before the movie was shown in the cinemas. I was thinking that I'd be able to finish the book just in time to see the film, but I was wrong. I was so engrossed in everything that I couldn't put the book down! Before I knew it, I had finished the book, and in just one sitting!

I really don't know whether I love Catching Fire or hate it. I guess it's a little of both. This book is intense, fast-paced, and addictive, with everything heightened - the fear, the pain, the feelings. It certainly had one of the best/worst cliffhangers for me (depending on how you think about it). When it was at the peak of the story, it just stopped. Suddenly, you become someone who’s hanging on, who keeps wanting more. And for me, that's the worst feeling you can get when reading a good book.

By the time I read Mockingjay, I had come to really love Katniss. Because of all the series of tragedies that she went through, she has become a stronger person. She also became a different person in this last book, becoming more open when it came to her feelings. In the first two books, I kind of felt like she never really talked about how she felt. Apart from that, though, I didn't really like the other parts, especially the deaths of Finnick and Prim. It is realistic that a lot of people had to die because indeed, there was a war. They are rebels. The loss of many lives was inevitable. But is there really a need to kill the two of them? Especially Prim.

I wasn't really disappointed with the ending of this trilogy; rather, I was shell-shocked. I felt empty - like, emotionally drained. After being with Katniss throughout her whole journey, it just made me realize how bittersweet life can really be. We could be experiencing happiness now, but in the next moment, our world could come crashing down on us. Here come all the heartbreaks, the pain, the fear, and the hardest of all - the sense of loss. But despite all those difficulties that we encounter, we become stronger. We learn to pick ourselves up from where we left off, and start all over again because life goes on, no matter what happens.

Quotes I Like

“I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now and live in it forever.”

“At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead. The hard thing is finding the courage to do it.”

“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”

“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
by Jennifer Smith


Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row. A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

My Review

When I first heard of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I was quite curious about it, but not enough to want to try reading it. I mean, it's the first time I've seen such a unique title, and the cover is cute, too! But from the title, I thought that it'd be just another cliche story - love at first sight. But as time went by, my friends finished reading it, and all of them were like, "It's so cute! You should read this!" I kept on telling everyone I will, but it never happened, until this summer.

Being free from all the school work, I finally had the time to read books again! Yay! :) And since everyone's been recommending this book to me, I thought, why not try it? After all, I've got nothing to lose. Once I've tried reading it? I couldn't put the book down! The book was totally not I expected it to be.

Even though it's something easy to read, something relaxing, the story is just simply like a roller coaster - full of ups and downs. It made me happy; it made me sad. Despite its title, it's not something where two people just fall in love instantly - it's where their love slowly, sweetly blooms. Not only is the story about love, it's also about family, which I really liked. I also liked the way that there are still some things that fit perfectly, even though all the other things seem totally wrong.

This one is simple, easy to read, that will absolutely make you smile. :) My friends were right, this story is cute! I totally don't regret trying this one out. :)

Quotes I Like

"It's not the changes that will break your heart; it's that tug of familiarity."

“Is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?”

“Look what a hard time I've given him. But no matter how many times I've pushed him away, he always comes back around again. And I wouldn't want it any other way.”