Welcome to all those who decided to do a read-along with Batty. Welcome to those who are just stopping by the blog to hear about The Archived. Today’s post is as spoiler free as possible. We are discussing the second chunk of the book. If you haven’t read that section yet, feel free to either read and join in the chat or wait until you’re done and come back.
Want to join in the fun? Check out our…
Post on Nerdy Book Club explaining how we’re opening up our Batty Duo to everyone this time around!
Cover Appeal Post
Discussion of Part One
For those of you who are new to our Batty Chats - Maria’s thoughts with Kathy’s responses are hosted here on the Melange. Kathy’s thoughts with Maria’s responses reside on The Brain Lair (will go live later today). Take a peek at both of sides and add your own voice into the mix!
Section Two -
As much as I love the way Schwab writes (and I’ve been really enjoying pulling quotes to put up on the Facebook Page), what I’m really digging right now are her characters. They are fascinating, mysterious, and yet so real.
Lyndsey - I’m curious about this friendship. I feel like I’ve gotten to know Lyndsey fairly well, even though we’ve really only eavesdropped on telephone conversations and short memories. Lyndsey seems to be Mac’s way of reaching out and grasping at “normal”. I wonder how long a friendship that has such huge secrets can last - or is it actually normal to have a supportive relationship even when there are hidden sides to one person the other never sees.
Kathy: I don’t think we can ever really know a person. Or maybe that’s just me talking. I’m not a huge sharer. I still feel like I have close friends though. They share with me and I do as much as can comfortably, but anything else feels so forced. They are my Lyndsey. Sometimes they just talk and they wait for me to bring something up - like when Mackenzie brings up missing Ben. She seems to be the only person Mac trusted back in her old life. I wonder if she knows when Mackenzie is lying and has decided that it’s ok? Maybe we will learn more about their relationship in The Unbound.
Roland - This may be my favorite character in the book, even including Mac. I mentioned before that I was a huge Buffy fan, and Roland gives off huge Giles vibes. That “stuffy librarian with a rebel on the inside”.... so appealing. I’m old enough now that I often find the mentor relationship more interesting than budding romances in young adult novels. The only thing that scares me more than a little is the fear that it may be ROLAND who is behind the mysterious memory alterations. I hope not… though I don’t think it would really make him less “cool” in my mind. Kathy mentioned in her last post that she’s put red Chucks on her shopping list. Guess who else craves a pair now?
Kathy: He’s also my favorite. He has this perfect mix of sternness and support. He’s her connection to both Ben and Da. And he’s helping her uncover the mystery of the Coronado. Maybe. If he’s behind it, why is helping her? Though he isn’t really helping her anymore since he told her to stay of out of the crosshairs. She mentions that he is the only Librarian that is a constant. How is he there but not know Owen is in the Narrows. Do they get notice of Histories in the Narrows when they are pretty close to slipping which would render Owen unnoticeable? On a side note - I’ll be acquiring those Chucks any day now and will post them next week! Just call me Roland-a! Also, I just added Buffy the Vampire Slayer to my Netflix queue.
Wesley - I mentioned I’m not a massive romance seeker, right? Well, Wesley may manage to convert me. This is the kind of flirtation I liked to read about as a teen, and I still like it. There’s no fawning, no angsty whining… just some witty repartee and a common bond of the Archive.
Kathy: Let me say, I’m a fan of romance. Fantasy romance novels are my favorite really. I absolutely love this type of relationship. When two characters are getting to know each other and you can see the attraction but they are not jumping into anything. I wish more young adult novels focused on this. I wonder if the insta-love type books make teenagers who aren’t in relationship feel inadequate? Do they build up expectations that you will meet and fall in love with someone right away?
Owen - Who is Owen? (We find out more about him during this part, but I won’t post any specific spoilers.) Why is he so different from all the other Histories that have escaped the Archive? I love that he is intriguing to Mac, but that there isn’t any sort of triangle occurring. I really want to see Owen and Wesley interact. Wesley seems like he’s enough of a rebellious soul that he’d be curious about Owen as well.
Kathy: You don’t see a triangle coming? She craves his touch. His silence. “...and my face flushes as his lips graze my skin.” (203) Something is happening and my thoughts are “ew”. I mentioned that we know who he is, we just don’t know why he is...Or is that the same thing? I guess I saw her craving the silence he brings, but didn’t see it as being quite as romantic a pairing as with Wesley...maybe that’s just my bias coming into play?
Mac’s parents: In the first section, I wasn’t thrilled with the portrayal of the father. Kathy brought up some good points in her discussion, about some of the little clues that make us think perhaps he has some idea what Mac is up to… and that helped bring me around. I also like the way that we see a stark contrast between the way the two of them are handling their grief. Even though both of them are dealing with it in different ways, they are clearly there for Mac. Her teenage perspective makes her frustrated with her parents, but the family love is there. I especially like the fact that her father is trying to help Mac connect with others her own age as he encourages her friendship with Wesley.
Kathy: Wow. This is why I love Batty. We both talk about the parents and how Mac is interacting with each of them. We both talk about her age in light of what she wants from them. And we both talk focus more on her relationship with dad. But our perspectives are different. I say the interactions show how far apart she’s grown from her mom. I also mention that her dad must have been very supportive in the past. I don’t mention how much they all love each other, just that she wants to know they care.
Memories and the Mind
The other thing that truly fascinates me in this section is the idea of memories. My honest-to-goodness biggest fear about growing older is memory loss. I think I can handle other health issues, but losing memories terrifies me. Who we are is almost entirely based on what has happened to us… so what happens when that is gone? And how can we learn from the past if events have been erased?
Kathy: Can memories be erased? Or do we need a new way to access them? Three years ago I bought Moonwalking with Einstein by Josh Foer. “...this is an electrifying work of journalism that reminds us that, in every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories.” Maybe I need to actually read it...I know he talks to man who can’t remember his life from day to day. Does that change who you are? People know and remember you and the things you’ve done. But you have no recollection of these events. Are you the same person?
The mystery behind the missing memories has me completely hooked. Why has Owen been altered? Why are some of the Histories in the Archive altered? Is this alteration the reason for the increase in escaping Histories? Who is behind the changes? What is their motive? What will happen with Ben?? I can’t believe we only have a third of the book left to discover the answer to these questions!
Kathy: Gah, how will it all come together?