The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Publication Date: October 6th, 2020
Publisher: Tor Books
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
First off, I just want to say that this book destroyed me in the best way. I went into it hesitantly optimistic since I heard people saying that if you are a fan of Schwab’s other works, this one might not be for you but can I just say that is NOT true. I really appreciated this book and it’s story and all of the underlying themes that it brings forward.
One thing I do think I should mention is that this book was originally advertised as “a young woman sells her soul to the devil and slowly falls in love with him but also there’s a love triangle” kind of a tale but that is not this book. I’m not sure why it was marketed that way but this is definitely not as advertised and I am happy for it.
As I gave this book 5-stars, there isn’t much that I can say that isn’t purely gushing about the story. The words were beautiful, Addie as a character gets more conflicted and interesting as the years go on, the relationship of Addie and Henry is so pure, there’s a twist that began my tears in earnest.
A twist I should have saw coming had I given it much thought. But still.
I enjoyed the little fictional archival pieces that are scattered throughout the story that give nods to things that Addie’s life had touched which gave a bit of a mix-media feel. The choices in flash-backs and current-day moments worked together beautifully. The choice of making it dual perspective was unexpected but a wonderful addition. There were a few passages that made me feel like Schwab wrote thoughts right from my own mind… ugh there was so much about this book to love.
I will say probably my only qualms were how repetitive things got at times. We get it, the darkness’s eye colour changes based on mood. We get it, Addie ‘isn’t like other girls’ and has very specific freckles. These are nit-picky things but they did take me out of the book.
Regardless though, almost every interaction with the darkness gave me chills, Addie’s character gains more depth as the story progresses in terms of her thoughts, opinions, relationships, vices… this was one of my favourite things to see. ALSO Henry needs to be protected at all costs. I don’t think I’m alone in this haha. He is definitely my favourite character from the book.
This is an instant favourite.