The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Published October 6th 2020 by Tor Books
Age Range: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
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.
Thank you NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.
What a timeless novel. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. As it was so highly praised by reviewers that I trust, the expectation was already through the roof. I’m happy to announce that I wasn’t disappointed. Not a bit. The pacing may be slow, things might not move as quickly as I’m accustomed to, but I was fully invested in it. Read every word without feeling bored. V.E. Schwab’s writing is perfection. Every emotion is drawn out, every scene is written with care, and every character has their own troubles, perspectives and personality.
What she needs are stories.
Stories are a way to preserve one’s self. To be remembered. And to forget.
For Addie LaRue, there are two main timelines. Year 1714 onwards depicting life after she made a deal with the devil and 2014 when she’s still 23 years old, roaming New York City with nobody remembering she exists. I wonder what it was like being a witness to the changing of times within the 300 years. The two timelines were interwoven flawlessly. While the chapters do switch between past and present, it didn’t clash.
Everything Addie does vanishes within seconds. The inks she spilled, the injuries she endured, the love she gave. Nothing ever stayed because Addie LaRue doesn’t exist. Because of her inability to leave her mark in the world, Addie leaves ideas in others to take root and flourish into something more.
Addie portrayed the desire to be free, to have time to explore what the vast world has got to offer, and who she wanted to be without the bindings of then society. It talked about how words have an impact. The evolution of art and the changes in history Addie experienced while being a 300-year-old wandering ghost. Her constant refusal to surrender to the darkness and that fateful day a boy finally remembered her. Uttered her name, loved her.
As for the love interest, Henry was absolutely sweet, kind and soft. Unsurprisingly, Henry has got his own problems and insecurities. I’m not going to say anything of it because it’s yours to explore. Some of my favorite scenes, apart from hers and Henry’s, were the interaction between Addie and Luc. He’s the darkness that is waiting to collect. Their dynamic was interesting to read about. However, they have a toxic relationship due to the power imbalance and the possessive mindset Luc has in the book.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a gem for you to uncover. V.E. Schwab had spent 10 years crafting this masterpiece, and it broke me into million pieces. With desperation, I hope the film adaptation does the book justice. Honestly, I don’t even think my review is doing The Invisible of Addie LaRue justice. Addie’s story was a rollercoaster ride. I couldn’t help but feel like I was torn into pieces. My emotions went haywire. Everyone should read it. I fell in love.