Thank you so much to Tor Books for the review copy of The Invisible Life of Addie Larue!
Honestly, I still can’t believe I got my hands on an early copy of The Invisible Life of Addie Larue – it was hands down my most anticipated read of the fall. The concept is phenomenal and unique: a woman who can “live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets”. If that’s not enough to get you interested in reading Addie Larue’s story, I don’t know what is. Even better, Addie Larue delivers in a serious way – and is easily one of my new favorite books.
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.
V.E. Schwab has one of the most unique and beautiful writing styles of this generation. Her prose is complex and lovely, and fit perfectly for telling a story about a timeless woman. For The Invisible Life of Addie Larue – she tells the story in multiple time periods: in the past and the present. The use of flashbacks was perfect, it helped to reveal the things Addie had gone through while she discovered her curse and explored the world. The flashbacks really helped paint a complete picture of who Addie was. The author’s ability to build a world is unparalleled – within pages I could practically smell the books in the store Henry worked in and could picture the village Addie grew up in.
The plot itself was fairly slow-paced – it really languished in the quiet moments, the moments where Addie was learning who she was or figuring out the confines of her curse. Though there was plenty of heartbreak and hurt in this book (you can really feel Addie’s pain every time she repeats an encounter with someone who has forgotten her), there was also a lot of hope. From the first time Addie visited Paris, to the moment when she realized Henry remembered her, there were plenty of small hope-filled moments to combat the dark themes of loneliness and isolation. Also, watch out for the ending – you’ll definitely want some tissues and some comfort food on hand for when you finish.
Addie was a naturally complex character – she was cursed to be forgotten by everyone she met and was gifted with immortality – a cruel combination. She was a deeply curious person – always thirsting for new experiences, even after living through some horrifying situations. She was also remarkably clever – she quickly began to figure out how she could leave her mark on the world while still being trapped in the confines of her curse. One really remarkable thing about this book is how well Schwab captured Addie’s loneliness – she craved relationships and to be remembered, but she never let this desire overwhelm or dilute her appetite for adventure. As a reader, it was fascinating to watch her grow from being a naïve girl who made a deal with a devil to a lonely, clever woman, looking to experience new things and defy the curse placed on her.
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue gave me a serious book hangover – even days after reading it, I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s romantic, mysterious, and heartbreaking, and it’s by far my favorite book of the year. This book might even be my favorite book ever – it’s that good. I cannot shout from the rooftops about Addie Larue enough: do yourself a favor and run (don’t walk) to the bookstore and get a copy. I think The Invisible Life of Addie Larue is going to be a new favorite for a whole lot of people – don’t miss the excitement on this one. 5/5
PS: Hollywood, please make a movie out of this.