Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author: V. E. Schwab
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Age Range: Adult
Genre(s): Fantasy, Historical Fantasy
Source: Purchased, Audiobook from Library
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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.
TW/CW: drug use/abuse, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, attempted assault, mental health (depression) discussion and depiction, death of a loved one
Addie LaRue was probably one of the most hyped books of the year and I spent most of the year unsure if I wanted to pick it up or not. After some of the early reviews, I suddenly found myself caught up in the hype and by the grace of the book gods my library hold came in shortly after the October 6th release.
Never pray to the gods that answer after dark.
• Addie – In July of 1714, Addie made a deal out of desperation. Now she is able to live forever, unaging, but in exchange, no one will be able to remember her.
• Henry – In March of 2014, Henry meets a mysterious girl in the bookshop he works at. He soon discovers that he is the only person that appears to remember her and wants to figure out why.
• Luc – In July 1714, Luc answers a prayer from Addie. He has answered many prayers for those who have prayed after dark. He is willing to help those desperate and in need…for a price.
I have found a way to leave a mark.
This book was a master class in beautifully woven narratives. We follow two main timelines, the modern-day setting with Addie and Henry, and the past setting when Addie made her deal and some of her life over the centuries.
I loved how Schwab managed to link these timelines together. She managed to give enough information in the modern day to have me interested in the past event that got us to that point and interesting enough events in the past to get me intrigued to revisit these events.
Overall, this is a very character-driven story. Over the course of the narrative, I really come to love and care for both Addie and Henry. Addie’s chapters show us both the highs and lows of her life.
From early reviews, I knew that this book was going to be a bit of a tear-jerker. I was unprepared for the content that led to the sadder moments and was not prepared for how much this book made me cry.
I thought this book handled the more difficult topics that were underlying themes so so well. Mental health is at the core of this story. Addie has to deal with loss and grief from outliving her family and friends, and the loneliness of having no one remember her. Henry struggles with mental health issues as well. While I don’t remember an official diagnosis on the page, a lot of his symptoms mirror that of depression and I resonated so much with some of the descriptions that we got.
This book had so many scenes that just hit so close. While only one actually led to tears, I found myself running out of tabs trying to capture those pages. I can definitely see myself revisiting certain chapters or scenes in the future.
Life is the minutes you want minus one.
Addie LaRue is the 5th V. E. Schwab book I’ve picked and has solidified Schwab as a new favorite author. This book was so beautifully written and had so many moments that just hit incredibly close to home. I found myself connecting to these characters so much and was so invested in this story. I was trying to piece together where the story was going early on and loved the journey we ended up going on.
If you like V. E. Schwab’s writing or if the premise interests you, this is one I highly recommend. I’m pretty sure this has cracked the top 10 for my favorites of the year.