Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Author: V.E. Schwab
Published by: Tor Books, October 6th, 2020
Genre: Magical Realism / NA
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.
This is a story about a girl who prayed to the gods who answer after dark.
I was uncertain going into this book, as I had heard terms like "non-linear timeline" and "literary fiction" thrown about when discussing it- and while those terms are fine descriptors that would likely not phase some readers, they are often deterrents for me. I am so glad I ignored the doubts!
Addie is like many fantasy heroines in some ways- she is lovely, brave, and brash; however, while her life is certainly an adventure, it is the quiet, introspective kind. Her life is a lovely episode of a tv show on repeat, and it is a particularly lonely brand of deja vu. Her only real companion throughout the years is the occasionally visiting handsome, but the vexing devil who holds her soul in contract. She's a song that people know they loved but cannot remember the lyrics to, a ghost ship drifting through New York.
V.E. Schwab is so brilliant that somehow Addie's life does not just feel deeply depressing, or appallingly repetitive... it just feels, hauntingly lovely. I was thrilled when Addie found someone who remembered her but also charmed by the dark god who presents Faustian bargains to desperate humans. This is the kind of book I'm certain will stay with me for years, and despite having no reason to think one is forthcoming, I would love to read a sequel.
Have you had the chance to read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue?
Let me know in the comments!