Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
By V.E. Schwab
442 pages, published October 6, 2020
Source: Book of the Month (purchased for myself)
About the Book:
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.
Wow! I absolutely LOVED this beautiful book! It wasn't on my radar at all until I saw that it was a BOTM selection. Fantasy isn't my typical genre but the historical fiction and French elements were what motivated me to select it...and I am SO glad I did. This was absolutely a book I could not put down, and read the bulk of it in a single weekend. The author's writing was exquisite. I can't imagine being in Addie's shoes--no one remembering you? Think of how lonely and isolating that would be.
I loved that the novel spanned centuries--think of all the history that Addie saw over those three centuries! I loved how the chapters alternated from the point in time where she makes the deal to the present (well, 2014) and how a bit more of the story was unraveled during the chapters set in the past. I found myself thinking about what was going on in history during that time, and loved how historical figures were woven in (in a small way) to parts of the story.
While there is a lot of mixed reviews on the ending and the book in general, I rated it five stars and it will no doubt make my Top Ten list for 2020 reads. I kept trying to guess the ending, knowing it would be something big (she did make a deal with the devil, after all) and while many did not like the ending, I loved it and felt it was the best way the story could've ended.
"'Nothing is all good or all bad,' she says. 'Life is so much messier than that.'"
"It was messy. It was hard. It was wonderful and strange, and frightening, and fragile--so fragile it hurt--and it was worth every single moment."
This is my first introduction to author V.E. Schwab. Have you read other books by her? What do you recommend?