Release Date: 6th October 2020
Publisher: Titan Books
Add it: Goodreads
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.
I received The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I’ve also posted a review on Youtube, if you’d rather hear my thoughts in spoken form!
I don’t always get along with V. E. Schwab’s books. I find a lot of them to be so incredibly slow, and the only time I tend to love them is if she nails the interesting characters. Vicious and ADSOM were a lot of fun because I loved the villains, but her other books fell a little flat for me. Nevertheless, I was excited to pick up The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue because I’ve recently found that I really enjoy generational stories, and this sounded like one of those but with only one person.
I have to say, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue got off to such a slow start. I didn’t even know what the plot was until a third of the way through because Schwab took so long introducing the characters and their histories. Eventually, though, the book did pick up and I started to actually care about the characters that we were so slow to be introduced to.
My friend Judith pointed out that this book is very similar to the movie, The Age of Adeline, and I have to agree. Of course, it’s not identical, but the concept being similar and the characters having the same name is… interesting.
By the time I got to the end, I was actually quite attached to the book and I got quite emotional. If you’ve read the book, it was the bookshop that got to me. Despite the slow plot, I did come to care about Addie. Not so much Henry, though.
I also really enjoyed the rep in this book. Henry, the love interest, identifies as pansexual, and Addie is definitely not straight, although I can’t remember if she ever put a label on herself.
The villain, the darkness, was super interesting. I went back and forth between finding him intriguing (in a villainous way, of course) and disturbing. I found it very difficult to read about his relationship with Addie because it was manipulative and abusive.
I think the writing style was the biggest letdown for me with this one. I bumped the book down to a four star instead of a four and a half, maybe five. I found myself growing very frustrated when Schwab would use the same descriptions for things over and over again. “Trapped in amber” was mentioned a whole bunch of times, and I’m sure there were more. This one just stood out to me because, well, it’s my name. I really didn’t like the buttery writing of this one, and I would have preferred it if it had been more blunt, or at least a bit more varied.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is definitely not an all time favourite of mine, but it was certainly enjoyable and the author does a great job of making you care for the 300 year old main character. I will be remembering it for a while, because it definitely drew some emotion from me and made me cry!