Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

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Star rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: From Goodreads

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.

General information: This was published in October 2020 by Tor Books.

My thoughts:

I’m so glad that I didn’t DNF this book.

And it came really, really close.

This book was much-hyped when it came out, and I got it through BOTM, eager to dive in. Two months later, here I am! It only took an audiobook copy and 17 hours of listening to get me to finish it.

And wow, am I glad that I did!

First off, let me say, I completely agree with a lot of the criticism I’ve seen of this book- especially that, out of 300 years of travelling, Addie managed to stick to Europe and the US instead of going literally anywhere else on the planet, despite her supposed thirst for new experiences.

Honestly, Addie got on my nerves. Despite being the main character, I felt that she fell a little… flat. We’re told that she’s beautiful, and interesting, and yadda yadda, but I didn’t really see it shown. The only times I was really invested in her were during her interactions with Luc, and that was more because I loved Luc’s character.

I really almost DNF’ed this book until Henry came in. I felt like he was very well-developed and relatable (to me, at least). He kept me invested in the book as a whole- he was flawed, sure, but I could see him as a real person more than I could see Addie as a person.

I mean, we’re told that Addie has changed a lot in 300 years, but I didn’t really see that either. To me, she seemed like the same 23-year-old who made the deal with Luc throughout the book (except maybe at the very end, but no spoilers here).

Anyway, enough about my disappointment with Addie herself. The writing style was gorgeous, and the audiobook narration was very engaging. The style lent itself very well to being read aloud. If you’re on the fence about reading this, I recommend trying the audiobook. Throughout the book, there are a lot of interesting meditations on what it means to be a person, to be remembered, to be loved.

There were a couple of plot twists I didn’t see coming until they happened, which I loved. The ending also hit me like a brick. I had expected something else to happen and was completely blindsided, in a good way. It didn’t make me cry but I absolutely have a book hangover now. I keep thinking about the characters and their endings and just… ugh. So good!

I was prepared to rate this 4 stars, but the ending pushed me over the edge into 4.5 or 5 star territory.

I agree that it starts out slow, but I really loved this book once I got into it. If you’re considering DNF’ing it, I would recommend that you wait until Henry gets introduced into the plot, because that was really where the book turned the corner for me.

Overall, I recommend this book! It didn’t quite live up to the hype for me, but I loved it nonetheless.

What did you think about The Invisible Life of Addie Larue? Let me know in the comments!

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