The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
“Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives–or to find strength in a very long one.”
The breathtaking story of Addie LaRue is one to remember
How to start this review? This is the first book I read by the author and I have to say that Schwab’s writing style is phenomenal. Every sentence strikes like a bolt of lightning. Her ability to create realistic and beautiful characters is incomprehensible. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue keeps a slow pace throughout the story, and yet I hung on Schwab’s every word. I wanted more with every chapter. I am not exaggerating when I say that this book is probably my new all-time favourite.
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.
The book I received is limited edition. In this edition you will find a handwritten letter from the author (handwritten, but printed in the book including the signature), a special cover and illustrated endpapers. This edition is very beautiful.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a book that is very much based on her characters. If you are looking for a book full of action and excitement, this is not the right book. Even though the book is very character-driven, you will not get bored. With each chapter you yearn for more and more you get. The idea of creating a story where a girl lives forever but leaves nothing behind is fantastic. The message in this story is beautiful. I myself am someone who has many fears and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue has shown me and taught me that I should enjoy life. And I will.
I have to say that I only half knew what the book was about when I started it. I like to be surprised by a book, so I chose not to read the summary. Now, whether you read the synopsis or not, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue will make you feel things and surprise you. This book was an emotional rollercoaster, in the best possible way.
“What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind?”
I am not exaggerating when I say that this book is probably my new all-time favorite. The characters Schwab brings to life in Addie LaRue are all unique, but at the same time have a lot in common. This book is not perfect, by no means. There are elements, details, that could be better. At times the story went really slow and I wanted it to go a little faster. But the combination of the story, the characters, the message, that is what makes this book so good. This is a book that will stay with you.
The world structure is also well put together. Schwab is a master storyteller and therefore succeeds in showing the reader the world. I have not read the book in English, but I already know that this is a very good translation. Merel Leene does a great job and not only translates the essence, but also conveys the emotions behind it excellently.
I am very sad that The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a standalone, yet I wouldn’t want anything else. The ending is perfect, and I wouldn’t change it, even if it broke me.
Would I recommend it?
Yes, absolutely, what a beautiful book. Both the story and the physical book are both breathtaking.
Death, depression, drugs, prostitution, sexism, rape, alcohol abuse, attempt at suicide, war
Bisexual main characters, lesbian side character, gay side character
Fantasy, historical fiction, romance
October 6th, 2020
About the author
Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is the #1 NYT, USA, and Indie bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including Vicious, the Shades of Magic series, and This Savage Song. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured by EW and The New York Times, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been optioned for TV and Film. The Independent calls her the “natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones” and touts her “enviable, almost Gaimanesque ability to switch between styles, genres, and tones.”