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

The Official Description:  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.

Just the facts: Fantasy, historical/contemporary, magic, curses, deal with the devil

Addie is invisible in the sense that she is never remembered by anyone. She made a deal, a very unfortunate deal and didn’t realize the implications until it was too late. But after centuries…a boy remembers her name.- Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit: I have read a couple of V.E. Schwab’s books and was thrilled to see the plot of this one when I found it. Thanks to Netgalley, I was able to acquire an ARC.

Addie LaRue is a frustrated young woman when The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue begins. She is a young woman in the early 1700s and is struggling with the confines bestowed upon her gender. She wants to go to the market with her father, study the old gods with Estelle, and live her life without worrying about marrying and being the right sort of girl.

Addie approached Estele and requests that she teach her about the old gods. How can she pray to them? Can she will things to happen? There are rules that Addie must agree to: humble yourself before the gods, gift them with something precious to you, be careful what you ask for and under no circumstances pray to the Gods that answer after dark.

In a moment of fear, Addie does exactly what she shouldn’t and prays for an escape. She wants to be free. The being that grants her “wish” is powerful and twists her wish into an exquisite game of cat and mouse with her soul as the prize.

Noone remembers Addie. When they take their eyes from her, she is wiped from their memories. She can’t be killed, she can’t starve, and she can’t make any lasting changes. Addie moved through centuries unable to even tell people her name. She is free because she doesn’t exist to anyone.

Addie lives her life by surviving and she learns to live with the loss of so many people. There are loves along her way, but one thing that she can’t live without is art and beauty. If she can see beautiful things, hear music, hold a small carving in her hand then she can find a way to move forward.

Then one day Addie meets a young man named Henry in a bookstore. He remembers her. It is the beginning of a relationship between two lost souls. Both of them are mourning the loss of things, people, and lives they lived. Both of them are on a path that seems almost out of their control.

The characterization is wonderful in this story. Addie’s world is filled out as her story is revealed through visits to the past and the present. Her relationships throughout her life expose the parts of her personality that have kept her going over the centuries.

This story is emotional and the writing is beautiful. It’s almost poetic at times, then at other times reflects the stark pain and loss that Addie has faced and will continue to face. Perhaps it’s about freedom and what that truly means, or what things are important to us when it comes right down to it.

If you’re a fan of Schwab’s other books then I’m certain you will enjoy this one. If you’re just discovering this author you are definitely in for a ride. This book appears to be listed as a young adult novel, but I would say that anyone who enjoys this type of fiction will enjoy this kind of story. Great book!

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab from Tor Books via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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