The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
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.
Thoughts go here.
She never gets closure, never gets to say goodbye – no periods, or exclamations, just a lifetime of ellipses.
I was skeptical of reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue as this was a super hyped-up book for me and I read some mixed reviews on it. This is also the first book I’ve read by V.E. Schwab, and it won’t be the last. The writing was impeccable and I think that’s when I knew I would love this book.
But ideas are so much wilder than memories, so much faster to take root.
The first time I read the synopsis of Addie, I knew this was a book I HAD to read. Then it was released and everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) on Bookstagram was raving about it. So I decided it would sit on my bookshelf until the hype died down. Then December of 2021 came and I was in a rough place. I pulled Addie off my TBR shelf and began to read. I finished Addie a few days into 2022 and it wrecked me in the best possible way. This wasn’t a 5 star/cup of tea read for me as I found some faults with it, but it just wrecked me emotionally. That ending did me in, I found myself sobbing for the last 100 or so pages. And now I’m still trying to chase that high Addie left me on. No book can compare to how Addie made me feel.
“Because happiness is brief, and history is lasting, and in the end,” he says, “everyone wants to be remembered.”
Since Addie has been around for 300+ years, she was bound to be a part of and witness some key historical moments, but those seemed to have been missed in this story. I wanted more of what Addie thought of important key dates and to see her actually being part of history. We have one line in the book that alludes to her being a spy in World War Two, but that’s it. I also liked how art was used in this novel, that Addie could even be considered a ‘muse’ for some of the artists. I wanted more of how she could subtly affect art and history, and less of her “seven freckles” mentioned almost every chapter. There are only so many times you can read the words “seven freckles” in a book before it gets obnoxious. I get it, she has seven freckles that have appeared across time in art. Cool.
She has seen buildings fall and rise, cities burn and be remade, the past and present blurred together into a fluid, ephemeral thing.
I wish that Addie’s personality was more dynamic, I found that I couldn’t really connect with her as a character. I was more interested in Luc – I thought he was more interesting and had more personality than Addie. Henry was just annoying at times, for someone who had a short time to live I think he could have spent his time better. Henry could have done more, but then again it did raise the question of what would you do with the time given to you. And now I’m almost quoting Gandalf. So… “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
I was emotionally wrecked for the last 100 pages of the book as I was so invested in Addie, Luc, and Henry. The ending left me feeling satisfied, but there’s also an opening for a possible sequel which I wouldn’t mind. I did enjoy this book immensely, it was beautifully written, and I had to take some breaks because I got invested real quick.
And this, he decides, is what a good-bye should be. Not a period, but an ellipsis, a statement trailing off, until someone is there to pick it up. It is a door left open. It is drifting off to sleep.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a beautiful story that is wonderfully written. It made me want to not waste a single day and do the things that make me happy. I think that whoever reads this novel will take something away from it. It’s 100% worth a re-read in the future. You can not like it, you can love it, you can feel indifferent about this novel, but somehow it will impact your life. I’m not saying go read this book right now but give it a chance despite all the mixed reviews. This book will hold a special place in my heart, I’ll forget how Henry was annoying, how I wanted more character development from Addie, but I will always remember the feeling this book left me with, and to me, that’s all that matters when I read a book – how I feel after. So make a cup of tea (I recommend Awaken the Muse from Thésaurus Tea), grab a blanket and enjoy Addie’s story.
Some quotes about stories and books :
Stories are a way to preserve one’s self. To be remembered. And to forget.
Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives – or to find strength in a very long one.
What a luxury, to tell one’s story. To be read, remembered.
Awaken the Muse from Thésaurus Tea pairs perfectly with this book. It features black tea, Jasmine, cinnamon, red lychee, rose and blue Malva petals, lemongrass, vanilla flavour. It was crafted for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) so you know it will inspire you to either write or in this case read about Addie and how she was a muse for artists around her.
Let me know if you’ve read this book in the comments below!
Cups of Tea:
Tea Pairing: Awaken the Muse from Thésaurus Tea
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: October 6, 2020