The “SF” stands for spoiler free, of course. It’s been about two months since I last posted a review, which is… kind of atrocious for someone who claims to be a book reviewer lol. But the truth is that I haven’t read any books that I truly wanted to review in a while.
I bought The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue kind of impulsively when I saw my local bookstore had a beautiful hardcover edition with blue sprayed edges. The book currently holds a place of honor by residing on top of my shelves, instead of in them. I’m also not sure how this review will go, because I honestly have no coherent thoughts on this book, but… I guess we’ll see.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
By V.E. SchwabPublished October 6 by TOR/Titan Books
fiction | romance | fantasy
My rating: ★★★★★
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.
In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s #1 New York Times Bestselling Author genre-defying tour de force.
A personal note
I must first confess that I had started this book back in October. I got pretty far, but stopped around page 230. Not because I didn’t like it, but because it was hitting a little too close to home. As someone who is rather “elsewhere” than here, the idea of running out of time is scary. Committing to a single existence is even worse. Despite being someone who is quite impulsive, I can never seem to make decisions that will affect my future. Because what if I end up stuck with one life? Just that one thing that is an accumulation of all the choices I’ve ever made? I usually make like… five different life plans in case the first one falls through. Makes me resilient, though, so plus points!
Basically I am always thinking about “what’s next?” “what else can I do?” So, I stopped reading because like Addie, I did not want to commit to a simple existence, and it felt like I was doing just that back in October. Especially because I did not want to be here. I still kinda don’t want to be here, but I have made peace with that fact now, when I hadn’t yet in October.
Essentially, Addie made me feel seen, but the feelings that were associated with that were quite confrontational. And then I could relate to Henry very well, too. Always feeling just a little bit behind the curve, like you’re never quite good enough. Even though objectively I know that is not entirely true. In short, this book made me face feelings I didn’t even quite know I had, until they were written out in front of me. But enough about that, let’s actually go on to what I liked and stuff.
What I Liked
I love how every time I read one of Schwab’s books, it’s like I’m reading a book by a different author. No two are alike, really. And I guess that’s what happens when an author writes for a very broad audience. I struggled a bit when trying to figure out how to rate this book. It is not my favorite of Schwab’s books. But to it also doesn’t feel like a four-star read to me. What I’m saying is, I rated this book based on feelings rather than any technical aspects.
I enjoyed the cadence of the book; it’s not fast-paced, but it also didn’t bore me. As for world building, it takes place in our world but over the span of 300 years. I always think that Schwab describes scenes really well, and I enjoyed reading Addie’s chapters that were set in the past. Especially because I’m low key a history and art nerd, and I love it when attention is given to historical fact. Plus, I feel like I learned something about the pieces of art that are described a couple of times throughout the book.
Another thing I liked throughout the book is that in my opinion, it is very unpredictable. I seriously had no clue what was going to happen next, and even the ending took me by surprise. From what I heard I expected it to be a little more heartbreaking, but I guess I shouldn’t complain that it didn’t end the way I thought it would…
What I Liked Less
I can’t really pinpoint what I don’t like as much about the book. Or if there even is anything I don’t like. I feel like the plot was a little slow to pick up after Addie makes her deal, but like I said before, the story didn’t bore me. I probably would’ve liked it if Addie had traveled to more countries on-page. The big parts of the story only take place in France and New York, and a little bit in England and Italy. But, I heard that this book is just the start, so maybe in the next book we get to see some more traveling!