Do you think a life has any value if one doesn’t leave some mark upon the world?
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, release date October 6th 2020, is my first Schwab book and okay, okay. I’m hooked. Definitely need to read more of her books, but first it’s time to talk about this gorgeous book about life, legacy and the many reasons we do 👏 not 👏 make 👏 deals 👏 with 👏 devils 👏
Rating: 5 stars!
Thanks to Titan Books for the eARC. It has not affected my honest opinions.
Trigger Warnings: grief, suicidal thoughts, misogyny
About the book:
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.
What did I think?
This was actually my first Schwab book! Sounds impossible, I know, and I admit I actually have seven of her books on my physical TBR – they all sound so good and were so hyped, I couldn’t resist! After reading The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, I’m really excited to read more from Schwab, because there was a lot that I really loved about this book.
The way that the narrative split between timelines was really well done, it fed me pieces of the story without having to do a huge time skip in the middle of the book and more importantly, in my opinion, it showed me two Addie’s. There was Addie of 2014 and the Addie of the late 1600’s and early 1700’s. They’re very different characters, and I liked that a lot. It showed the development of her character and the ways that she’d had to become tougher and hardened to the world. Addie’s character is one of my favourite parts of this book, honestly. She’s pretty ‘dislikeable’, though I don’t really like to use that word this way. She’s disenfranchised with the world and selfish, but that’s because she’s been forced to survive in a world where she barely exists. I loved that. It felt like she’d wrapped her heart in broken glass to keep people away, and that choosing freedom meant she was free from consequences and free from the things the world expected of young women in the 1700s. It definitely gave Addie a feeling of etherealness, like her curse made her inherently powerful. Don’t get me wrong, I’d hate to have Addie’s curse, but I think she’s made it her own.
Addie develops even further when she meets a boy who remembers, and I don’t want to talk too much about that part of the story because I had absolutely no idea what was happening as it unfolded and I found that viscerally satisfying. I wanted to know so badly – so I’m going to make y’all suffer through the desire to read it faster too. To me, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue was hugely character driven. There is plot happening, and I really enjoyed the conflict and the resolution (yes, I’m being intentionally vague), but this felt like it was more about Addie herself and her life than it is about any daring plot. The book built up to an ending that I adored, and I genuinely had to stop before reading the final chapter because I could not see the page through my tears. And what an ending it is. I loved the openness of the ending, the way that we got a final glimpse at the power that Addie has gained over 300 years and most of all I adored that this wasn’t really a love story at all. This story was about Addie getting closure, getting peace and learning to come to terms with what her choice really means and I think that I will be gleefully imagining what comes next for a long time now. And I definitely won’t be making deals with any mysterious devils in the woods without reading the contract very, very carefully.