I knew since April that I was going to receive an ARC of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab from Tor Publishing (thank you again Tor!) and when I received this book, I cried. I have loved every book Victoria has written and I knew I was going to adore this book.
Oh boy, was I right.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I knew about this book two years ago, when Victoria tweeted about the book that she poured her soul into. How she struggled to write it for 8 years and it was finally going to be published and I knew I needed to read it.
So when a release date was posted for the book, I immediately sent in a request to read it. And by the grace of God or whoever was answering my prayers, I got a copy.
Now let’s dive into my thoughts.
I’m a huge Schwab fan, so I knew I was going to like this book, but if you go into this thinking it’s like A Darker Shade of Magic, or even Vicious, you’ll be surprised. While the realistic setting matches the Vicious vibe, the tone is less . . . dramatic and more lyrical.
We get a blend of historical fiction, fantasy, and mystery through Addie’s story and I loved it. It was a blend of three of my favorite genres perfectly working together to tell me what’s happening and why. Plus, we get to see the evolution of Addie’s relationship with Henry and Luc as well as her life through the ages. There’s no dramatic fighting scenes or battles to the death, like her other books. This story is about mental resilience – how well you can play the game, trick the trickster, and get away with living forever.
I aspire to be Addie’s level of strength and pettiness. To look the devil in the eye and get away with it made my jaw drop. Watching them battle is like watching a beautiful, coordinated dance as each player makes their move. Simultaneously working for their own goals and ambitions while pissing the other off is *chef’s kiss* so beautiful. I couldn’t help but be dazzed and in awe as I watched them play with their words, their actions, and their wishes so gracefully.
And let’s not forget Victoria’s strong suit – her expert storytelling. Not only can Victoria give me a book that made me laugh, cry, and cringe all at the same time, but she does it so beautifully. While this isn’t the fast paced, adventure novels we’ve seen before, I wasn’t bored. In fact, I was so enamored by the characters and how they got to their place in this story, that I had to put the book down so it wouldn’t stop. Along with an interesting story, we have gorgeous imagery that left me gasping from tears. I admire Schwab’s ability to take a simple idea/concept and turn it into an emotional event on every page. There’s no getting through this book without shedding a tear.
I put together some of my favorite quotes from this book (NOT SPOILERS) so you can see the complexity of her writing. How each word plays upon the other to create an emotional rollercoaster as you read from one line to the next.
“Stories are a way to preserve one’s self. To be remembered. And to forget. Stories come in so many forms: in charcoal, and in song, in paintings, poems, films. And books. Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives – or to find strength in a very long one.”
As a reminder, these are from the ARC, so these quotes may change or be taken out between the ARC and final printing. I hope they remain, but just in case.
And even if these are taken out of the final copy, they’ll always remain my favorite lines from this book.
“That time always ends a second before you’re ready.
That life is the minutes you want minus one.”
But seriously, these quotes are so gorgeous and heartbreaking, I couldn’t help but mark them down!
Overall, I love the mix of genres, the storyline, the dialogue, the characters, the plot, the writing – everything! Victoria always has a way of taking a story and making it something we’ve never seen before. And, at the same time, making me wish I could live in that world, even for just a moment. It’s like magic.
A life no one will remember. A story you will never forget. And I will never forget this book. // 5 stars.
If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out Victoria’s other books such as A Darker Shade of Magic, Vicious, This Savage Song, Archived, and The Near Witch among others!
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