Title : The Invisible Life of Addie Larue
Author : V.E. Schwab
Genre : Adult Fantasy
Release Date : October 6th, 2020
Publisher : Titan Books
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.
“My name is Addie Larue”
Addie Larue was born in 1691 in a village called Villon, France. Ever since she was a child, she has always been a dreamer, with dreams bigger than her small village, and certainly bigger than woman’s expectation at that time. Her dreams and desire to live to the fullest were what drove her to make a bargain with the devil. The devil granted her the freedom she has always wanted, but not in the way she’d imagined, because now she’s cursed to be forgotten by everyone she met. Now, she lives like a ghost—exist, without any marks.
This book is told in alternating chapters between 2014 New York City and the 300 years she has lived on since the bargain. During those 300 years, we get to see her growth, her pain, and her longing; how she tried to live despite being forgotten over and over again, and of course, her relationships with the very devil she’d bargained with—nicknamed Luc by her. To be frank, their interactions are intriguing and are my favorite things from this book, but I also have to admit that it’s a toxic relationship due to the power disparity between them. So yes, this isn’t a love story between a girl and the devil. It’s not even a love story between Addie and Henry, the first person she met who remember her. It’s a story of loss and long, of hopes and dreams, and the sacrifices we made for it.
“It’s a lonely thing to be forgotten. To remember when no one else does”
Writing has always been V.E. Schwab’s strong suit, so I couldn’t write this review without mentioning it. This book is my 6th Schwab’s book, and despite the different age range and genre, I still find myself captivated by it. She wove words beautifully, that you honestly could feel them. Usually, I’m not a fan of character-driven or ‘purposeless’ books (and this book is ‘purposeless’—in the sense that there’s no villain to defeat, or quest to find magical objects. The whole book is simply about Addie’s life), but in this book it seems I can’t get enough of it. It took me almost 10 days to finish this, and not because I’m bored or busy, but because I genuinely think it’s meant to be read slowly so you could savor each word in it.
“Do you think a life has any value if one doesn’t leave some mark upon the world?”
In the end, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue is the kind of book that stay with you long after you finished it. It might not make it to your favorite list, or it might not become your best reads of the year, but it made an impression on you, and you’ll find yourselves thinking about it again. Because despite the immortality aspect, despite the bargain with the devil, this book is still about lives—all the good and bad—and it’s the very thing that we all have in common.
“Ideas are so much wilder than memories”
*I receive an ARC via Netgalley in exchange of honest review. Thank you Titan Books for the book!
**All quotes are taken from the ARC and subject to change