The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
October 6, 2020 by Tor
“I remember you.”
Three words, large enough to tip the world.
I remember you.
V.E. Schwab is one of those authors that takes her readers on a magical, winding journey and they just never know where they might find themselves by the end. When I read the blurb for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue I was intrigued, so much so that I practically begged for an ARC.
I read a tweet from the author where she talks about this book being ten years in the making, and I absolutely believe that. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is such a twisty, turny, winding adventure. It was perfection on-page and I loved every bit of it.
This is a story about a young woman who makes a deal with the devil and gets exactly what she asks for, but most assuredly not what she wants or expects. On the day of her wedding, she asks for freedom, and her wish is granted. She is free from all entanglements to the point where she belongs to nothing and no one. And no one will ever remember Addie LaRue ever again.
That is the madness of it. Every day is amber, and she is the fly trapped inside. No way to think in days or weeks when she lives in moments. Times begins to lose its meaning– and yet, she has not lost track of time. She cannot seem to misplace (no matter how she tries) and so Addie knows what month it is, what day, what night, and so she knows it has been a year.
This story is told in alternate POVs and shifts in time repeatedly between moments in the past and present day. I think this might be something that would bother me in another story and maybe with another author, but here it is used masterfully. Addie makes her deal and then readers are taken on a journey through her life experiencing her challenges and hardships after becoming someone who no one remembers once she’s out of sight. She is like a ghost in the world, yet figures out a way to make a life for herself. Addie becomes part of history and makes her mark on the world despite her curse, but she is alone.
And then one day she meets a man in a bookshop and he remembers her.
Who is this Henry Strauss and how is it that he remembers when no one has for three hundred years? How do their lives intertwine and why?
The brilliance of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is the depth and breadth of the narrative. This story spans 300 years and jumps between countries as Addie’s long, lonely life is revealed on-page. Her relationship with Luc, the darkness who granted her wish, is tragic and dark and sad and I had to keep reading because I needed to know if she would find a way to finally outsmart him. Then she meets Henry and her world changes for a time…
I have to say I was kind of stunned by the conclusion, but I really don’t think it could have ended any other way. This book will stay in my thoughts long after I’ve read it, but that is something this author always manages to do to me. Make me think about her characters and her words for days after I’ve finished reading. I predict this will be featured on many a favorites shelf and best-of list. Highly, highly recommended.