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My Review | The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Photo shows the book cover of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab - Photo by Peri McKinnis - Peri Reads - perireads.com

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 had seen this book all over GoodReads with nothing but good reviews and immediately added it to my TBR. I listened to the first half on Libby and I won’t lie I was not really prepared to 17 hours of listening so I caved and bought the book from Target (it was on sale). No regrets! This book was so heart wrenching from beginning to end. Heart wrenching in a fun kind of way. I didn’t initially take this as a romance type novel but the way the two characters mesh together in an organic way was fun to read. Schwab has her own spin of “The Age of Adeline” but with a twist that kept me intrigued the whole time. Addie LaRue can live forever but she’s forgotten by everyone, no way of leaving her mark, until one day someone remembers her and everything around her begins to change. 

“Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives--or to find strength in a very long one.”

Addie LaRue is a genuine character, a young woman from 1700s France, who makes a deal with the darkness to have the one thing that she’s been craving: freedom. Which he grants but with a price: she will live forever only to be forgotten by everyone around you. A sacrifice that is taken for granted by everyone. I enjoyed that we get to go back and fourth from Addie’s present to her past, to understand how she got to live forever, the miracles that she was able to witness, and feel the utter loneliness that she experiences every day. She cannot leave her mark physically but she manages to make her presence as a floating memory of a painting or a song. “Ideas are wilder than reality,” a fleeting line that is mentioned a couple times in the book but really solidify the power that not only memory has over a person, but the different mediums of art can make a memory last forever. I absolutely loved the rawness between the relationships Addie experiences especially the one with Henry, the man who is able to remember her. I knew that this was too good to be true and I was right. But the ending tied the two together so flawlessly that I wasn’t even mad. Tears were shed though. 

Throughout the book we go back in fourth between the past and present. We see how Addie’s life has changed overtime both emotionally and physically. While she can’t age she still experiences pain, hunger, and emotions. It truly brings this existential question are you really human if you can’t leave a mark in the world. It’s almost as if she’s a ghost until she meets our other character, Henry Strauss. Now I liked Henry a whole lot. I see him as Addie’s foil, someone who feels so disconnected with the world and has too much love in his heart. Which is both a blessing and a curse. There seems to be something about him that gives him the ability to remember Addie and when you find out why you’ll probably start yelling at the book like I did. The two found each other at a time where they thought they were alone forever. I liked how we get Henry’s backstory similar to Addie’s, going back and forth, present and past. I was worried I was going to find it annoying but honestly once I started reading there was no stopping. I’ll say that it kind of a slow burn at first. Lots of details that needed to be shared that feels a little overwhelming until it’s not. Another thing I loved was the use of art to show Addie’s timeline. While she isn’t able to create art it doesn’t mean people can’t make art about her. I thought it was a creative way to show the different “lives” that Addie has lived, going to Paris, Italy, and eventually America, Addie LaRue has been doing the one thing she wished for, being free. But sometimes our wishes have a price.

“Three words, large enough to tip the world. I remember you.”

Reading the bio for this book caught my attention in the best way. Addie LaRue is a wonderfully written character, a woman who has seen so much change and yet, still has the power to stay hopeful. To have wonder. To bring hope. So organic and fresh, I couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Her counterpart, Henry, was also another real character that I grew to enjoy. It was nice to see that they weren’t perfect people, but perfect for each other. Their love was comforting, almost like laying in a soft bed after a long day of work. They meshed and collided all at the same time. It was the kind of love that felt whole and real. This book met all my qualifications, mystery, magic, and romance that didn’t feel cliche. Would 100% recommend. 

MY RATING:

4/5

MY RATING:

4/5

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Hey! I’m Peri McKinnis

Peri McKinnis of Peri Reads

I’m a creative, I’m a dreamer, and I’m an Aries. I’ll read any book with enough convincing, I enjoy weird movies, and I’m a caffeine fiend. From the day that I brought my first book catalog home from school I knew that books were going to have a special place in my heart. Now I want to spread that love here, to talk about the books that made us cry, fall in love, and scorn because we couldn’t finish them. 

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