The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.
Writer(s)V.E. Schwab.
Publisher: Tor Books.
Format: Advance Digital Review Copy.
Release Date: October 6th, 2020.
Pages: 480.
Genre(s): Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance.
ASIN:  B084357H23.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★.


Passion has a way of blurring our rational minds, of pushing us into longing for our most impulsive desires, of breaking us down into vulnerable creatures anxious for comfort, harmony, care, and joy. It is such an intrinsically powerful state that doesn’t seize to overwhelm us on a sudden whim but grows with the appetite of a famished beast. It is during these devastating moments that we spew out our minds with our most-haunting prayers, hoping that someone would hear us, that someone would reach out into our miserable lives to console us with hope, with answers, with solace. But you know what they say: “Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it.” Bestselling author V. E. Schwab now returns with an intimate tale of love, loss, and remembrance that testifies to her astounding writing prowess in the literary realm.

What is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue about? In 1714, there was a young lady by the name of Adeline LaRue, born and raised in a stone house just beyond an old yew tree in Villon-sur-Sarthe, France. On the day of her marriage, crushed down by the weight of the expectations set by her parents Jean and Marthe, she succumbs to a desperate desire to escape this life she’s forced into, to be free of these chains, and to make one last attempt to be heard by the new or old gods, even if it meant that only the darkness would answer. And the darkness does, as Addie LaRue makes a Faustian bargain that will leave her cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets but to also live forever. Throughout centuries, she thus embarks on a journey through time where she will have to overcome the obstacles born from her predicament, until, 300 years later, she stumbles into a young man in a hidden bookstore who stuns her with the impossible: he remembers her.

Told through two distinct timelines, one exploring Adeline LaRue’s odyssey through three centuries as she learns the ropes around her bargain with the darkness, and another set in a modern period where the impossible strikes her conscious and presents her with a reality she had never fathomed before, this story is unequivocally author V.E. Schwab’s most intimate chef d’oeuvre. Painted with raw emotions, she offers readers the chance to plunge into the life of a character who’s existence is intangible, one who has witnessed human nature’s complexity firsthand while repeatedly tormented by the darkness that lingers around her, gnawing at her soul as she’s reminded of her loneliness, her fading resolve, and her inability to live. Bathing in a narrative that also serves as a love letter to art and its many forms, whether it’s paintings, music, or literature, the story also strives towards illustrating the immortality of an idea, the suffocating strength of its grasp on our mind, on our memory, and on our life.

Whether it’s the concept of immortality or damnation, author V.E. Schwab delivers a stark and tightly-knit self-contained story that never forgets the ideas on which it is all built on. However, it is her compelling and authentic characters that make this story grow on you from the very first moment that her characters are introduced. Flawed to the core yet unquestionably human through their choices and their behaviours, it is stunning to watch these characters attempt to forge their identities as they embrace the consequences of their decisions and quickly understand the fragility of their lives.

Demonstrating an outstanding ability with words, author V.E. Schwab also never stumbles throughout this story, allowing every single word to magically capture the tone of the story, the atmosphere of each era, and the emotions of her characters. Veiled in darkness, this story will remind you to never take anything for granted, that every instant is precious, that everything you do will leave an impression somewhere, somehow. Nevertheless, author V.E. Schwab will tuck you under a snug blanket of happiness, of love, of longing, of remembering. She will remind you that even if all you see is darkness, there will always be light, somewhere, somehow. You just have to look hard enough.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a visceral and striking cautionary tale that explores the intrinsic and complex nature of love, life, and memories.

Thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me a Digital copy for review!



52 thoughts on “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

  1. I’ve yet to read anything by V.E. Schwab but this book is near the top of the list of books I’d most like to read. It’s great to see folks enjoying it as it gives me more to look forward to. Great review, Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After reading Mogsy’s review, then yours, I’m really looking forward to picking this up. It sounds great. Like Todd, I haven’t read anything by Schwab yet. I enjoyed your insightful review Lashaan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a heartfelt love poem to this book, Lashaan! I must admit I’m very intrigued! I didn’t like Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy, and somehow kept clear of her books since then, but your and Mogsy’s reviews convinced me to give her writing another chance 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahah! I had so much I wanted to say just on the ideas explored through this historical romance! I’m glad that she shared this one though. It shows that she wanted to write something much heavier emotionally. I hope that this one will have much more appeal to you when you get the chance to try it. 😛 I do think it’s missing a couple of key ingredients that would make YOU adore it, in particular though. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahaha, do I want to know which ingredients? 😂😂😂
        Still, everyone praises her prose here, so maybe this time I’ll be more willing to overlook the problem of style over substance… 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, just wow! This review just pretty much says it all doesn’t it. Your enthusiasm for this book shines through with every word, and when we talk about writing prowess, you might want to take a look at your own. This really does sound amazing. I think the author should pay you for I don’t think there is a single person who is able to resist looking into this one after such a glowing review!😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good review but nothing anyone writes will get me to read anything by Schwab.

    One question, is Addie immortal in that she doesn’t die, or that she can’t be killed? Because if she goes through 300 years of not being able to eat but starving to death the whole time, I’m not sure any bargain is worth that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, man. I appreciate it. Unfortunately, there a triggers in this one that would instantly kill it for you too.

      Hahaha no, she can’t be killed and will still feel pain, so she needs to steal and whatnot to avoid starving herself. However, with that curse of hers, there are ways to make the most of it and live “comfortably”, to an extent.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing review, thank you so much for sharing this!
    I’ve had A Darker Shade of Magic on my TBR since forever (no, ok, it’s been only three years) but never got around to it. Now that I’ve read your review, confirming what I’ve gleaned from other fellow bloggers, I might start reading Schwab’s work from this one, because it sounds like the kind of intense, poignant story that one cannot simply put down… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Maddalena! I’ve only read the first book of her ADSOM trilogy but hope to complete that in the future too hahah I’ve read her Vicious/Vengeful books and enjoyed them a lot though. I do hope that you’ll have a blast with this one though. I definitely believe it’s her best book so far and that she shows through this story that she’s a veteran with great ideas in the world of literature today! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A really fantastic review! I can’t wait to dive back into Schwab’s writing and am especially looking forward to this being such a personal one since she’s been working on it for so long. I actually even pre-ordered the book (which I rarely, IF EVER, do), but it probably won’t be here until next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow wow wow Lashaan! I can see how much you enjoyed this book! Unfortunately, not for me 😦 I have also just reviewed this book and pleeeease don’t hate me for it 😦 I’m so glad and jealous at the same time that you enjoyed this! Ahahaha brilliant review, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I recently finished reading this book based on your recommendation and really enjoyed it! It was lush and romantic and carried an important message about being heard and remembered.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I had seen this book around, but I never really paid any attention to it or the various reviews. I actually read yours and this book sounds like I might like it. Thanks for the awesome review Lashaan.

    Liked by 1 person

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