This book was so many things to me. It was poetic, beautiful, dark, edgy, funny, and most definitely brilliant. I’ve read many books by VE Schwab and all of them were great, but this book really takes the cake. I’m just so speechless. I don’t think I can write a decent review for this.
Here’s More on The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue starts off pretty straightforward. With alternating timelines between the present (2014) and Addie’s past (starting in Villon, France in 1714 up to New York City, current day), you go on this journey with Addie as she’s met with the challenges of the deal she made with the darkness (aka the devil) and how she adapts to it all even if it means she needs to lie, cheat, steal, sell her body, dress like a man, make fast friends, or commit numerous crimes. And every year, the devil comes to her in the form of a boy she once drew asking if this is the year she will surrender. While she’s lived through so many horrible things, she refuses and keeps refusing.
Through the 300 years she’s lived, she’s seen wars and invention, life and death, young and old, love, hatred, contempt, sadness, so much sadness, and so much history. One day in 2014, she walks into a bookstore and steals a book only to be caught by Henry; a young man who works there. The next day, she goes back to the bookstore in hopes of scoring another book only to be stopped by three little words: I remember you. This is where the story gets really interesting.
I think the biggest aspect of the story I loved was the writing. VE Schwab has really matured and it’s so obvious in their writing. While I can be stubborn about the repetitiveness of the language, it really doesn’t get in the way. If anything, it’s more a lyrical reminder of Addie’s world. Schwab also includes subtle lines about the beauty of life. It was almost reading their philosophical thoughts on human existence and the reason why we’re all here and they’re peppered throughout the novel. Let’s not even talk about the subtle nods to finding yourself, understanding the nature of humans, and so many existential questions. I mean, they triggered some anxiety in me towards the end and it wasn’t anything to do with the story. It was all their writing.
And let me tell you how VE Schwab doesn’t quit with just a deal with the devil. They makes the devil a recurring character! And OMG, it’s very difficult to hate him but also very easy to hate him. There were so many redeeming qualities and even some empathy thrown their way that you have to take a step back every once in a while and say to yourself “wait, he’s the bad guy! He can’t be this guy!”
I also love that they plays around with the idea of the muse. This entity that triggers and inspires art and beauty. Of course, it has a very special meaning in this book, but I loved Addie was such an inspiration for many people even though she couldn’t be fully remembered. People think of her as a dream; an entity that flits between this world and another and the beauty of this idea is carried throughout the story. I’m so impressed.
Addie’s life and the chapters of her journey were stunning. Subtle and beautiful filled with so many sadnesses. ALL THE FEELS! I just want to live in this book, drink in its words, and die happy. I wish I can give you more details to the story, but I feel like it will spoil it. I will say that there are several different twists and turns of the story moving it in a direction I didn’t even see coming. But it is brilliantly done to a point where I cried. Yes, I cried at the end because of how beautiful this damn book is!
The last thing I want to bring up is how human Addie LaRue is. Everything she steals and everyone she builds a relationship with is all tied to her trying to survive in a world that doesn’t remember her. To see her thrive through these gritty means of survival and still be compassionate towards people around her really deeply connects with anyone who’s had to fight for their lives. It’s breathtaking.
I’m so glad October is here so I can finally receive my pre-ordered copy of this book. I’m going to buy multiple copies and share them with friends because it’s that good and it needs to be shared. I’m so close to getting her freckles tattooed to my body. I want Addie LaRue to be a part of my life and I most definitely will always remember her.
I received a copy of this book from Tor.com for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.