A few weeks after putting it down, I finally managed to write a review for this incredible book. It was so hard to convey how this book made me feel but that is the fate of every book reviewer. So without further ado, let’s dive into this review (it rhymes!).
Title: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue
Author: V.E Schwab
Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads)
Persephone: 5 stars: – Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring. Persephone is my favourite goddess because she is full of contradictions – she represents both strength as queen of the underworld and a softness as a floral maiden. She teaches me how it’s okay to be both. If Persephone appears, that means that the book was one of the best books I’ve ever read, that it holds a particular place in my heart and that it is now part of my favourite books ever.
Pheme: The goddess of fame, gossip and renown – This goddess will be invoked when a book has received a lot of attention and is praised by critics and the book community. She will be featured whether the book lived up to my expectations or not.
Medusa– Gorgon. She is mostly known for being a monster, but before she was a monster, she was a beautiful mortal woman with beautiful hair who has been sexually assaulted by Poseidon in a temple dedicated to Athena. As a punishment she was transformed into a monster. This goddess will be featured whenever sexual assault is mentioned in a book. It will also be a trigger warning.
Iris: Goddess of rainbows. Nothing new here, we all know that rainbows represent the LGBTQ+ community so this Goddess will be featured whenever a queer relationship or character appears.
I read the Invisble Life of Addie Larue because everyone was talking about it (I trust the opinion of the book community) and the synopsis seemed intriguing enough: a French girl that trades her soul for eternity and who is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets…until someone remembers her; what’s not to love?
I really didn’t know what I was expecting when I started reading this book but I definitely didn’t expect the gut-wrenching feelings of Addie’s curse; her fight to leave a mark, to be remembered to be someone instead of a ghost. I loved how the story balanced between pain and joy. How she went through so many hardships; how cutting and painful loneliness felt and how happy some of her days were. I am in absolute awe of how the author managed to bring us along Addie’s journey, how deeply her quest resonated with me, how familiar she felt.
But the one character who will haunt me forever is Henry. Doesn’t it feel weird when you’re reading a book and the character is you, – except it couldn’t be you, because well, the author doesn’t know you so she couldn’t have written about you; yet it’s still you on paper? Yes, well that spooky thing happened with Henry. I understand him on some freakishly deep level and I feel for him. I think he’s going to haunt me for a while. So will Addie, that sweet and impossible girl. I remember you Addie, I will always remember you.
Then there was also Luc; I loved how intriguing and strange he was; I mean he is darkness incarnate but there was something sensual and mysterious about him and it was nice to see how even the author’s description of him was ambiguous.
The pace of the book was slow at times, and packed with action at others. I liked how we had two different temporalities and how the mentions of the past were used to highlight Addie’s present. That was pretty smart. I have to say that some extracts were a little too long for me but I still think they were necessary to paint the whole picture. When we were in the past, I loved all the references to landscapes, landmarks and famous people. And as a Frenchwoman myself, it was so cool to recognize which authors or places Addie was seeing or visiting. I fell like I was right there with Addie and I think the author perfectly conveyed each atmosphere perfectly. The writing style was so unique and imaginative; I couldn’t get enough.
The ending was incredibly satisfying. I was a little anxious of how it would all end but it was wrapped up beautifully. Even better than I hoped.
I’m going to end this review with some of my favourite quotes from the book (there were a plethora to choose from but I managed to narrow it down):
“Do you ever feel like you’re running out of time?” (…) “I don’t mean in that normal, time flies way”, Henry’s saying, I mean feeling like it’s surging by so fast, and you try to reach out and grab it, you try to hold on, but it just keeps rushing away. And every second, there’s a little less time, and a little less air, and sometimes when I’m sitting still, I start to think about it, and when I think about it, I can’t breathe,”
“She can speak German, Italian, Spanish, Swiss, but French is different, French is bread baking in her mother’s oven, French is her father’s hands carving wood, French is Estele murmuring to her garden.
French is coming home.”
“So photos are like fiction. I loved that about them. Everyone thinks photography is truth, but it’s just a very convincing lie.”
“The only way Addie knows how to keep going is to keep going forward. They are Orpheus, she is Eurydice, and every time they turn back, she is ruined.”
I hope you liked this review!