2022 Reading Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

I can’t wait to talk to you about Addie LaRue.

Who?

There was a little more rhyming there than I meant to include, but who doesn’t love a poem—or two!

Okay, I’ll stop.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. It was selected as my two-person fantasy book club book of April. Though, I admit, I finished it in May. April was a rough month for… well, everything, honestly. No books were completed in the month of April.

But as soon as I began Addie LaRue, I fell deep. Seriously, the first day I picked it up, I felt like I was already halfway through. It just flowed so well…

Enough of me swooning over this book in the intro. I’ve gotta save some for the rest of this review! So, let’s get into some more of the nitty-gritty. Remember: some spoilers ahead, though I will strive to keep big ones in the Opinions section.

Story

Oh, sweet Addie LaRue. The woman who lives and walks among us, but who we forget as soon as she’s out of our sights. Some might consider this a blessing, or a fun perk to live with. I definitely did. Yet Addie shows us just how much we rely on being remembered, even for the simplest of things.

But really the story is about her and her lifetime among us, as she remains unremembered. We meet her in her youth before the curse was placed upon her, and slowly learn how her new life came to be. And we readers are woven in and out of time, drifting from Addie’s present life to her past—seeing the experiences that shaped her and how she overcame, to how she exists now and the one person who does remember her.

Of course, no curse is complete without greater complications. Her contract-holder is forever just outside her field of vision, lurking in shadows, and seeking out the price she owes for her immortal existence.

Characters

Well, of course, we have our dear Addie LaRue. Or, as is her birth name, Adeline. A woman youthful in appearance, but has counted 300 years, and yet unable to leave her own mark on the world. For Addie has been cursed to live as an immortal ghost among us. She is seen, but never remembered. And, oh, how we are shown just how greatly this curse takes a toll on her life and ability to connect with people.

Then there’s Henry. He becomes an important figure as well, probably halfway through the book. I admit, I didn’t immediately realize why we were meeting and learning about Henry when we did. But seeing how vital he becomes to Addie and her story—the fact that he remembers her… well, I about fell in love with him myself.

I mean, I’m a sucker for a man with dark hair and light-colored eyes. I can’t blame Addie for daydreaming about a man like that. I’ve been there, girl!

And while I won’t name him—I’ll let Addie tell you herself what she calls him—the darkness or the shadow is equally an important figure. He, who strikes a deal with Addie LaRue and puts the curse upon her. But he is much more than that. And he is very much the antagonist to Addie’s protagonist.

Writing

The writing is amazing. V.E. Schwab has written a book that you fall in to. There were so many times where I forgot I was reading.

More than that, it all just flows so well. The hardback edition I have is over 500 pages, but the book does not drag. None of the words feel out-of-place or unneeded. The story of Addie LaRue is written in such a way that

It’s like poetry in a prose book. And the way it’s written and how it flows seems to fit our darling Addie. Somehow, the book itself feels like her. Perhaps that adds to the magic.

And this is all despite the fact that this book really doesn’t get to our overall plot—and one of our very vital supporting characters, Henry—until almost midway through. For a good portion of the book, it feels like we are just reading, learning, and understanding the bounds of Addie’s curse. In that sense, we are learning along with her.

I stress: none of it feels like a chore to read. Which is kind of amazing, considering its length and how long it takes to build this story.

Will You Like This?

Are you a fan of classic literature and stories? Especially those that have a smooth flow and airy quality about them?
Do you enjoy books that drift and enfold in a slow, natural way—rather than immediate and rushed, forcing the plot on to you?
Do you like a tale that includes magic and mystery and old gods and curses that last for centuries, and strong female characters that grow in wisdom with each turn of the page?

Then get to reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue! Come meet the woman who we would never remember had we met her on the streets, but whose story we will never forget.

Opinion (Spoilers)

Listen, I wasn’t subtle about it in my Lost Boy review, and I’m not subtle about it here: I loved this book. The way the entire story weaved backwards and forwards, and how this allowed me to put the pieces together was so well done. There were—I will admit—a handful of times where I would be irked. Perhaps when I was really involved with what was happening in the present and then immediately got thrown back to the past, or vice versa. But this never swayed my interest by much.

I don’t know that I’ve read a book like this before, and maybe that’s what I liked about it. There was a simple magic about it.

V.E. Schwab’s writing is just so lovely. There is nothing like simply falling into a book, never feeling rushed or overwhelmed, and the prose never feeling unnecessary or too much, especially in a longer book. I’m excited to read more of her writing, but I’m also happy that I got to start with Miss Addie LaRue.

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