The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by New York Times best-selling author V.E. Schwab, is a captivating novel that follows a young woman who bargained to live forever but is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
The book begins in France in 1714, and centers around the mystical Addie LaRue, dreamer and artist, who tries to find her way out of an impending marriage. To escape her dreaded wedding, she makes a deal with the god of darkness to forever free herself from belonging to anyone. He grants Addie immortality and freedom in exchange for a price, to which she desperately and hastily agrees. Addie soon learns the consequences of dealing with darkness. As the god had promised, she belongs to no one and is truly free and immortal. Addie didn’t anticipate that this bargain came with the curse of being forgotten by everyone she meets.
Her parents and friends immediately forget her. Everyone she encounters or tries to befriend doesn’t remember her the next day. Then, after three hundred years with darkness and isolation being her only company, the impossible happens. Addie meets a man who remembers her.
This mesmerizing story unravels in multiple timelines and points of view as Addie moves through centuries, continents, and art, learning more about her curse, herself, and how to leave a lasting mark on a world determined to erase her.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was released in October of 2020, and immediately dominated many bestseller lists. I had very high expectations for this book, as I had read all of the raving reviews and gushing comments on how it was not only amazing but a new all-time favorite book for many people. Every single one of these expectations I had was not only met, but exceeded. This was one of the best and most intriguing books I have ever read, and I wanted to pick it up and read it again as soon as I finished it. The writing style was incredible, and I was blown away by the amount of breathtaking detail, imagery, and thought that went into each event that occurred. I don’t think I have ever encountered a more interesting use of figurative language in a book, with creative similes and metaphors at the turn of every page.
A very unique addition to this book is its relation to art. The novel is delicately interrupted with images of paintings and descriptive texts as if they were at auction. The description of each painting includes Addie LaRue’s influence. Her trademark seven star-shaped freckles, dark hair, and other reminders of her are visible in these portraits, where she tried to make an impression on the artist, longing to be remembered by someone. These works of art represent Addie’s need to leave some mark on the world.
I recommend this book to everyone, even if fantasy isn’t your go-to genre. I am not a big reader of fantasy, but V.E. Schwab’s intricate and lyrical writing style compelled me to keep reading this book and changed my opinion of fantasy. This novel is a dazzling masterpiece of love, art, and history – a story crafted so beautifully that it is both timeless and timely. Addie LaRue may be cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets, but I know that I will never forget her character and this book.