October 5, 2020

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (out tomorrow, 10/6!) is a deliciously immersive new story from author V.E. Schwab. It centers around a young woman named Addie who, in her most desperate moment, winds up making a deal with a 'god' that only comes out after dark. She's granted the gift of immortality, only with the cursed catch that she's fated to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Three hundred years later, Addie enters a bookshop and meets a young man named Henry... who is the first person to remember her in centuries.

This novel is, without a doubt, my favorite Schwab novel. It's a brilliantly executed piece of work, where Schwab uses her storytelling prowess to reveal Addie's story. It was enthralling to bear witness to this girl forgotten by so many others and all the things she experienced from the moment of her bargain up until the present day where she is finally remembered by someone else.  (It would be remiss not to mention the fact that we do get the back story for Henry as well, which is equally fascinating.)

Truthfully, Addie isn't always the most likable character. She is charming and clever and brave, but she also can be selfish and angry and reckless. But she felt so much like a person I might have encountered in my own life, and the complexity of her personality drew me to her. It was a puzzle to solve, as most human beings tend to be (our own selves included). Readers are granted snippets of Addie's life over the years, and it feels like an invitation to assemble an idea of who she is, what she wants and how this gift (and the accompanying curse) has shaped her.

As I've already alluded to, Schwab's story construction is a thing of beauty. The narrative bounces between timelines in the past and present, between settings and between different versions of Addie. It is clear that Schwab spent a lot of time and care deliberating on which parts needed to be included to construct a compelling tale about an equally compelling individual and, for me at least, that hard work paid off. The story does start off slow and rather ordinary, but quickly crescendoes into a place where I was unable to stop reading until I found out how it all ended (and boy, do I have a lot of love for the ending).

I really loved The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. It's a story within a story within a story, and it's so incredibly well-done. This is the kind of novel that you can really sink your teeth into it, leaving you with plenty to discuss with other readers and with questions about Addie, her story, Henry and the 'god' she bargains with that you can only guess at the answers to. I'm so excited for the rest of the world to get to meet Addie and to read her story, and I can definitely see myself returning to this story in the future.

(Just a heads up, there is a lot of heavy content, including abuse, death, depression, suicide, drugs, and alochol, to name a few, so please know that going in.)

Pub Info: October 6, 2020 by Tor Books | Add it on Goodreads | Buy the book!


  1. This book sounds so cool! It reminds me of the movies The Age of Adeline (watched) or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (didn't watch ), in terms of the interesting twist about time.
    Great review!


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