The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Publication by Tor Books on October 6th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Format: eARC (this was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)
I have a very mixed feelings about Victoria Schwab’s books. It’s like the toss of a coin, will I love it or will I not?
When I first heard of this book, I believe the tag line was something like a girl falls in love with the devil. Which definitely had me intrigued. The first couple of chapters kept me glued to the pages, but as the book went on I started to notice a couple things that bothered me.
First off, as others have pointed out, it was very eurocentric. Addie has been alive for around three hundred years and yet she didn’t ever travel to Asia, Africa, Central or South America? Just Europe and North America?
Other reviewers have also pointed out that Addie has lived since 1714, but apparently didn’t notice or reference colonialism or racism or the transportation and selling of kidnapped Black people? No references to the killing of Indigenous peoples? Really? In her three hundred years she didn’t notice any of that? Not very realistic, but okay.
Second, Addie is another of Schwab’s female characters that just felt very flat to me. She lacked depth, other then wanting to be remembered, there wasn’t much more to her, in my opinion. There was also big Not Like Other Girls vibes. As one of my most hated tropes, that definitely turned me off.
This was, however, a very atmospheric read and I did love the premise of the book. Making an unwise deal? Living throughout history? All of that is right up my alley. Unfortunately, the book just didn’t live up to all the expectations I had for it.
About the book
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.
Suicidal thoughts, death grief, mental illness, sexual content, toxic relationship, emotional abuse, suicide attempt, panic attacks/disorders, drug abuse/use, sexual assault, addiction, suicide, alcoholism, rape, sexual violence, sexism, violence, torture, blood, terminal illness, cursing, self-harm, physical abuse, misogyny, and medical content.