Addie LaRue landed straight on top of my to-read list when I received it as gift from a dear friend (thank you, Diana!). I knew almost nothing about the story, only that I really really have to read it 😀
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue in a nutshell
The book tells the story of Addie, a young girl from the 1700s who makes a tricky deal with a dark god – to live forever, but to be forgotten by everyone she meets the moment she slips out of sight. Addie lives for centuries, in places all over the world. However, despite her curse, she does find a way to leave a legacy in the world … because ideas are wilder than memories.
The story of Addie is about loneliness and belonging, love and history, darkness and suspense. It is a mesmerizing story with a touch of fantasy (we’re talking about a deal with a dark lord, after all), but otherwise rooted in fiction that sounds like reality.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue got me hooked up from the very beginning! It is one of those unputdownable books that you read as if being hypnotized, reading chapter after chapter after chapter.
The narrative structure is built in a very engaging way, alternating the present with flashbacks. The writing style of Schwab reminded me of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (my review) – a similar gothic atmosphere, adrenaline rush, and dark forces that get close to humans.
Art embedded in the story
Art has a very special meaning in the book, and several (fictional) artworks are featured in the storyline. Each part of the book stands under the umbrella of an artwork, artwork that is depicted and described at the beginning of that specific part.
It seems that art is not there without a good reason – the author, V. E. Schwab, has a background in art history. She used her academic background “to look at the different schools of art in different time periods” (Tor.com, 2020) and see how they could be embedded in the storyline.
Other stories about time
While reading the book, Addie made me think of other time-related stories that I encountered – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald (about a man who ages in reverse, movie with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett) and The Age of Adaline (about a woman who doesn’t age, movie with Blake Lively). Both of them great stories and amazing movies!
Addie is one of those characters that remain in your mind a long time after finishing the book. Be sure to read her story, it is both magical and super captivating!
Have you read any stories with “time” as an important concept – e. g. never-aging people, or time-bending experiences? Let me know what books you recommend!
‘Till next time … happy reading!