Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Adult Fiction
Release date: October 6th, 2020
Goodreads page: here
TW: Depression, loss of a parent
My rating: 5/5 ⭐
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
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.
This book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020. V.E. Schwab is well known and has nothing to prove, but as far as I'm concerned, I haven’t read a lot of her books yet. I had only read her Cassidy Blake middle grade series before starting The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, so I didn’t really know what to expect from this author in the adult fantasy/fiction section.
Well, from page one, I was amazed. And I mean literally because page one was breathtaking. The writing was absolutely gorgeous. I was amazed of this poetic but also smooth and lyrical writing. I wasn’t expecting this at all, and wow, I could feel from the beginning that this book would be special and unique.
“What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind?”The pace of this book was slow, very slow, and sort of reminded me of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. The story was separated in two different timelines, one from the past and one from the present. The first timeline, set in the past in Europe and mostly France, was about Addie’s childhood from her early age to the bargain with the Devil and then her three hundred years of life. The second was about her present set in New York, 2014. I adored both timelines, but I must admit that I preferred the past one which was filled with discovery, art and important historical points. I love history, and mainly French history as I am French of course, so this book was absolutely perfect for me.
My favorite moments were her time in Paris, a city I have loved my entire life, and the city where I currently live. I knew V.E. Schwab knew well this city, or did well her research anyway, because I remember seeing the scenes of her book, Tunnel of Bones, in my mind with the true streets and monuments of Paris. And in this book, it was the same feeling. I just loved how she described Paris, and it felt very true and emotional to me.
"[...] I knew I had to be in Paris. [...] This is where the thinkers are.This book was so atmospheric. I felt like it was a love letter to life. To life, to memories, to heritage. It was incredibly slow-paced, as I said before, character-driven, without even a real intrigue for the first 150 pages as some people might wait for, and yet... And yet, it was fascinating and enchanting to see the years pass by, to read about Addie Larue’s life, her losses, her emotional moments, her despairs, her loves. I couldn’t put this book down.
This is where the dreamers live. This is the heart of the world, and the head, and it is changing."
"I am the darkness between stars, and the roots beneath the earth."The characters were so well written. They felt real, very real with their despairs, their loves, all their emotions, and I cared for them. Addie Larue was not the only main character, nor the only point of view. We had Henry’s too, a New Yorker bookseller who wanted nothing more than to have enough time to live, and to be enough for others. His chapters were maybe the most heartbreaking and well written ones, and I cried for him.
This story felt more adult fiction than fantasy for me, and I think non-fantasy readers would love this novel too. This book would be perfect for Autumn, to read in a cosy room near a fire with a blanket and a hot chocolate, seeing the leaves fall across the window, turning orange. This book was poetic, this book was beautiful and everyone should read it!
It will be released on October 6th, and you guys don’t want to miss this one out!
The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and may not be present in the finished copy.