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Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

TW/CW: suicidal thoughts

Synopsis: 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.

Thoughts: Dazzling Adventure? Ha! I was so excited to read this book and for it become my favorite book of the year. I was waiting for it to pull at my heart strings, to leave me sobbing on the floor, to take my breathe away. It did none of those things. In fact, I was super disappointed and don't understand why everyone else seems to be enjoying this book as much as they are. Did they read a different book? Does my taste in books stink? What's wrong with me? Let me try to explain.

Addie LaRue, a young woman who is unhappy with her life decides to make a deal with the devil and the deal has consequences. I mean of course a deal with the devil has consequences, right?! Addie gets to live forever, a life of freedom but no one remembers her. Over the course of 300 years and 440+ pages we sense the sadness and loneliness Addie feels, but honestly that's about it. Strangely 300 years pass and almost nothing happens. Historical events are mentioned but Addie lives none of them. She is either swept away or the details are glossed over. Was the writing good? Not particularly. I'm not being nasty I'm just saying that for 90% of the novel Addie complains about how no one remembers her and we are told countless stories of her moving from place to place and coming and going as she pleases because no one remembers her. Then 150 or so pages in someone does remember her and it plays out how you would expect. She's so happy someone finally remembers her! Shocker.

Since there are no real events or plot and it's more character driven I thought I would be rooting for the characters, caring which decisions they made, hoping that Addie LaRue finally finds peace with her decision and that good triumphs' over evil. However, there was zero character development on Addie's part. She whines and complains the entire time and it never gets better.

I was never drawn back to the book when I put it down, I didn't care what happened in the end, I hoped it would change my mind, but it didn't. It was exhausting to read, really and truly. The characters were two dimensional with a severe lack in chemistry, so even the prospect of love couldn't keep me interested.

If you're looking for a unconventional love story try The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Don't waste your time on The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.

Rating: ★★