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.
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“What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind?”
Addie Larue is one of the best books I’ve read this year so far, which really says a lot already. I love the way the author has decided to shape this story, making it feel like much more than a girl who wants to live forever and a demonic being who takes advantage of it, it’s so much more than that, it’s a plot that covers many interesting points to highlight, among them it discusses the meaning of living, the meaning of memories and love & also in some way shows human vulnerability and the importance of leaving a mark where we pass. I really loved it, it’s a book to read many times.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue follows the story of a young French girl named obviously Addie LaRue who aspires much more than she “should” for a woman of the time (1714) she doesn’t want to marry who her parents say or live forever raising many children in the same small village, she wants to see the world and do much more. Therefore, in a moment of despair, Addie asks for help from a dark god and he comes to her call by giving Addie what she wants the freedom of eternal life, but this is a dark being and has its tricks, and this freedom that she wants so much comes with a trap and it’s that she will be forgotten by all those who touch her life.
I’d read in reviews before I read the book that this was more like a biography of the main character, and I agree with that, it feels like reading an intimate diary at times and this makes it even more special because it gives a lot of clarity to the story and a very strong realistic touch. I adored this book as obviously you have already realized, I think it’s done in a very successful way from the little information that is given in the blurb to the structure with jumps in time in which we get to know Addie’s journey since her youth to becomes who she’s today. It’s also a book that’s really written with a lot of feeling behind it, and you can realize it by everything that it transmits while you read it, not only the characters are all very good, but so are the dialogues, the beautiful landscapes, and scenarios, as well as the lyrical internal monologues and moments of reflection.
I think this is the best work of the author so far, and I can say this comfortably having read almost all of her works. Schwab has created an excellent character with millions of layers and deeply explores not only this but each of the characters that appear in the book, especially Luc & Henry, who are key hinges for the movement and development of the plot. I love that the author shares with us a bit of the process that led her to write this book and how she decided to do it, and also why it has taken her so many years, knowing that gives even more weight to the story and you can realize the great work and care behind this book, it’s really a very marked labor of love that has been created here and I love being part of her project from my place as a reader. Surely I’ll be reading all her future works since I believe that her evolution over the years has been magnificent both in her MG, as Young Adults, and in this case, her impressive work in the Adult genre.
I would describe this book as lyrical because it almost seems like poetry at times, it has an impeccable level of writing and the power to convey every feeling that the main character is going through in a very raw and real way. As I mentioned at the beginning, this book discusses many things about human beings and consciousness, it also shows us as vulnerable beings, showing our violent sides, our fragility moments even in our moments of greatest happiness and hope, and we explore all those feelings hand in hand of countless characters that touch Addie’s life. And this is when the big question that this book asks you indirectly comes: Is it worth living forever if no one can remember you? It’s very interesting for me to explore this question and also see how Addie goes through all the stages during her curse, you know? from the pain of the loss of her loved ones to the happiness of living with the greatest freedom without ever facing any consequence, being able to go where you want and do what you want. But we always have that feeling of … is it really worth it?
Personally, I couldn’t imagine life without the people I love, but it’s much more painful to think that one day they forget who you are and when they see you again and you manage to start this conversation they take their attention away from you and forget you again completely. This is what Addie lives every day in the 300 years that she has been alive and is very nostalgic to read, because there comes a point where she accepts it and moves on, surviving despite everything, but still, you know that there will always be that feeling of sadness behind for not being able to really share anything with anyone else ever. It’s very hard and that’s why when Henry appears everything changes and a world of new possibilities opens up in front of Addie along with a million illusions and hopes.
Addie is a wonderful character to explore, you can also notice her growth in a very marked way through each page and how she becomes wiser and wiser over the years, but I also love to see how despite having lived terrible things she never loses that spark of curiosity and love for people, I think she’s a very brave and inspiring being.
“Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives–or to find strength in a very long one.”
I tend to be very vague about the characters in my reviews because I’m afraid to reveal too much and that you’ll lose the excitement to find out for yourself, so you know that I’ll not say everything, but I’ll say enough. At first, I didn’t like Henry, which changed drastically once something great about his life was revealed, and I loved it, I love when an author has the power to make me change my mind about a character so drastically, I actually understood a lot about his attitudes that at first, I didn’t tolerate. I think this is a solid and vulnerable character, something that Addie needed, and something VERY weird happens to me here, and I finally ended up preferring the good guy in this story, always talking about his relationship with Addie, not as individual characters. The chemistry between Henry & Addie is palpable and I enjoyed it a lot, I adored the more mundane things that they did together and how they connected in such a unique and cosmic way, it was very romantic, I’ll admit it. But on the other hand, we have Luc, and I’m a sucker for a good villain, what can I say? lol, even so, this time, I preferred Luc as an individual character and in fact, I would read a whole book about him if I could, he’s such an intriguing, dark, powerful, and magnetic character, he really has everything I usually love in a character. I like how he’s not really what he seems, but this evil being that only comes to take away your soul, basically, but although it sounds a bit cliche, it’s not at all, this character owns scenes that take your breath away, extremely disturbing and terrifying that will leave you thinking. So brilliant!! In addition, all the secondary characters are very well described, they all come to life and are incredibly powerful individual beings to read.
Oh, and super important detail about the characters is that both main characters are bisexual, I think it’s important to share that, because, in addition to being incredible, it’s very well managed and described, super naturally, I loved it, and I know that many of you will know to appreciate it.
As you read about the life of Addie LaRue you can see that an element is always there by her side lived in every scene and that’s art. This is a book that focuses a lot on art of all kinds, we meet characters who are painters, writers, and even musicians, and in each of their works there’s a bit of Addie even when they’re not aware of that, and that’s a way of living through time too, of being reflected and portrayed. It’s simply so beautiful, I don’t think I have words to express certain scenes or moments, because each of them has a special meaning and a unique touch, you just need to discover it yourself.
I honestly don’t think I can put into words what this book makes you feel, it’s something more than words really. It’s so beautiful, it has the strength and power of a story that you want to read a thousand times more only to suffer again, feel the sorrow, get excited, love, and be happy as much as the first time. It will take you through all the emotional states of the world, and there are scenes that are very hard-hitting and graphic so I recommend discretion (scenes such as sexual abuse) but still, it’s a book that will make you think even long after you’ve read it and that’s why it’s so worth it.
Let me add that it’s 100% atmospheric and at times, especially with the jumps in time from one era to another, it makes you feel inside a fairy tale at times of those very dark ones, it also teleports you to sad scenes that will break your heart, and then it will be in scenes full of color and life which you don’t want it to end. And that’s Addie LaRue, is a roller coaster of emotions made a very poetic and beautiful book. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
The title of the book is perfect and I want to cry every time I remember the meaning it has in the story and how the story ends, Just BRILLIANT & heartwarming
“Three words, large enough to tip the world. I remember you.”
So with that, I’ll end my review because I could talk about it forever, needless to say, that I’ll be re-reading it at some point without a doubt, it’s too beautiful to read it only once, and I feel that now there are many details that I’ll be able to see more clearly and meaningfully. I highly recommend this book if you want to read something of another level kind of good, a book that will make you think about what it is really to live and how you should see life, it really speaks a lot about appreciating the small and simple moments, cause even those moments change our lives and leaves a mark on us. I also recommend it if you want to read a love story that’s much more than that at the end and if you want a nostalgic plot that will take you on a journey through the most beautiful and iconic places in the world by the hand of wonderful characters. And also the dialogues are exceptional, as well as the descriptions of the surroundings and each scene. My God, I love this book and I really hope it means a lot to you and that you can enjoy it too, it’s worth reading & it will make you feel in another world completely while you read it, it’s a great experience.
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