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Review for V.E. Schwab's 'The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue'

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

I will begin by saying that I binged this book. Though I was the one holding it, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue certainly had me in its grips.

The first quarter of the book is what did it, really. Learning about Addie’s curse, and navigating alongside her through 18th century France, while she was figuring out how to survive when everyone she met forgot her within moments, was ideal to me and even had me thinking that I have seldom enjoyed a book so much. It was highly suspenseful while also being sentimental and beautiful. And best of all, perhaps, was how unique of a story it was, though I did get a few ‘vibes’ of Les Miserables and other well-beloved tales, even my own favorite, The Witching Hour.

But then, as the story is brought to another character in the present-day, what rising intensity there was fizzles out. The story went cold…for a long time. A flat-line. And unfortunately, it never really came back to life.

About halfway through we are shown bar after bar, after coffee shop after coffee shop, after party after party. Every page, predictable. The story development? Miniscule (and that’s me being generous). I could not imagine the story improving at all, it was so repetitive and exhausting.

I thought a fair title for the book might also be ‘100 Ways to Visit a Coffee Shop’.

Some (most) of the characters are a tin box with some pieces rattling around inside. Nothing about them feels alive, memorable, or convincing. Mostly the repetition makes them all obnoxiously flat. Thankfully, Addie is not a tin box (though I would have liked to see more growth and wisdom from her, being 300 and all), nor are a few select other characters, but those other characters we sadly only get glimpses of.

I know I am probably not the ideal reader for this book, as most modern-day stories centered upon dull, selfish people feel like grime beneath my fingernails, but I truly did appreciate where the author was going with the tale. I would have loved more of the thrilling escapade through countries and time alongside Darkness. It would have been a strong enough story just as that; leaving marks upon artists and ideas as Addie so brilliantly did.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. There were parts that inspired me to feel deeply, and I found myself thinking about the story even when I wasn’t reading it. I have even made it a point to view life a little differently after reading. And that, to me, is a success. Addie has indeed left her mark.

Have you read this book? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Let me know!

And as always, if you have read a book, leaving a review on Goodreads makes a HUGE difference to the author, and helps future readers as well.


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