Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue


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

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“A girl is running for her life.”

“A boy is born with a broken heart.”

“Here is a life in still frames. Moments like Polaroids. Like paintings. Like flowers pressed between the pages of a book. Perfectly preserved.”

What does it mean to be known? What does it mean to live? What price will a person pay to answer these questions?

Blurring the lines of fantasy, romance, and historical fiction into something else entirely, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a lush and poetic novel brimming with life, heartbreak, and beauty.

Allowed to live forever but cursed to be forgotten by everyone, Addie LaRue is a ghost living between the lines. Wondering if the bargain she made in the darkness of night is a blessing or a nightmare, bound the dark being who granted her immortality, Addie’s journey carries her across the pages of history as she seeks to live the life she fears will always be just out of reach.

With richly detailed characters and a tapestry of life unfolding across the global stage, Schwab’s newest novel is a celebration of art and dreamers. It is about a conflict of wills–one determined to live, the other determined to dominate. It is a study of the tangled web of hopes and relationships that motivate us and the marks we leave behind.

Gorgeous and emotional, Addie LaRue is an experience in the truest sense of the word. It is a book you want to climb inside, to lose yourself within the pages. It is a book that finds its way inside of you, lingering, taking hold of your thoughts even when you set it down and walk away. The novel is a remarkable work of depth and complexity. Just as it defies labels of genre and classification, it is also a challenge to describe the effect of reading this story. Emotional and thought-provoking–it is a happy book, but it is also tragic. It is hopeful, but not all dreams come true–at least not in the way we sometimes want them to. In the end, the experience is all of these feelings, tangled together and blended into something not easily described.

In Schwab’s masterful hands, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a book as complex as the life of the character at its center. Painting beautiful pictures across its pages, it is a novel to be experienced, to be considered, to be remembered–at once fantastic and deeply human. It is one I will remember, one I expect I will return to again.

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