Monday, December 7, 2020

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

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BOOK review
Started on: 3 November 2020
Finished on: 4 December 2020
 
Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 442 pages / 448 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2020
Price: Rp 336,316 (https://www.bookdepository.com/)

Rating: 4.5/5

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"What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind?"
It was the year 1714 in France, and in a moment of desperation, Addie LaRue makes a bargain with the darkness to live forever and she is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins Addie's journey across centuries and continents, across history and art, as this young woman learns how far she can go to leave her mark in the world. Everything changes when, after nearly 300 years of living an immortal life, Addie came across a young man named Henry Strauss, and he remembers her name.
"...it is sad, of course, to forget.
But it is a lonely thing, to be forgotten.
To remember when no one else does."
"What she needs are stories.
Stories are a way to preserve one's self. To be remembered. And to forget.
Stories come in so many forms: in charcoal, and in song, in paintings, poems, films. And books.
Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives—or to find strength in a very long one."
Here I am finally writing a book review again after almost a full year of absence 🤣. After reading this book, I feel the sudden urge to write a review for it because it's been so long since a book gets me excited like this. I fell in love with V.E. Schwab's writing when I read Vicious last year; the way she tells a story always grips me and makes me so invested in the characters involved. So last month I decided to pick this book up because the premise sounds very intriguing and a lot of people seems to love it (judging from the Goodreads ratings).

This book is written with dual timelines: the past (the year 1714, in France) and the present (2014, in New York). The first part of the book focuses on introducing our main character, Addie LaRue, who lives with her parents in a small village of Villon. Back in those days, she was expected to be a dutiful woman who marries, takes care of children, grows old, and nothing more. Addie has always craved adventure since she was littlewhich compelled her to escape when it's nearing her wedding day. She desperately prayed to the gods for a miracle so she can be free; but Addie did not expect the darkness to answer. That night, Addie made a deal with the dark: she wants to live in exchange for her soul when she doesn't want it anymore. Turns out, the darkness gave her more than she expected: she gained immortality—but she is also cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
"Three words, large enough to tip the world. I remember you."
Year after year, Addie tried to figure out how to navigate her life with this curse. She experienced so many hurt and despair because no one is able to remember who she is after they part. Even her parents didn't remember her—which for me is the most heartbreaking part 🥺. Throughout the years, Addie even fell in love. However, after a night of being together, the man forgot about her and thought that he'd slept with a prostitute and ended up giving her money (this part breaks my heart too). The only constant in her life for centuries has been the darkness himself, which later will be called Luc. She initially hated Luc for cursing her, but at the same time Addie craves the companionship that only Luc can give her—since he's the only one who still can call her name.

Yet everything changes when Addie met Henry Strauss, a bookkeeper who remembers who she is. And this is where things starts to get even more interesting. I was constantly curious as to how Henry is able to remember Addie despite the curse that she has. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read this book yet, but it finally made sense when the mystery was revealed. My heart instantly aches for them both because they finally found each other but then realized that it's not going to last for long 🥺. At that point, I was bracing myself for a not-so-happy ending 🤣. I have to agree with several reviews that some parts feel a bit dragging towards the end. That's why I ended up giving this book a 4.5 rating instead of 5. Even so, I was still able to enjoy this book from beginning to end, because I feel like every little detail adds to the emotional factor of the story. Reading this book made me think about the importance of an identity, of having a name to be remembered. Also made me realize that having someone to share life with, having a relationship with people—no matter how messy it could be, is beautiful.
"The old gods may be great, but they are neither kind nor merciful. They are fickle, unsteady as moonlight on water, or shadows in a storm. If you insist on calling them, take heed: be careful what you ask for, be willing to pay the price. And no matter how desperate or dire, never pray to the gods that answer after dark."
The best thing about this book—besides V.E. Schwab's amazing writing skills, is Addie LaRue's character. Her stubbornness and perseverance continue to amaze me throughout this book. I was especially astonished with the ending and what she planned to do in the future. She's definitely a character that I would remember for her unique story. Aside from that, I also enjoyed how the author used elements of history and imagined how some historical figures also made a deal with the dark 👏 I think that's very creative. Anyways, I'm definitely looking forward to read more V.E. Schwab's books in the future! Can't seem to get enough of her incredibly captivating stories 😊
"Nothing is all good or all bad," she says. "Life is so much messier than that."
And there in the dark, he asks if it was really worth it.
Were the instants of joy worth the stretches of sorrow?
Were the moments of beauty worth the years of pain?
And she turns her head, and looks at him, and says, "Always."

by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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