Summary and book reviews of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by Victoria Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

by Victoria E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by Victoria E. Schwab X
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by Victoria E. Schwab
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  • Published:
    Oct 2020, 448 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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About this Book

Book Summary

In the vein of The Time Traveler's Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab's genre-defying tour de force.

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.

New York City
March 10, 2014
I

The girl wakes up in someone else's bed.

She lies there, perfectly still, tries to hold time like a breath in her chest; as if she can keep the clock from ticking forward, keep the boy beside her from waking, keep the memory of their night alive through sheer force of will.

She knows, of course, that she can't. Knows that he'll forget. They always do.

It isn't his fault—it is never their faults.

The boy is still asleep, and she watches the slow rise and fall of his shoulders, the place where his dark hair curls against the nape of his neck, the scar along his ribs. Details long memorized.

His name is Toby.

Last night, she told him hers was Jess. She lied, but only because she can't say her real name—one of the vicious little details tucked like nettles in the grass. Hidden barbs designed to sting. What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind? She has learned to step between the thorny weeds, but there are some cuts that cannot be avoided&#...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Everything about The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is stellar, from the pacing to the characters to the exceptionally well-thought-out plot. Schwab's writing, too, is superb, convincingly reflecting the longing at her heroine's core while at the same time being beautifully descriptive. I wholeheartedly recommend it for a broad audience as a feel-good and overall charming read. The novel would also be an excellent choice for book groups, as it raises many wonderful topics for discussion, such as the lengths one might go to for love or what one might do with eternal life...continued

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(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This sweeping fantasy is as much a love story as it is a tribute to storytelling, art, and inspiration. Schwab's diverse cast is beautifully rendered, and the view of human connection on offer is biting and bitter, yet introspective and sweet. This ambitious and hopeful work is a knockout.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
This is the kind of book you stay up all night reading—rich and satisfying and strange and impeccably crafted. Spanning centuries and continents, this is a darkly romantic and suspenseful tale by a writer at the top of her game.

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Beyond the Book

Palimpsests

Spectral imaging equipment being used to examine a palimpsestThe heroine of V.E. Schwab's novel, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, often takes notice of what she refers to as "palimpsests," which she defines as instances where the past is blotted out and written over by the present.

The word palimpsest comes from the Greek palimpsestos, meaning "scraped again." Strictly speaking, the term refers to a piece of parchment that has been "recycled" — cleaned of its original text and overwritten in the interest of economy — but on which traces of the earlier document can still be observed.

The technique was relatively common in antiquity, when writing media such as parchment (made from animal skin) were scarce and expensive. Existing text would be erased by literally scraping off the ...

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