The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab [REVIEW]

  • Read date: January 30, 2020
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Format: Hardcover – BOTM Edition

So, Addie LaRue.

Regular readers (as regular as they can be given my erratic posting schedule lately!) will know that I am personally not really one for young adult, fantasy, or young adult fantasy novels, so when Addie LaRue blew up on Bookstagram, Twitter, etc. I didn’t think too much of it. I was unfamiliar with Schwab as an author, but I’d seen her name on a few YA works before, so I just kept scrolling, assuming this one wouldn’t really keep my interest.

Enter: Book of the Month.

With my BOTM membership, I was offered the chance to add, for free, one of BOTM’s Book of the Year Finalists to my box in January (maybe December? Details, details….), and when I saw this was an option, I had the following thoughts: 1. EVERYONE was talking about this, but it’s just not my style, but 2. It’s free…. and 3. I’ll jut give it a go to stay hip and cool and see what the youngsters are reading.

So I added it.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue book cover

Now, I’ve set the scene super well to turn the tables with an, “It’s amazing, I loved it so much!” But alas, reader, that’s not the way this story will go. I will say, the book is good. It just, as expected, was not my style.

This being my first Schwab read ever, I want to wholeheartedly affirm that this writing is gorgeously lyrical and certainly can evoke a swell of emotions within a reader. I think Schwab is very gifted and has a commendable command of the language!

The general premise — a girl makes a deal with a dark spirit to preserve her freedom for as long as she wants it and ends up navigating unforeseen consequences — is incredibly interesting. I just felt like 442 pages miiiiight have been a little gratuitous. From the outset I was unsure how an entire novel of this would keep one’s attention, considering that the foundation had been laid so well initially that a hundred or so pages of following narrative threatened to seem a bit repetitive. In fact, unfortunately, for me, I found quite a bit of the entirety of the novel to be repetitive.

Addie LaRue certainly has a unique and interesting take on temptation, consequences, and companionship. I think the book accomplished well what I would expect it set out to do — create a fantastical interwoven timeline of lost connections, the desire to be understood and leave a mark, and consider the sacrifices one makes for herself and others — but it just wasn’t for me.

I know many folks ADORED this piece, so if you’re one of them, let’s talk in the comments! I’d love to hear new perspectives 🙂

Find Addie LaRue at your local library or bookstore, and, as always, happy reading!


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