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The Beauty and Pain of Love and Immortality in The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Book Cover for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

A life no one will remember. A story you’ll never forget.

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. Meet a heroine like no other, in a story that Neil Gaiman calls “delightfully unforgettable.”

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.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a poignant and refreshing take on a familiar fantasy tale, full of intricate layers that leave you discovering something new each time you read. Scwhab’s powerful character study of Addie as she traverses these various lives delivers a powerful introspection of identity, love, and what it truly means to remember who you are.

“Humans are capable of such wondrous things. Of cruelty, and war, but also art and invention.”

There are many consequences to immortality—but one does not often consider in such depth the power dynamics that end up at play due to the choices made by the wielder (and the giver) of immortality. Schwab masterfully navigates these ramifications through the subtle wounds that Addie navigates as she comes to terms with her existence and the price she paid to embody it.

Pain is one of the most constant threads in Addie’s story—but The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is not a story about pain. Rather, it is a story about empowerment, healing, and the love that emerges from accepting the uncertainty of life, and the vulnerability of self-discovery. With beautiful LGBTQ+ representation and mindful commentary on mental health, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is an impressive and endearing read that is truly one of a kind.

(image: Tor Books)

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Larissa Irankunda (she/her) is an East African star child and writer based in Brooklyn. Fantasy and Science-Fiction are her first loves, and her writing focuses on amplifying diversity and inclusion in storytelling. You are most likely to find her nose-deep in a good book, or professing her love for Danny Devito and Jeff Goldblum on the interwebs.