Hey there, bookworms and dragons! This one has taken some time for me to be able to write, both because I just haven’t had much time and because this book was an emotional roller coaster. I was extremely lucky to have been able to read an advance digital galley of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab from NetGalley. As always, this does not affect my review one way or another. I am including this in my Diverse Reads section as well as it contains representation for bisexuality, homosexuality, depression, and anxiety.
I’ve been sitting on this review for about a month now because I’ve been having so much trouble processing my thoughts and emotions about the book. It’s such a complicated story so it comes as no surprise that my thoughts and feelings about it are a complicated, tangled mess. As I write this, I’m still unsure of the rating I’m going to give it so I’m hoping writing out the review itself will help me figure it out. I did enjoy the book overall though so we’ll see. Content warnings that I noticed will be at the end of the review. Let’s dive in!
The characters were incredibly well developed, though there were a couple times in the story when I thought, at the time, that something went against a character’s “regular” behavior. However, later in the story I learned things about those characters that would have put those actions solidly within the realm of their “regular” behavior. The character development is artfully done, which pairs perfectly with the story itself. We’re able to get to know each of the characters individually, but also by how they are perceived by others. It’s truly a thing of beauty.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is set in a variety of locations and time periods, all of which seem to have been thoroughly researched and built up meticulously. Whether the story takes place in 1700s Paris or 2010s New York City or anywhere in between, there is almost always the feeling of being fully immersed in the world. Each different location is built up individually as if by magic–without being info dumpy at all–and the rules of the world and how the characters interact with it are laid out beautifully throughout the story parallel to the characters being developed so there is little room for confusion.
The beginning of the story seemed quite chaotic to me, going back and forth between the past and the present while still always moving forward in each of the timelines. It isn’t until around halfway through the book that it begins to become obvious that the chaos was intentional, though at that point of the story the intention itself was entirely unclear to me. However, the chaos is filled in with details that spiked my curiosity. I had a lot of trouble putting the book down so I don’t think even my “if I’m not hooked by chapter 2 I throw the whole book away” friends will have trouble enjoying this one. The story flows in such a way that puts me in mind of a rose–slowly blossoming before it explodes into bloom and leaves you in awe of its magnificence. It is complex and beautifully written.
While The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue works very well as a standalone, I would not be upset if there ends up being a book #2. The ending wrapped up all of the loose ends left from the story while also leaving me wanting to know what happens next. It’s such an amazing story. I went in with quite high expectations and came out having each of them fulfilled and surpassed. This is exactly the high level of quality I’ve come to expect from Victoria Schwab’s writing.
Overall, I rate The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue 4.5 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t just take my word for it! Add it on Goodreads and preorder your copy so you can enjoy it when it’s released on 6 October 2020.
I first heard about The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue because I follow Victoria Schwab on Twitter and had seen her talking about it. Are there any books you discovered because of someone you follow on social media?
Trigger/Content Warnings (TW/CW):
These are the trigger and/or content warnings that I notice while reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. As always, if you’ve read the book and noticed any TW/CWs that are not listed here, please let me know in the comments or anonymously via this form.
- Slut shaming
- Suicide ideation
- Suicide attempt