Genre: Fantasy, Romance, LGBT
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.
Let me begin by saying what I did like.
Luc’s character as the devil, although we scarcely get to see him until the end.
Addie’s strong will to be independent, live her own life, and not follow society’s expectations.
How art was intertwined in the story
Now that you know what I like… let’s get into the lengthy part.
I actually picked this up because even though I am not a Schwab fan I was told it differed from her typical writing. So, I snagged it, drawn in by the idea of the story.
I shouldn’t have.
The prose is so purple that I couldn’t focus on what was happening, and found it was rather unreliable telling a story that you could follow or even be interested in.
It’s told initially in one perspective that time jumps, then becomes two perspectives that time jump. Addies prior life is so snooze worthy and adds nothing to the plot line that I skipped it unless it had Luc’s name sprinkled in.
I couldn’t empathize with Addie, who should’ve been named LaSelfish.
I honestly was living for the chapters with Luc, because everyone else was rather boring. This could’ve easily been a 250 page novel.
That being said… my buddy reading pal gave this 4.5 stars. She likes Schwab. I do not.
Let this remind me to not pick up a Schwab book again. No matter how promising the idea sounds.
If you could live forever… what would you do?
This is more like 4.5 out of 5 stars for me and most of that has to do with the ending which made me furious…
Here are the things I liked about Addie’s story. The prose was gorgeous, rich, and lush with beautiful metaphor, very indicative of Schwab’s style. I loved the side characters, Bea and Robbie were wonderful and fleshed out. I ADORED Luc, he’s got such Goblin King energy that I couldn’t help falling in love with him a little myself. I liked that Addie felt very real, very human. She sucked as a person, tbh, but she was honest with the reader about who she was. Which was selfish, too-proud, and a bit of an idiot half of the time. I liked that she didn’t give in, and that every time Luc asked her, her answer was always “I saw this or that today, and it was beautiful” because it shows how wonderful life can really be, so long as you let yourself see it. I also loved the lore of the old gods.
Now for what I wasn’t so much a fan of, and here there be spoilers my friends, so take care.
[By the end of the story Addie has traveled mainly to Europe and the US, and that infuriated me to no end because she could go ANYWHERE, she could do ANYTHING. And yet she was content to see elephants in the Paris gardens instead of go to Africa and see them in their natural habitat. It just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but maybe because I’m the kind of person who if I was that fascinated by something, I’d make plans to see it in person instead of just staring at from a distance.
I also didn’t love how Addie doesn’t seem to change, at all, as a character. I’m fine with her remaining selfish, but I feel like she didn’t grow at all through her journey. By the end of it she was still that young woman who didn’t want to be tied down, and literally sold her soul without really knowing what she WANTED.
And while I DID like that in the end Addie chooses herself above either of our male leads, I didn’t like how she never really was able to see the forest for the trees with Luc. Some of the most gut wrenching scenes for me personally were when she basically ripped out Luc’s non-heart and trod on it, because he did love her, so very dearly, and like I said, Goblin King energy…. which I’m obviously weak for.]
Speaking of Luc, out of all of them, he showed the most growth as a character, and I love that for him!
So as you can see the things I liked clearly outshone some of the things I didn’t love.
I’d also like to make one final note before I close out my review, this was a buddy read, and my buddy was not as enamored with this book as I was. Schwab is one of the authors we disagree on, and she isn’t as much of a fan of Schwab as I am. Keep that in mind when thinking about picking up this book, because it is very much done in Schwab’s style, and if you don’t like that style this might not be the book for you.
Otherwise, happy reading!
If you could live forever… what would you do?